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Old 03-25-2015, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Add another DVR or get a Genie?

Thinking about getting a Genie but first want to understand all the fine-print, disclaimers, and limitations so I can prevent an "Oh Crap, I did't realize that" moment.

Current setup:
HDDVR's in living room and master bdrm.
HD receiver in rec room.
Everything connected via whole-home DVR.

Dilemma(s):
Conflicts when I want to watch live and two things are recording. I can record four total shows, which is normally enough but frequently a room will have two things recording and I want to watch live. So I have to cancel one or manually record it on the other DVR.
Also, one of the kids wants to get a TV in his room.

I was figuring I'd get another DVR for the rec room, move the HD receiver to the kid's room and then impose a rule forbidding the kids from recording anything in the living room (both dilemmas solved). But... the idea of replacing all DVR's with a Genie and mini's is intriguing.

Before I do that though, I want to make sure I understand any consequences or trade-offs.

Upsides:
-Record 5 shows at once
-PIP - main screeen only
-Looks like the Genie has just one input coax. Each DVR has two, plus those ugly, cumbersone, inline decrypter things.
-Up to 8 mini's - lots of expandability
-Wireless option for the mini's (less cable-clutter and some portability)

Concerns & Questions: I have the following after reading through the info and fine-print:
-"Additional fees apply". Worse than I already pay for 3 receivers and whole-home DVR?
-"Limit three remote viewings per Genie". Does this mean only 3 mini's (of the 8 that can be connected) can watch anything at any given time? If so, it's not quite as expandable as "Connect up to 8..." would lead one to believe.
-" Opt-in to Genie Recommends required. Icon displays when feature is available" This note appears to be related to the PIP feature. Does it mean PIP is only available sometimes and only with something the Genie thinks you want to watch?
-" Wireless remote viewing requires a Wireless Video Bridge". What's this? More gear and more cost?
-"Either configuration (wired or wireless) also requires a SWiM network". What the heck is this? I remember when I got whole-home-DVR....they wanted to install their own proprietary network....on some sort of coax I think. After signing a performance-waiver, they let me run whole-home on my wired ethernet which has worked just fine. Is "SWiM network" something similar? more cable runs & crap?
-Also, can TV's attached to mini's watch live shows from the guide or can they only watched recorded stuff? If only recorded stuff, can you work around that limitation by finding your show, hit record, and then watch it right away off the list? That lets you watch it "practically-live" but would use up one of the 5 available recordings.

That's what I can think of so far so if anyone can answer any or all of the questions, I'd really appreciate it. And, please clue me in if I'm missing anything that might turn into one of those "oh crap" moments.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yzas View Post
Thinking about getting a Genie but first want to understand all the fine-print, disclaimers, and limitations so I can prevent an "Oh Crap, I did't realize that" moment.

Current setup:
HDDVR's in living room and master bdrm.
HD receiver in rec room.
Everything connected via whole-home DVR.

Dilemma(s):
Conflicts when I want to watch live and two things are recording. I can record four total shows, which is normally enough but frequently a room will have two things recording and I want to watch live. So I have to cancel one or manually record it on the other DVR.
Also, one of the kids wants to get a TV in his room.

I was figuring I'd get another DVR for the rec room, move the HD receiver to the kid's room and then impose a rule forbidding the kids from recording anything in the living room (both dilemmas solved). But... the idea of replacing all DVR's with a Genie and mini's is intriguing.

Before I do that though, I want to make sure I understand any consequences or trade-offs.

Upsides:
-Record 5 shows at once
-PIP - main screeen only
-Looks like the Genie has just one input coax. Each DVR has two, plus those ugly, cumbersone, inline decrypter things.
-Up to 8 mini's - lots of expandability
-Wireless option for the mini's (less cable-clutter and some portability)

Concerns & Questions: I have the following after reading through the info and fine-print:
-"Additional fees apply". Worse than I already pay for 3 receivers and whole-home DVR?
-"Limit three remote viewings per Genie". Does this mean only 3 mini's (of the 8 that can be connected) can watch anything at any given time? If so, it's not quite as expandable as "Connect up to 8..." would lead one to believe.
-" Opt-in to Genie Recommends required. Icon displays when feature is available" This note appears to be related to the PIP feature. Does it mean PIP is only available sometimes and only with something the Genie thinks you want to watch?
-" Wireless remote viewing requires a Wireless Video Bridge". What's this? More gear and more cost?
-"Either configuration (wired or wireless) also requires a SWiM network". What the heck is this? I remember when I got whole-home-DVR....they wanted to install their own proprietary network....on some sort of coax I think. After signing a performance-waiver, they let me run whole-home on my wired ethernet which has worked just fine. Is "SWiM network" something similar? more cable runs & crap?
-Also, can TV's attached to mini's watch live shows from the guide or can they only watched recorded stuff? If only recorded stuff, can you work around that limitation by finding your show, hit record, and then watch it right away off the list? That lets you watch it "practically-live" but would use up one of the 5 available recordings.

