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Longtime DirecTV subscriber (1996), former beta tester, longtime DBSTalk participant, former Edgecutter, but haven't been active for years and I don't know the current state of things with DirecTV/AT&T HD DVRs.

My current equipment: My main DVR is an HR34-700 which I have really liked. The ability to have 5 tuners was a breakthrough and is the best and most reliable HD DVR I've had to date, although I have fond memories of the HR-250, the DirecTiVo HD DVR which was bulletproof.

I also have two HR21s, an HR21-200 and an HR21-700, one of which I received as a beta tester and are from the post-HR-250 era when the initial DirecTV HD DVRs were initially extremely unreliable and having two DVRs was the best insurance that you actually got a recording of something that you really wanted to record. They've been pretty reliable for a long time now but I'm considering getting rid of both of them because they've become redundant and unnecessary since I've had the HR34. I also have two Genie Mini C31-700 clients, one in the master bedroom and one in the guest bedroom.

Last year I upgraded my TV and A/V receiver to 4K. I have a 65" LG OLED65BP7 and an Onkyo TX-RZ820 and I'm fully set up with 4K and Dolby Atmos, although I'm necessarily interested in the way DirecTV/AT&T does their 4K and this isn't a driving factor if I upgrade.

I've known about the HR-44 and the HR-54 for awhile now but have had a bunch of stuff on the HR34 that I still need to watch, so I haven't pulled the trigger yet. I also have the Protection Plan. Last year a technician updated my LNBs and told me I can get a free upgrade.

So here's the questions:
  1. Is the HR54 my best upgrade option?
  2. Will I get an HR54 if I request it?
  3. Do I have to turn in my current HR34 or can I keep it to watch the recorded stuff?
  4. Any suggestions given my current setup?
Thanks for reading! I look forward to any input and suggestions.
 

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Longtime DirecTV subscriber (1996), former beta tester, longtime DBSTalk participant, former Edgecutter, but haven't been active for years and I don't know the current state of things with DirecTV/AT&T HD DVRs.

My current equipment: My main DVR is an HR34-700 which I have really liked. The ability to have 5 tuners was a breakthrough and is the best and most reliable HD DVR I've had to date, although I have fond memories of the HR-250, the DirecTiVo HD DVR which was bulletproof.

I also have two HR21s, an HR21-200 and an HR21-700, one of which I received as a beta tester and are from the post-HR-250 era when the initial DirecTV HD DVRs were initially extremely unreliable and having two DVRs was the best insurance that you actually got a recording of something that you really wanted to record. They've been pretty reliable for a long time now but I'm considering getting rid of both of them because they've become redundant and unnecessary since I've had the HR34. I also have two Genie Mini C31-700 clients, one in the master bedroom and one in the guest bedroom.

Last year I upgraded my TV and A/V receiver to 4K. I have a 65" LG OLED65BP7 and an Onkyo TX-RZ820 and I'm fully set up with 4K and Dolby Atmos, although I'm necessarily interested in the way DirecTV/AT&T does their 4K and this isn't a driving factor if I upgrade.

I've known about the HR-44 and the HR-54 for awhile now but have had a bunch of stuff on the HR34 that I still need to watch, so I haven't pulled the trigger yet. I also have the Protection Plan. Last year a technician updated my LNBs and told me I can get a free upgrade.

So here's the questions:
  1. Is the HR54 my best upgrade option?
  2. Will I get an HR54 if I request it?
  3. Do I have to turn in my current HR34 or can I keep it to watch the recorded stuff?
  4. Any suggestions given my current setup?
Thanks for reading! I look forward to any input and suggestions.
Before you walk into a nightmare can you tell us if you have a D* account or an ATT account? I'm assuming you still have the original D* account.

The 54 is the most advanced normal DVR. The 44 is an excellent DVR, better than anything you have. Far better. For a 4K setup you'd want the 54 and a C61K. For some reason you have to put the C61K on the 4K TV and the 54 on another TV. Only the C61K can output 4K.

The other choice is the HS17. That's a server, only feeds minis which feed the TVs. With a 17 you can do two streams of 4K content. Biggest problem I see with the 17s is the single point of failure. The 17 dies and you can't access any content. As with just about any new D* DVR system it's buggy.

As long as you take the coax off the 34 before you deactivate it you should be able to watch the Playlist down. They don't seem to want the 34s back.

You would be doing yourself a favor by getting rid of those other two tuner HRs and getting 24s, they are much better than anything you have.

