There’s a new DirecTV DVR available to DirecTV subscribers. According to the company, it’s “da bomb.” It’s newfangled and has all sorts of new bells and whistles that DirecTV customers have been asking for. For those out of the loop, a DVR is a Digital Video Recorder, like your (now) old-fashioned VCR, but instead of using a magnetic tape to record one show at a time, the DVR records video on a pretty big hard drive.
Current Complaints with Available DVRs
People have gotten so used to having a DVR that now they’re not satisfied with the capabilities of the current crop of DVRs from Cable TV and Satellite TV companies and third-party suppliers. Some people have problems with their current DVRs:
- “There isn’t enough space to record everything I want.”
- “They’re too difficult to figure out and program.”
- “You can only record one show at a time and have to be in a certain single place in the house to watch what’s recorded.
And one of the complaints I’ve heard about third-party digital video recorders is that they’re much too expensive.
People want the ability to record more than one program at a time. They want to be able to record a few programs before being required to watch and delete what’s been recorded in order to record something new. They want a video recorder that’s easier to program. (Remember when you had to program your parents’ VCR for them?) And, most importantly, they don’t want to be tethered to a single TV to watch what’s been recorded. If they have three or four televisions in the house, they want to be able to watch what’s recorded from any one of them, whenever they want.
DirecTV DVR: Releasing the Genie
DirecTV has been listening to the complaints of DVR owners and they’ve come out with the Genie! Here is an example of “Your wish is my command.” No more fighting over who gets to record what anymore. Genie allows you to record up to five (Yes, I said five) programs at one time. Dad can record “Criminal Minds,” mom can record HGTV, little Jane can record “Twilight,” and Junior can record whatever he wants on The Cartoon Channel or Nickelodeon. And they can all do this all at the same time. What’s even better? The recording is done completely in high definition.
Mom, as the (real) boss in the house, gets to watch her HGTV program in the TV room. Dad can watch “Criminal Minds” in his bedroom, Jane can watch and swoon over “Twilight” in the privacy of her own room, and Junior can watch his recorded programs either in the rumpus room or his bedroom.
Not sure what you might want to record? Not a problem. Genie remembers what your viewing habits are and makes recommendations based upon those habits. Since Genie has as much as three times the capacity of most other video recorders (one-terabyte hard drive), you won’t have to worry about deleting something you haven’t watched yet to make room for a new program. As an extension of this, when the wife wants to watch something during Monday Night Football, it won’t be a problem with Genie’s advanced Picture-In-Picture capability. Instead of a small window in an upper or lower corner, you’ll get a full side-by-side split screen.
With the Genie, you’ll be able to watch four live shows and one that’s recorded, or four recorded shows and one live show, or any combination making five shows being watched. You’ll also be able to search the TV listing two weeks in advance to select shows to schedule for recording. That’s a helpful feature for when you’re getting ready to go on vacation. You won’t have to miss your favorite shows when you’re away from home for a while. Additionally, if someone at work turns you on to a new show that’s in the middle of a season, you can catch up on up to five weeks’ worth of episodes using the Genie. You can also rewind shows to the beginning if you come in late.
The Provisos/Quid Pro Quos (As the Genie Said)
There are always limitations and requirements to good news and using the Genie as described above is no different. Remote viewing of programs requires extra equipment. You’ll need a Model C31 Client, an H25 HD Receiver, or an RVU-enabled TV in each room. You’ll also need a SWiM network and Advanced Receiver Service.
RVU is a protocol that enables remote viewing on televisions. SWiM networks are Single Wire Multiswitch networks that enables the DirecTV DVR to communicate across a single coaxial cable enabling both tuners. DirecTV’s Advanced Receiver Service will run you @$20 a month above and beyond the cost of your programming package. Obviously, in order to watch content in full HD, you’ll need a television that’s capable of displaying programs in HD.
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