Considering buying an HR54 but need help (1 Viewer)

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diitto

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SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 10, 2005
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Hi, Our current configuration is a whole home setup with a Genie HR34 (that is starting to die, hard drive freezes often), a C32 Genie Mini in another room and an older HR22 (our most reliable) DVR in a third room.

First, I've heard there might be some reasonable diagnostics I could try on the sporadically freezing HR34?? Thoughts???

Second, when our home system was set up two years ago, the installer put in an 8 channel SWM capability if I recall. The HR34 uses 5 inputs and the HR22 uses 2, again, if I recall.

If I want to go buy an HR54 from a third party (since Directv might well send me another old HR34 or I've heard likely an HR44 at best) can I do so, meaning will Directv let me do my own replacement and send them back their HR34 if they want it??? I understand the HR54 would be considered a "rental" and I would of course have to pay its sticker price but whatever. Am I allowed to do that??? If I want to ensure I get an HR54??? Just newest hardware is my idea not that that is always the best.

And can I even hook up an HR54 (heard that it uses 7 SWM channels???) along with my older HR22 that uses 2, for a total of 9 but with only SWM capability of 8?? Would it work but would just be short one recordable input or would it not work at all???

And if changes are required, are those only in-house changes or would there need to be upgrades to the LNB on the dish??

Last, does a C31 Genie mini work with an HR54 or does it need to be replaced as well (C61?)

Lots of questions there... Any help on any or all would be much appreciated... thanks...
 

jcrandall

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Any chance you own a 4k TV and could ask for the free 4k upgrade (an HR54 and appropriate LNB)?

If you go through a retailer you would buy a HR54, and should upgrade your LNB and eliminate the SWM8. The new RB LNB is over 20 tuners, and there is also a 13 tuner LNB that is not reverse band. Either way well over 8.
You would swap the LNB, eliminate the SWM8, and go to using only 1 wire into the house instead of 4.

Buying the HR54 will trigger a new two year commitment.

The C31 will likely work a ton better on a HR54. It is the HR34 that is the problem, it is very unreliable and slow compared to the newer Genie's.
If a tech comes out to install the HR54 there is a good chance they would replace the C31 with a C51 or C61 to allow the new remote style and to match the new Genie. (C31 used the original remote like the HR34 did).

If you solely want to do it yourself, and not access the roof, I'm not sure if the Genie will need all 7 tuners as it wouldn't have reverse band, it may only need the regular 5, meaning you could likely stay with the SWM 8.
 

jcrandall

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Another thought, for $20 shipping you could ask for a replacement Genie and see if they still send you an HR34 or if they send an HR44/HR54. I'm not sure what their replacement policy is for HR34 at this point, they may be sending out HR44 and up. If you get a lucky upgrade through this route (or through a service call and the tech upgrades it) you do not trigger a new 2 year commitment.
 

texasbrit

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Apr 12, 2006
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First, why do you want an HR54 instead of an HR44? the only real difference is that the Hr54 can support, via the C61K or using a directv 4K compatible RVU, 4K live transmissions. The extra two tuners (seven vs five) are not usable as regular tuners, they are only there for 4K, and you would need a reverse band LNB to use them, whenever DirecTV starts to use the reverse band for 4K. The Hr54 and HR44 have the same disk size, same speed processors etc The HR54 will only take five of your tuner slots, unless you go to 4K when it will eventually take seven, but then you will have the reverse band LNB which supports 13 tuners anyway.
And just FYI, there are now regular SWM LNBs that support 13 tuners also, if you need the extra tuners at some point.

If you are entitled to a 4K upgrade, and you already have a 4K TV (important!), you can get the HR54 and C61K as a free upgrade from your existing system. If you can't get that upgrade, IMHO you would be better off calling DirecTV, tell them your HR34 has a hard drive issue, sometimes won't even power on, and getting a replacement. 99% probability you will get an HR44. If you get an HR34, send it back, say the picture is pixelating or something.

And the C31 works fine with the HR54 (I have one).
 

texasbrit

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Apr 12, 2006
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So jcrandall beat me to the punch on this one, but the same ideas.
And he makes a good point, if you get an HR44 as a replacement for a faulty HR34 it does not give you a new two year commitment
 

diitto

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 10, 2005
108
1
Any chance you own a 4k TV and could ask for the free 4k upgrade (an HR54 and appropriate LNB)?

If you go through a retailer you would buy a HR54, and should upgrade your LNB and eliminate the SWM8. The new RB LNB is over 20 tuners, and there is also a 13 tuner LNB that is not reverse band. Either way well over 8.
You would swap the LNB, eliminate the SWM8, and go to using only 1 wire into the house instead of 4.

Buying the HR54 will trigger a new two year commitment.

The C31 will likely work a ton better on a HR54. It is the HR34 that is the problem, it is very unreliable and slow compared to the newer Genie's.
If a tech comes out to install the HR54 there is a good chance they would replace the C31 with a C51 or C61 to allow the new remote style and to match the new Genie. (C31 used the original remote like the HR34 did).

If you solely want to do it yourself, and not access the roof, I'm not sure if the Genie will need all 7 tuners as it wouldn't have reverse band, it may only need the regular 5, meaning you could likely stay with the SWM 8.