That's what I can think of so far so if anyone can answer any or all of the questions, I'd really appreciate it. And, please clue me in if I'm missing anything that might turn into one of those "oh crap" moments.
I don't think what you are trying to do is possible with a "genie or Hopper" type install. I may be wrong but a recent experience had a customer upset with DirecTV because he could only record a few things at once. Sounds like we need a Dish or DirecTV installer to chime in! Maybe get some Amazon fire sticks and a membership to Amazon TV and stream what you want to watch? Just an idea.

"Do as I say AND as I do" should be every A/V providers motto!
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:22 PM
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I can't comment on the either net side of things as my system is not hooked up to the internet, but I have a genie on the main TV downstairs with a HR24 on the TV upstairs and a H24 in the bedroom for a total of 8 tuners, 7 being recordable at any one time. I have one SWM 3 LNB installed with one line run into the 8 way splitter & power inserter, then one line to each receiver with NO BBC'S behind but cable straight from the switch to each receiver all hooked up with whole home over coax.


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Old 03-25-2015, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yzas View Post
-"Limit three remote viewings per Genie". Does this mean only 3 mini's (of the 8 that can be connected) can watch anything at any given time? If so, it's not quite as expandable as "Connect up to 8..." would lead one to believe.
From the DTV FAQ:

How many TVs can a Genie HD DVR provide with DIRECTV service?
Genie can provide full HD DVR functionality and DIRECTV programming to up to eight connected TVs. However, only four TVs—including the TV connected directly to Genie—can show live or recorded content at the same time.

If you expect to have more than four TVs in use at the same time, we recommend using HD DVRs for those extra TVs to ensure the best entertainment experience.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:51 PM
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OK, lots of questions, let's take this a step at a time.
Think of the Genie as a five-tuner DVR. This means if you got a Genie on its own (you don't need to have any mini-clients) and kept your DVRs you would have nine tuners. Ten if you keep the receiver. The Genie will only work on an SWM system, and this involves LESS cables than you are currently using. You would have four cables running from the dish to an SWM16 multiswitch, with an associated power supply (called a Power Inserter), then the SWM16 would drive the nine (ten) tuners, probably with one output connectedto the Genie via one cable, and the other output of the SWM16 driving the two DVRs and the receiver, via a single 4 or 8 way splitter and then one cable to each of the DVRs and the receiver. The SWM16 would replace the multiswitch you currently have. The coax carries all the whole home signals so you don't need to use your home ethernet network. You would have just one connection from the DVR network to your router - various ways to do this. If you get the Genie from DirecTV, they will provide all the necessary equipment and do the installation.

Now lets look at the options the Genie could give you. You could connect up to eight mini-clients to the Genie, through additional splitters at the SWM16, but as you say only three can view live programming at one time, and each of them takes away one of the five Genie tuners. If you watch a program from the Genie or one of the DVRs on a mini-client, you don't use a tuner. IMHO you should not replace DVRs with mini-clients, you're not really gaining anything, other than the ability to set a recording on the Genie itself, unless you need a wireless mini-client (see below).
There are wired and wireless mini-clients; wireless needs a wireless video bridge (just one ) to connect the wireless mini-client(s). Useful if you have a room where you can't run a cable, or want to watch TV in the yard.

The fee structure is different but basically if you just have the Genie as an extra you will just pay an additional receiver fee.

PIP is available for everything on the Genie; Genie Recommends is something different, a bit like Suggestions on a TiVo but myself I never use it.

You have a fighting chance of getting the Genie and installation free of charge, if you have been a good customer. If you want a wirelessmini- client also, you will probably get that free of charge also but will have to pay for the video bridge. Also if you add a mini-client as well there will be another receiver monthly fee for the mini-client.

Remember the mini-clients are logically part of the Genie server. That means they do not have their own playlist etc, but share the one on the Genie. That makes parental controls more of an issue; if you have your current receiver "isolated" from whole home, you can't do that with the mini-client.

I have an HR44 Genie, both types of client, and a number of DVRs all connecting through an SWM16, with whole home and internet access, so can probably answer any questions you have. And yes I would absolutely recommend the Genie to anyone. There's an HR34 Genie and an HR44 Genie, you need to do everything you can to get the HR44. A CSR CANNOT guarantee an HR44, what ever they might tell you on the phone. If you decide to go ahead with the Genie, post back and I'll talk about how to make sure you get an HR44.
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