Genie vs Hopper; and, two on one account?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by TomCat, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    101
    Aug 31, 2002
    I don't like having all my recordings on one HDD, first, so I have four standalone DVRs.

    But a guy buttonholed me in Walmart the other day. He had a little table set up and was hawking DTV. I said I thought the Hopper approach was a better approach than the Genie, but I agreed with him that DTV is a much better company.

    But I complained that DTV only lets one Genie on an account (same with the Hopper, I think), and he said "no, you can have more than one".

    Not sure I believe him; his argument against the Hopper was that it 'records everything'. Well yeah. Duh. That's the idea. He said 'it ties up the tuner with recordings so you can't do anything else during prime time". And we all know that isn't true, and that you can break that tuner away for offhand use and even turn the Hopper function off, so I don't know how much credence to give to "more than one Genie". He was not a 'Genie-us', apparently.

    Bottom line, can you have two Genies on one account?

    If I could get two Hoppers, I would be tempted, but since I have like 900 hours of recorded shows on DTV, I am kind of stuck here anyway. And, DISH sucks, but that is beside the point. DTV DVRs suck a lot worse than they did a few years ago, too. That HR24 sometimes takes a minute to display the guide, with all that app crap shoveled into it. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. If it gets much worse, Netflix here I come.
     
  2. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    16,344
    505
    May 30, 2007
    Cincinnati
    No, you can't. Maybe he was confused between Genies and Genie clients.

    I like having more discrete tuners, at least compared to the original Hopper, but Super Joeys and the Hopper 3 changed that.

    Of course, the other thing is, is AT&T a better company?
     
  3. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    101
    Aug 31, 2002
    $1 million Q.

    Is the NSA better than the CIA or FBI?

    I would like to think that ATT makes DTV better, or at least more stable, and maybe makes it more able to move ahead technically. But I have no idea if that is the case. I thought when Apple bought Logic from Emagic that would be good, but it was not. Great product, great new company, within weeks Logic became like hammered doggie doo. Took a decade to make that product good again, and it is still buggy as hell 15 years later. Often when a mountain moves, there is collateral damage.

    Gotta research that Hopper 3, now. You probably hit it on the head, he probably was talking clients. But adding a useless layer of complexity makes zero sense to someone who watches everything in the same room anyway, so no, no clients for me, and the Genie still puts every egg in the same basket. They'll have to pry the HR24 from my dying hands until something is better. Ironic; that's what I used to say about the DTivo a decade ago. They all eventually died, and DTV pryed, and here I sit, with four aging HRs. Fight the overlords. Probably need DTV to do cloud DVRs and become a streaming company first. Starting to hold my breath, right, now.
     
  4. James Long

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

    48,832
    1,559
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    It is more of a special dispensation. Around here most (if not all) of the people who got more than one were working with DIRECTV to test receiver firmware. So technically an account can be set up with more than one Genie ... but it is not something done for any subscriber who asks.

    And if you think that a department store salesman can't be wrong about the product he is selling, ask him about the competition's products:
    The older Hoppers have three tuners each. One can have two Hoppers or one Hopper and a SuperJoey as the base system, then add Joey clients for other TVs. One tuner is used for the four major local channels any time any of the local channels are being recorded or viewed. So if you are watching or recording ABC, that same tuner will be used for watching or recording CBS, FOX and NBC. The other two tuners remain available.

    The older Hoppers do not "record everything" ... during Prime Time they use one of the three tuners to record the four major local networks (and that feature can be turned off). The other two tuners remain available for other recordings. A SuperJoey or second Hopper works nicely with the first to add tuners. SuperJoeys record to the main Hopper, second Hoppers have their own hard drives.

    As for the new Hopper 3 ... 16 tuners pretty much ends any conflicts. DISH calls it "conflict free" recording. One can only have one Hopper 3 on an account (and Joeys as clients).

    If you are worried about having only one hard drive then add an external hard drive or two to the Hopper or Hopper 3. The external hard drives outlive the receiver. So if the receiver suddenly fails you lose the content on the internal drive but not the externals. I still have programs recorded on my old 622 receiver. They play on my Hopper and will continue to play if I get a Hopper 3. Not something that the department store DIRECTV sales person wants to know about. (DIRECTV external drives replace the internal drive when connected and cannot be moved to a different receiver.)