Rich
 

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Rich was asking about DIRECTV or AT&T account because several posts last night said that those with AT&T accounts can only get the HS17; no HR54. The HS17 only works with the minis/clients - it will not work with your other HR2X DVRs. The HR54 will work with your other DVRs just as your 34 does right now.
 

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The HR54 has a 1 TB Hard Drive. It can be connected to a TV and works with receivers, DVRs and clients. It will work with one 4K client at once. The HS17 has a 2 TB Hard Drive. It is a headless server and cannot be connected to a TV. It works only with clients. It works with two 4K clients at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Before you walk into a nightmare can you tell us if you have a D* account or an ATT account? I'm assuming you still have the original D* account.

The 54 is the most advanced normal DVR. The 44 is an excellent DVR, better than anything you have. Far better. For a 4K setup you'd want the 54 and a C61K. For some reason you have to put the C61K on the 4K TV and the 54 on another TV. Only the C61K can output 4K.

The other choice is the HS17. That's a server, only feeds minis which feed the TVs. With a 17 you can do two streams of 4K content. Biggest problem I see with the 17s is the single point of failure. The 17 dies and you can't access any content. As with just about any new D* DVR system it's buggy.

As long as you take the coax off the 34 before you deactivate it you should be able to watch the Playlist down. They don't seem to want the 34s back.

You would be doing yourself a favor by getting rid of those other two tuner HRs and getting 24s, they are much better than anything you have.

Rich
Thanks, this is the kind of feedback/advice I'm looking for!

I believe I have an original DirecTV account since I've been a continuous customer since 1996.

It looks like I want the HR54. I'm not interested in the required 4K setup that requires an additional client. I can get plenty of 4K content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

I have no intention of replacing the HR21s with one or two HR24s, but I may keep them activated until I have my Series Manager completely set up on the HR54 with the upcoming season and then deactivate them.

I just called DirecTV. They are pushing the Genie 2 system but they are going to give me the HR54 and the C61K at no charge and no monthly fee for the C61K, so my bill will not change. They require an technician to install, and I have an appointment for Monday afternoon. They said that I can keep the HR34 but the agent said he wasn't sure that I could watch the recorded content without an access card. I'll check that with the technician.

Regarding the C61K, can the HR54 be set up on one HDMI input on a TV and the C61K set up on another HDMI input on the same TV? I want the HR54 in the family room, not on another TV in my master bedroom or guest room. If that's not possible, I'll just tell the technician not to install the C61K.
 

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Thanks, this is the kind of feedback/advice I'm looking for!

I believe I have an original DirecTV account since I've been a continuous customer since 1996.
I've been a D* subscriber for about the same time. They pushed my account over to the ATT platform a month or two ago.

Your signal levels need to be strong or the tech isn't going to install a Genie 2, if he can't fix it. Thats primarily why they demand sending a tech out for genies.

From reading a lot of chatter here over the past few months, the Genie 2 server works well, its the clients that are buggy. The 54 should be as reliable as your 34.
 

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The length of time you have been with D* doesn't have any bearing on becoming an AT&T account. Everyone will eventually. I started with D* in 1992 and got switched a few weeks ago.
 

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Thanks, this is the kind of feedback/advice I'm looking for!

I believe I have an original DirecTV account since I've been a continuous customer since 1996.

It looks like I want the HR54. I'm not interested in the required 4K setup that requires an additional client. I can get plenty of 4K content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

The HR21s are HD DVRS. I have no intention of replacing them, but I may keep them activated until I have my Series Manager completely set up on the 54 with the upcoming season.

I just called DirecTV. They are pushing the Genie 2 system but they are going to give me the HR54 and the C61K at no charge and no monthly fee for the C61K, so my bill will not change. They require an technician to install, and I have an appointment for Monday afternoon. They said that I can keep the HR34 but the agent said he wasn't sure that I could watch the recorded content without an access card. I'll check that with the technician.

Regarding the C61K, can the HR54 be set up on one HDMI input on a TV and the C61K set up on another HDMI input on the same TV? I want the HR54 in the family room, not on another TV in my master bedroom or guest room. If that's not possible, I'll just tell the technician not to install the C61K.
Yes, you can have the two devices hooked up to two different HDMI inputs on your TV. You may have some issues with the remotes though. I think you set one up RF and the other IR. (You don't actually really even need the 54 connected to a TV once you get it all setup. Your mini uses the tuners from the 54).