YES, we DO own a 4k TV. Bought a Samsung 65 inch last year that is 4k capable. Can you please say more about what you mean by "ask for the free 4k upgrade (an HR54 and appropriate LNB)?"

And can you say more about the meaning of "reverse band"??? Or maybe point me to a discussion of the LNB design?? I am a retired EE but not a Satellite expert by any means... I know just enough to be dangerous... sigh... thanks...
 

diitto

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 10, 2005
108
1
First, why do you want an HR54 instead of an HR44? the only real difference is that the Hr54 can support, via the C61K or using a directv 4K compatible RVU, 4K live transmissions. The extra two tuners (seven vs five) are not usable as regular tuners, they are only there for 4K, and you would need a reverse band LNB to use them, whenever DirecTV starts to use the reverse band for 4K. The Hr54 and HR44 have the same disk size, same speed processors etc The HR54 will only take five of your tuner slots, unless you go to 4K when it will eventually take seven, but then you will have the reverse band LNB which supports 13 tuners anyway.
And just FYI, there are now regular SWM LNBs that support 13 tuners also, if you need the extra tuners at some point.

If you are entitled to a 4K upgrade, and you already have a 4K TV (important!), you can get the HR54 and C61K as a free upgrade from your existing system. If you can't get that upgrade, IMHO you would be better off calling DirecTV, tell them your HR34 has a hard drive issue, sometimes won't even power on, and getting a replacement. 99% probability you will get an HR44. If you get an HR34, send it back, say the picture is pixelating or something.

And the C31 works fine with the HR54 (I have one).

Good question about why I might want a new HR54?? Not at all sure that I do. Just tossed that out as a way to ask and learn and yes, granted, it is the newest hardware and quite honestly I am just trying to get away from the HR34. Though I've heard it is not likely they would send me another HR34, I know they still can and if they did I would consider that quite a frustrating lack of moving forward. I was frustrated when they gave us the HR34 TWO YEARS ago as the HR44 was well out and about by that time. So buying my own HR54 (or at least "renting" one) would simply be my way of trying to get moving forward rather than hanging out with old, poorly operating hardware.

We have a fairly extensive programming package (our choice) and with what I pay them each month, I would almost guess I buy a new DVR almost every month. Just frustrating that I would have to play the "maybe you'll get another old piece of hardware, maybe you won't" if I just call them up and say my HR34 is clearly dying.

So again, if you, too, could say more about this "free upgrade if we have a 4k tv??" We bought a higher end Samsung a year plus ago with that capability not with a current plant to use it (lack of folks broadcasting in 4k) but we chose to have the option. More on this upgrade potential???

And good to know that you have experience with the C31 working with an HR54 cause that's what we have for our one mini, a C31-700. What is better with the 51 or 61??
 

jcrandall

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Apr 3, 2005
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Central Michigan
YES, we DO own a 4k TV. Bought a Samsung 65 inch last year that is 4k capable. Can you please say more about what you mean by "ask for the free 4k upgrade (an HR54 and appropriate LNB)?"

And can you say more about the meaning of "reverse band"??? Or maybe point me to a discussion of the LNB design?? I am a retired EE but not a Satellite expert by any means... I know just enough to be dangerous... sigh... thanks...


4K programming will be a reverse band transmission from the satellite to the LNB. Don't know the specifics beyond that, but it is still from 99/103.

The new LNB for 4k is a reverse band slimline, same dish, upgraded LNB.

I would call for a 4K upgrade. It is free with a new 2 year commitment in most cases. You will get upgraded to the HR54, a C61k client, and the new LNB.
Coming from the HR34 and C31, this is a good upgrade, even if you don't use the 4k programming (I did this upgrade and moved back to the Xtra package as there isn't much 4k yet).
4K requires the Ultimate package, but you can change after it is installed if you decide not to keep the 4K programming (currently 1 channel 24/7) full time.
 
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Claude Greiner

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Sep 8, 2003
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First of all, get an HR54. No point in taking an Hr 44 if you don't have to.

If you go through a retailer then they can upgrade you and specifically get you an HR 54

Upgrade the C31 to a c61. As long as your tv has HDMI you should be fine with the c61 as there is no composite or component output.

Get a reverse band LNB to get all 7 potential tuners.

Do not buy from a retailer online and pay any money because the box is going to be leased anyways. If your account qualifies this should be a FREE upgrade.

Only buy the leased box if you don't qualify for any upgrades through directv.
 

texasbrit

SatelliteGuys Pro
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Apr 12, 2006
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Claude, I thiunk you mean a C61K. There is also a C61 which does not support 4K. Very confusing.
 

Zashel

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 14, 2015
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Wisconsin
for the record: (our) techs are instructed to replaced genies with like-or-better. what does that mean? if a tech has a HR34 on his truck and rolls up at your house for a bad genie, your getting another HR34. if you have a hr54 and all the tech has is a HR44, the tech has to go run and find a HR54. that was a long day...

moral of the story: take the 4k upgrade if you have no plans on changing TV providers. you can usually also negotiate a discount for the first year too.
 
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