    A single Hopper 3 setup with an external drive would work for your single TV home alone setup. Depending on how much you record a regular Hopper would work.
     
  5. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    101
    Aug 31, 2002
    Thank you, James.

    It seems like both companies have their fatal flaws, or at least drawbacks. The Hopper sounds vastly superior to the Genie. But DTV seems vastly superior to DISH, at least in my experience. Not trying to start a fire here, I just wish DTV would cave in and go Hopper at some point.
     
  6. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    12,735
    1,051
    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    There are always pros and cons to different approaches. I don't know if I feel one is "vastly superior" to the other, but that is part of what differentiates providers and gives consumers a choice. And that is generally a good thing.
     
  7. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

    1,540
    90
    Apr 15, 2014
    St. Louis
    Their is also what to do about the Advanced Receiver Fee if you have two Genies? Would they charge you two Advanced Receiver Fee's?
     
  8. patmurphey

    patmurphey Godfather

    1,014
    81
    Dec 21, 2006
    Where does the "vastly superior" nonsense come from? DTV has more sports and a slight edge in picture quality - just about wiped out with the Hopper3's processing. Dish allows multiple Hoppers with 2TB hard drives and any number of external hard drives for archival storage AND transferring recordings to upgraded or replacement DVRs. There is no comparison between the superior Hopper's interface (especially the new Carbon interface) to the Genie's. Hopper3s and 4k Joeys output 4k directly, VOD and Netflix for now, not to mention Sports Bar with 4 1080 screens on a 4k TV. BTW, PTAT can be turned off but the 4 recordings on one tuner is always available 24/7. PTAT can be set to one day a week, saved for 2 days to keep autohop active, using minimal HD user space.

    2 Hoppers and 6 Joeys or 1 Hopper3 and 6 Joeys is a lease limit for an account. No limit for purchased units. (2 Hopper3s require separate dishes for now until multiple unit hubs become available.)
     
    2 people like this.
  9. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    24,439
    1,383
    Nov 13, 2006
    No and that's not the issue... That's an account fee for DVRs. Has nothing to do with why they don't allow two genies.
     
  10. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    24,439
    1,383
    Nov 13, 2006
    Two things... One do you have your DIRECTV units connected to the internet? If so kill the connection for a while and see what happens.

    Second do you use Boolean searches? If so kill those two and see what happens.

    I believe those two things have the most opportunity to slow your DVRs. And that apps have nothing to do with it.... ;)

    Oh and you might in a clearmybox search on all of them, but no it forces an immediate restart and wipes all guide data stuff etc and has to rebuild... Try that after you disconnect the Internet and when you don't need to watch anything for a while. Maybe right before bed...
     
  11. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    24,439
    1,383
    Nov 13, 2006
    I think the hopper 3 is fantastic on paper. Unfortunate it's only for dish. And that's a non starter for me.. But I like the genies. They are far better than the hr2x line IMHO. And for how I use my DVR.
     
  12. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    101
    Aug 31, 2002
    I do not, and I do not.

    It is not a rumor, it is a known fact that anything that shares the CPU means a smaller piece of the pie for everything else, so apps absolutely have something to do with it. There is no way that they can't. How much? We don't know. It may be minimal. But on a overloaded cheap CPU, even minimal is significant.

    Here is what I do know. In 2011 the HRs were pretty snappy. Not anywhere as snappy as the DISH DVRs, but noticeably more responsive than they are now (which didn't outweigh the drawbacks of the DISH DVRs, in my opinion). 5 years later, even the HR24 is sluggish. And this is a period where I probably replaced 3 DVRs and changed out a couple of HDDs, eliminating the issue of that being due to accumulated cruft.

    That is not smoking-gun evidence, but it is telling.

    I don't want a DVR that is also all things to all people in all circumstances, and DTV has failed miserably with that approach. I want a DVR that is reliable, intuitive, appropriately snappy, and does just and only what it is supposed to do. That's all. No longer an option at DTV.