Unusual they won't charge you the monthly fee. I'm not sure I'd believe that.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, you can have the two devices hooked up to two different HDMI inputs on your TV. You may have some issues with the remotes though. I think you set one up RF and the other IR. (You don't actually really even need the 54 connected to a TV once you get it all setup. Your mini uses the tuners from the 54).

Unusual they won't charge you the monthly fee. I'm not sure I'd believe that.

Good luck.
I said TV, I actually meant A/V receiver. Everything is hooked up to that and it does the HDMI switchng, but I would assume that it would work the same way.

Since I probably won't be watching 4K content from DirecTV very often the remotes shouldn't be a problem and I'm sure that I can figure out what needs to be done, even if it's just blocking the HR54 temporarily.

I'm surprised that they said that there's no monthly fee for the C61K. I'll definitely get clarification on that before installation.

I looked at my service order and apparently they're going to swap out my two current C31-700 clients in the bedrooms. What's the latest non-4K client model?
 

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You know the C61K can play all your HD content also? You don't need to use it only for 4K.

Put the 61K on your 4K TV and the HR54 on your next most used TV. Get rid of one mini. I think the current mini is the C61. Swap that for your other mini.
 

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These guys know the gear, I’m new to DTV with HS17 server and (3) C61K clients. To me this is how it should work and I don’t buy the single point of failure argument as a reason not to get it, the same can be said for the Dish Hopper 3 and Joey 4K client (their premier system I had for two years), the Hopper 3 goes down and your hosed, mine never did. I also don’t find the HS17 buggy, but maybe I don’t watch the right programs or recordings. I went out of my way to get the HS17/C61K and I’m glad I did, but maybe ignorance is bliss as I haven’t had an HR54, and don’t have angst over change.

My main comment however is not to discount the DirecTV 4K content, I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit. The picture and sound quality are superb, and 4K content was one of the main reasons I switched from Dish (who has virtually none). As you have Atmos you should know that some of the 4K broadcasts are Atmos encoded, I don’t yet have Atmos and listen in 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus which also sounds excellent (and I’m talking about free content). If you’re upgrading your DTV gear and you have the system you describe I think you’re really missing out by not getting at least one C61K 4K client for your main system.
 

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These guys know the gear, I'm new to DTV with HS17 server and (3) C61K clients. To me this is how it should work and I don't buy the single point of failure argument as a reason not to get it, the same can be said for the Dish Hopper 3 and Joey 4K client (their premier system I had for two years), the Hopper 3 goes down and your hosed, mine never did. I also don't find the HS17 buggy, but maybe I don't watch the right programs or recordings.
I have 6 TVs with 6 DVRs. If one dies, I lose 1 TV and the content of that 1 DVR. If I had a Genie and all minis, losing the Genie means no DIRECTV until it is fixed/replace and a loss of all recordings.

Back when there was an overheating issue with specific HR24s, I went through 4 DVRs in less than 4 months. But I also have a few DVRs right now that i haven't had any problems with for years.

But I've experienced failures, so I am not going to go willingly with a single point of failure.
 

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I have 6 TVs with 6 DVRs. If one dies, I lose 1 TV and the content of that 1 DVR. If I had a Genie and all minis, losing the Genie means no DIRECTV until it is fixed/replace and a loss of all recordings.

Back when there was an overheating issue with specific HR24s, I went through 4 DVRs in less than 4 months. But I also have a few DVRs right now that i haven't had any problems with for years.

But I've experienced failures, so I am not going to go willingly with a single point of failure.
Yup, go thru a nightmare (remember the Fall of 2006 and 2007?) and you learn. I lost count of the failures a long time ago. To think these things won't fail at critical times is...

Rich
 

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I have 6 TVs with 6 DVRs. If one dies, I lose 1 TV and the content of that 1 DVR. If I had a Genie and all minis, losing the Genie means no DIRECTV until it is fixed/replace and a loss of all recordings.

Back when there was an overheating issue with specific HR24s, I went through 4 DVRs in less than 4 months. But I also have a few DVRs right now that i haven't had any problems with for years.

But I've experienced failures, so I am not going to go willingly with a single point of failure.
Once upon a time I was proud of my 10 TV sets and 12 HRs. Read the above and had to stop and count. Down to 5 HRs and 7 TV sets. 2 TV sets don't have a DVR. What a paradigm shift!

Rich
 

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Thanks, this is the kind of feedback/advice I'm looking for!

I believe I have an original DirecTV account since I've been a continuous customer since 1996.

