First Look: DIRECTV H44 Genie Server & External HDD

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Scott Kocourek, May 25, 2015.

  1. May 29, 2015 #81 of 462
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    New customer prices ... a DVR or Genie adds one $15 charge to the account.
    If one gets the H44 plus a DVR (or a H44 or multiple DVRs) they should get the $15 fee.

    H44 plus no-DVRs ... I assume DirecTV will charge the $15 advanced receiver fee because the H44 is capable of being a DVR (and whole home?). Charging for capabilities even if they are not used. Which would be cleaner that charging differently for a H44 if it had a HDD attached than if it didn't.
  2. May 29, 2015 #82 of 462

    WERA689 Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    Canton, GA
    Yep, other than the DirecTV logo on the top, it looks like any other 2.5" drive. I'm assuming there's something in the drivers or software that requires a DirecTV flag in order to work properly. In fact, mine is identified as a Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive on the bottom.
  3. May 29, 2015 #83 of 462

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    Plus unless the phone or internet is connected to it, or you have to call DirecTV and notify them about it before it's activated, there would be no way for DirecTV to know if you added the HDD to enable the DVR functions.
  4. May 29, 2015 #84 of 462
    Jacob Braun

    Jacob Braun King of Awesome

    Oct 5, 2011
    Tulsa, OK
    Nope. That's what's great about this. If you have an H44 without drive and clients it charges the same as the HD receiver. Only when you buy a hard drive and activate the $15 (or $25, or $10/$10/$3 depending on when your account was active) Advanced Receiver Services do you get the DVR features enabled. If you buy a hard drive and don't have Advanced Receiver Services active it will say something like "Call DIRECTV to Activate Your Genie Lite DVR Kit"
    3 people like this.
  5. May 29, 2015 #85 of 462

    R8ders2K Godfather

    Sep 11, 2006
    Saw no mention of the Wi-Fi or USB specs, is the Wi-Fi 802.11n or ac, 2.4 and/or 5 GHz? Is the USB 2.0 or 3.0? And with respects to no ethernet port, can the an external USB-to-ethernet adapter work...?
  6. May 29, 2015 #86 of 462
    Jacob Braun

    Jacob Braun King of Awesome

    Oct 5, 2011
    Tulsa, OK
    It's .11abgn (so 2.4 and 5GHz)

    USB 2.0.

    No idea on an external USB to Ethernet adapter but I would suspect no unless one is specifically marketed by D*. It does work with a broadband DECA.
  7. May 29, 2015 #87 of 462
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

    Apr 17, 2003
    That is good.
  8. May 29, 2015 #88 of 462

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    Bummer, no ethernet port so no built in CCK/MoCA crossover bridge like on the HR34 and HR44 for the wired CCK option.

    Back to using external CCK/BB DECAs for that type of internet connection.

    Nice first look though. ..

    Sent from my SGH-M819N using Tapatalk
  9. May 29, 2015 #89 of 462

    NR4P Dad

    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I have a feeling that there just aren't enough homes with ethernet cables near the main receiver, i.e. Genies so they dropped the port. Wireless or CCK seems to be easier to deal with.
    1 person likes this.
  10. May 29, 2015 #90 of 462

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    You can plug an eSATA array into a eSATAp port. Any array beyond maybe a mirror of two lower power drives will require separate power, so making eSATAp arrays is mostly pointless.
  11. May 29, 2015 #91 of 462

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    An SSD is not a good choice for a media drive. Whenever there are large files regularly erased and replaced, or constant recording such as a buffer, an SSD is probably not the drive of choice. They are essentially never used for that purpose professionally. Great boot drive or scratch drive for a consumer PC, but not really what you want here.

    Congrats to the first look team.

    And congrats to DTV for expending a lot of energy making a product that benefits....themselves. Quite obviously the motivation here is to create a one-size-fits-all product, even though ironically it does not fit a large segment of users at all. All of the benefits seem to be directed towards keeping prices down and simplifying tech support and replacement, and really not in providing any advance in quality, features, or reliability for the end users. There does not seem to be much at all here that would benefit the user beyond what is already offered, unless you consider a step backwards into a 1 TB limit to be progress. Or preventing the use of common and well-tested off-the-shelf eSATA drives.

    But this is the first time they have formally embraced X drives; until now it was an "undocumented and unsupported feature", that if they did not have would have sent a lot of us to their competitors.

    One genie per? I think that is merely a security issue. Security for....DTV, of course. They don't want anyone building a mini-headend out of genies and distributing it to multiple users. Same thing regarding losing recordings because the drive is married to the DVR; it supports security guessed it...DTV. Always first to serve their customers, right after they serve themseives.
    2 people like this.
  12. May 29, 2015 #92 of 462

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Doesn't work.
  13. May 29, 2015 #93 of 462

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    With regard to the hard drive, the information that we have at this time indicates the drive must be the size, manufacture and model that is provided by DirecTV, it must be eSATAp, and must use the appropriate eSATAp cable. Whether or not you can source the proper drive other than from DirecTV is unknown. Regardless, you must still have DVR service active on your account to turn an H44 into a DVR, there is no way to "secretly upgrade" yourself. Whether or not a customer with an H44 and a drive not provided by DirecTV could even get them to enable DVR service on your account is also unknown. For speculation and conjecture purposes, I would suggest you speculate that you need to use the DirecTV drive; that other options will not work for you.

    If you want larger drives, RAID, or anything else, the H44 is not your system of choice.

    My impression is that the H44 is meant to be the basic multi-room install option for any non-DVR new account. It is easily upgraded (without a truck roll) to DVR for those customers that decide they want to add that capability at a later time. Just mail the DVR kit (the HDD and cable) to the customer who plugs it in then calls and adds DVR service to their account. Very cost effective.
    1 person likes this.
  14. May 29, 2015 #94 of 462

    damondlt New Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    1 TB is more than enough for us.
    I may consider going without DVR though .
    Another question, is there a commitment if you active the DVRs service?
  15. May 29, 2015 #95 of 462

    jagrim Hall Of Fame

    Aug 25, 2006
    I think you're spot on this impression.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  16. May 29, 2015 #96 of 462

    Vinny New Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Long Island, NY
    Great job on the First Look. Thanks to all the testers, I know it's not an easy job to test new equipment, but your work helps all directv customers and is greatly appreciated.
    1 person likes this.
  17. May 29, 2015 #97 of 462

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    I would expect simply ordering the drive and activating DVR service would not trigger any committment. The H44 itself would have a two year when first activated on the system.
  18. May 29, 2015 #98 of 462

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    For me, the writing style added back any attack potential that leaving benchmarks out might have avoided. Actually, I'm not convinced that technical details (benchmarks or otherwise) are assailable in and of themselves. Flowery superlatives and the DIRECTV-are-freakin'-geniuses tone are indicative of a bias and that's not really what this is about.
    I assume that by "different" you mean independent.
    It isn't that it wasn't helpful, but I think that leaving out pictures/details of the remote and the power supply and how/whether the unit fits and works with the AM21 is a fairly serious omission as compared to the first looks of the other "truly new products".

    Speaking of details, does the DIRECTV eSATAp module have mounting options?
  19. May 29, 2015 #99 of 462

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    It's the same remote and power brick that other units use. No need to repost that info.
  20. Supramom2000

    Supramom2000 In Loving Memory of Onyx-2/23/09

    Jun 20, 2007
    Colbert, WA
    There is a picture of the remote. It is the same peanut one DTV is using now. Also, the AM21 works fine with the H44. It is much smaller than the AM21 so it can sit on top of it if so chosen.

    Hope that helps.

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