    But Inky, I love your posts. Thanks for your assistance here.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

    1,540
    90
    Apr 15, 2014
    St. Louis
    I forgot didn't someone say it was a software issue? Maybe once they have a new guide that would allow for multiple Genie's?
     
  14. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    101
    Aug 31, 2002
    It comes from me. It's my opinion, based on significant experience with both. Your post is all opinion too, so does that mean all opinions are nonsense? Or just yours. If so, we can be nonsensical together. Thanks for the insult.

    Now here is something that is not opinion. The encoding and compression protocols for DISH and DTV are essentially, virtually identical, meaning that the PQ is also essentially, virtually identical. Encoding standard HD is now a mature practice and most if not all of the removable artifacts from the early days are no longer with us. 4K, still up in the air, but forget 4K for now.

    Once something is in the digital domain and is not reprocessed by chained algorithms (the last processing happens at the uplink) there is nothing that can change the PQ, for better or for worse, until after it is decoded and then converted into analog. Not even a little bit. That's physics. That's how this works, and is exactly why they do it that way.

    The tiny idiosyncratic choices made by the expert DBS compressionists, something I myself work with intimately on a daily basis in broadcast, make any original difference one without a visual distinction. A compressionist working for DISH, or for DTV, probably thinks his signals look better, but he would only be fooling himself. IOW, once done properly, you can't tell one from the other. So, equal at that point in the signal chain. A 46,000-mile round trip might lose some bits, but those are reconstructed by the decoder, and all MPEG-4 decoders work in a precisely-identical manner, because they have to. If they didn't they would be outside the MPEG protocol and would not decode anything.

    DBS is only sending one percent of the original digital signal anyway, and the magic of decoding is where the other 99% of the signal ported into the HDMI transmit chip comes from. The decoder makes 'guesses', but every decoder makes the same intelligent identical guesses, even from different manufacturers. The uplink sends 'the dots', and the decoder 'connects the dots', to reconstruct the digital file, which represents the picture, to put it simply. PQ is still locked in the digital domain, and still identical.

    And as we know, with HDMI, D-to-A conversion does not happen until after DISH, after DTV, and happens inside your TV. So identical signals are transported unchanged from the uplinks, through whatever DVR, or other DVB-S tuner and MPEG decoder you have, all the way to the HDMI RX chip deep inside your TV. Unchanged. These are all facts.

    Comparison between two analog stereo AVRs in the 80's is a completely different paradigm that does not apply to digital video that is handled the same way by two vendors. Comparison no longer exists when the protocol does not allow the information it carries to be degraded in any way. This is why digital has replaced analog in the first place. It's not 1983, and it's no longer 2003 when encoding and compression was still a black art. So that thinking does not apply anymore.

    The 'processing' inside a Hopper is no different than the processing inside a DTV DVR, other than the Hopper records a wideband multiple program transport stream, or MPTS, for PTAT. Still, PQ is locked, unchangeable, inside the digital domain, from one end of the DVR to the other. Every customer of DISH and DTV gets exactly the same original PQ. What their TV does to it is the only place a difference might lie.

    For choices of 4 vs 6 signals compressed into a transponder, the difference in PQ due to compression is minimal, and now that the technology of compression is mature, overblown as an issue, so even if DISH does 5 or 6 and DTV does 4 for a particular service, it is unlikely that there is a visible difference. The difference between a Samsung and a Sony or a Vizio would be where any visible difference might be, and even then it is probably minimal, assuming similar product levels.

    This means that the PQ is virtually, essentially identical all the way from the uplink, all the way to the TV, which means I would be willing to wager any amount of money that even golden eyes can't perceive the difference between HD content decoded by a DISH DVR from that decoded by a DTV DVR, or a Tivo, from each other in double blind study. What you had for breakfast would have more bearing on your 'distinction' than any actual difference. As far as how the signals are processed both in the DVRs and at the DBS uplinks, there is no discernible difference. Not by the human vision system.

    There is no 'edge'. An 'edge' can't possibly exist, under these circumstances.

    The fact that you have failed to understand this actual fact, Pat, greatly undermines the veracity of your opinion.
     