(1) It looks like I want the HR54. I'm not interested in the required 4K setup that requires an additional client. I can get plenty of 4K content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

(2) I have no intention of replacing the HR21s with one or two HR24s, but I may keep them activated until I have my Series Manager completely set up on the HR54 with the upcoming season and then deactivate them.

(3) I just called DirecTV. They are pushing the Genie 2 system but they are going to give me the HR54 and the C61K at no charge and no monthly fee for the C61K, so my bill will not change. They require an technician to install, and I have an appointment for Monday afternoon. They said that I can keep the HR34 but the agent said he wasn't sure that I could watch the recorded content without an access card. I'll check that with the technician.
(1) If you tell a CSR that you will not get a 54. The only way you can get a 54 without having a 4K setup that I know of is to get it from an installer. And that's only when they have nothing but 54s on the truck.

(2) If you don't want to replace them, suspend them. I think we can still do that. That way there's no issue with access cards and reactivating them is easier.

(3) They really don't want the 34s back. Been that way for some time. I do think you need the access card to watch down the content but you also have to remember to disconnect the coax BEFORE you deactivate it. I think I've had more HRs over the years since they came out than anyone else here. The first two years were a nightmare. Been 12 years since the HRs came out in '06, I can tell you how many access cards I've sent back...none that I can remember. Never got one letter about sending them back. I was told I'd get letters so that I could send them back but never got any letters. Keep the 34, make sure you pull the coax off, keep the access card. You'll be able to watch all the shows you want.

Rich
 

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You’re using experience from 2007 as a reason not to change? I’m not going to argue, you guys have the experience, I’ll find out for myself. I also only need two TVs to work (the 3rd is for guests and they’re random), you guys have a lot of sets.

Still hope the OP gets 4K client for main system, a shame to miss out on DTV UHD.
 

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Before you walk into a nightmare can you tell us if you have a D* account or an ATT account? I'm assuming you still have the original D* account.

The 54 is the most advanced normal DVR. The 44 is an excellent DVR, better than anything you have. Far better. For a 4K setup you'd want the 54 and a C61K. For some reason you have to put the C61K on the 4K TV and the 54 on another TV. Only the C61K can output 4K.

The other choice is the HS17. That's a server, only feeds minis which feed the TVs. With a 17 you can do two streams of 4K content. Biggest problem I see with the 17s is the single point of failure. The 17 dies and you can't access any content. As with just about any new D* DVR system it's buggy.

As long as you take the coax off the 34 before you deactivate it you should be able to watch the Playlist down. They don't seem to want the 34s back.

You would be doing yourself a favor by getting rid of those other two tuner HRs and getting 24s, they are much better than anything you have.

Rich
It's really not any buggier than any other Genie at this point.
 

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You're using experience from 2007 as a reason not to change? I'm not going to argue, you guys have the experience, I'll find out for myself. I also only need two TVs to work (the 3rd is for guests and they're random), you guys have a lot of sets.

Still hope the OP gets 4K client for main system, a shame to miss out on DTV UHD.
You would not believe what I went thru at that time. Might not matter anymore, I can't remember the last time I had to replace a DVR. Might not matter but it did matter at the time and I can't get past that. That lasted almost two years. Wasn't just me, lots of folks had the same problems. Since D* switched from TiVos to the HRs I've had every DVR they've released except the 34, 54 and 17. Only reason I don't have a 54 is the deal I got on an owned 44, a DVR that I can alter without abusing the TOS. If I switch to a 54 with a 4K setup I can't transfer the "owned" status of the 44 to the 54. That is never gonna happen the way thing are at this moment. If I could get a 54 from an installer I might be able to have the status transferred. No reason to do that at the moment.

I didn't want a 34. By the time they came out I had formed the opinion that a first model of a brand new line of DVRs was not the best choice I could make after all the problems other early models have had such as the 22s and the 23 (the 22 came in two versions, the 23 in one IIRC). Both were poor DVRs, and I had both, both got exchanged very quickly. Simply put, I thought the 34 was gonna be a clunker and it was.

Now we see the headless server, the HS17. Another first model in a brand new line. I was glad I skipped the 34 and I'm not sorry I'm skipping the 17. The 27s are gonna come out one of these days and recent history tells us that the 27 will probably be a much more stable platform than the 17. Just look at the 44s, so much better than a 34. By that time I should know if the SSDs I have are gonna perform as well as they do now and I won't mind giving up the owned status of the 44 and I'll get whatever fits my needs. There's gonna have to be a lot more content on D* for me to do that tho. Especially sports. Give me all, ALL, the Yankee games in 2160p and I will make the leap.

Rich
 
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