  15. James Long

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

    48,832
    1,559
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    The settings and bandwidth allotted per channel are different.

    Whether or not humans can see the difference is a long and volatile debate. Get close to a big screen and one is more likely to see some difference. But the smaller the screen and the further the distance the less likely one will see anything different. (In my humble opinion.)
     
  16. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    24,439
    1,383
    Nov 13, 2006
    without internet connected the apps don't work so they can't take any cpu. They are dormant. That all loads from the Internet. Score guide doesn't... That's different same with the stuff on the weather channel.

    Frankly it's kinda sad but DIRECTV is closer than others to be more specific in design now. Hopper Hi Definition Netflix built in now. I'm not saying that's good or bad per se but it's more stuff to be negotiated by the user as well as the programmers.

    I think some of the slowness is the backend things they have done with guide data and the like. I think it's allowed for things like season and episodes info and such but means the DVR has to wade through more stuff in general. I think it's sheer volume that is slowing them down. It's the only reason I could ever think of as to why they limit their series links. Sheer volume.

    Im perplexed why yours is so slow then. How full are the drives usually? Many people find full hard drives to really slow them down vs having say 30 to 40% empty. I saw slowness when I was closer to 7% on a 2tb drive myself.
     
  17. patmurphey

    patmurphey Godfather

    1,014
    81
    Dec 21, 2006
    I did not offer an "opinion" on PQ as I do not have DTV, I relied on reporting from an expert over on the other site who has both installed. The Hopper3 statements are fact based on both my experience and the reporting of others who have the system.

    I stand by "vastly superior" is an exaggeration.
     
  18. Delroy E Walleye

    Delroy E Walleye AllStar

    1,167
    109
    Jun 9, 2012
    A couple of thoughts on this thread:

    1. My experience with DirecTV is if your HDD is full (or nearly full) whether a HR21 or an HR44 it will slow down, or at the very least have its "lockup" moments (wait 30 seconds or more for a function to work, especially on a "buffered" tuner not playing a recording).

    2. You can argue HD specs and what happens to them all you want, but it's been repeatedly alleged that Dish only uses 1440 horizontal resolution on 1080i HD transmissions, vs DirecTV using the full 1920. (I have not personally confirmed, though.)
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    2,594
    278
    Dec 28, 2007
    Vastly superior sounds about right:

    1) the Hopper 3 has native 4K output whereas the HR54 doesn't and there hasn't even been any inklings of a 4K genie server on any site.
    2) DirecTV 4K requires a minimum of *TWO* accounts (even for us single TV people), 1 for the server and 1 for the jury-rigged RVU/client that can output 4K
    3) I haven't used RVU or the genie client personally, so I'm only going by the feedback on the forums, but client speed is worse then watching directly on the server and RVU is even worse then the client
    4) 16 tuners vs 5
    5) DirecTV genie requires WHDVR fee, no such thing on the hopper
    6) DirecTV 4K requires ultimate package, not sure if Dish has a similiar requirement, but ultimate also adds in an RSN fee
    7) Hopper 3 has a better remote
    8) Hopper 3 will be generally be a lot cheaper because of all the BS fees DirecTV tacks on (for 1 TV preferred Xtra with HR24 vs. Dish top 200 with 4K hopper 3, you're looking at a $25 to $30/mo diff.).
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    12,735
    1,051
    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    1. I do not know, I have no direct experience with Dish. However I do not believe Dish has any live 4K, it's just streaming from Sony, Netflix, and others.
    2. Two items on your account, not two accounts.
    3. Using a client is almost identically the same speed and response as the Genie itself. I agree an RVU TV can be less responsive. I've used both, first hand experience not hearsay from other postings.
    4. No direct experience or knowledge. 16 actual separate tuners, or does this still use the pack all the LILs into one concept? Granted though, either way gives you more recording/watching capability.
    5. Everybody has their fees and charges. Different companies, different names. End result, over time you will probably pay pretty much the same. By the way, Dish does have a whole-home DVR fee of $15 per month.
    6. Yep, that pretty much sucks in my opinion.
    7. No experience, so can't comment.
    8. See # 5.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall