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Need Advice RE: Upgrading to Genie


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We have been using Direct TV in our coach for three years now. Nothing fancy just 2 R16-300 DVRs and a Winegard Roadtrip SDi in-motion dish on the roof. However, lately we have been volunteering in places with a lot of trees around. So, as you can imagine, I've started seeing what others have done and asking questions. Now I've reached a point where I'm starting to get confused. It is my hope that someone can help me answer the following questions:

 

If I choose to upgrade to the Genie:

 

1. Can I use my current dish (if there are no trees) with a new Genie DVR?

 

2. What dish would I need, outside of the coach, with a Genie DVR?

 

3. What other equipment would I need to have, if any, in order to use Genie in two places inside the coach?

 

4. I've been told that I might need a "swim" device, what is it... and do I need one?

 

5. Can I connect one Genie to two TVs wirelessly as advertised and if so how?

 

6. If I decide to upgrade can I just ask them to send me the equipment and install it myself, or must it be professionally installed?

 

Thanks for helping,

 

--- Bob

 

 

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I may be wrong, but I don't think that a Genie by itself will help at all with trees. I have a Winegard Traveler HD dish and trees still do a number on it. You will need a dish on a stick that you can move around to find a signal. I'm pretty sure that Genie requires SWM capability. SWM allows multiple Satellite signals on one cable from the dish to the receiver. If it were me, I would have someone who knows what they are doing do the install.

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Genie needs a SWM dish to get the 99/101/103 satellites all at the same time.

It is not happy when one of them is missing. But can be worked around.

 

Your present roof dish can be converted to a SWM but it will only get the 101 and no HD.

With the Genie DTV will charge you extra $20 for HD, $20 for DVR and $3 for Whole Home.

Whole home is for the other room units can see everything recorded on the Genie.

 

But it would be a really waste of $$ upgrade if not going to use the HD part of it.

But you would also need HD television's for it.

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Bob,

 

None of your questions address the issue of SD vs HD. Without converting your TV's to HD most of the benefits of a Genie would be lost in the translation. Also your questions focus on the idea of changing your receiver(s) while your introduction focuses on the issue of limited reception when near trees.So, I will address that too.

 

No dish can see through trees. So, if your rig cannot be positioned where you have a clear view of the southern hemisphere you will need an external dish that can be located in a position that has such visibility. Unfortunately, any portable self-aligning dish on the market today will not receive HD with DirecTV's three satellite setup. You are stuck with using a manually aligned setup for a remote dish for DirecTV HD reception.

 

But, to answer your questions directly:

1. Can I use my current dish (if there are no trees) with a new Genie DVR?

ans: No. Your current dish is legacy technology and all Genies need Single Wire Multiplex (SWM) hookups to work.

 

2. What dish would I need, outside of the coach, with a Genie DVR?

ans: A 3 or 5 LNB SWM Slimline dish with tripod mount. An additional power inserter is required to power the SWM LNB. There is some question as to whether you current R59 coax is good enough to handle the higher frequencies used with SWM. You may need to replace your current coax with RG6.

 

3. What other equipment would I need to have, if any, in order to use Genie in two places inside the coach?

ans: You need a Genie "slave" (C31) receiver. This uses tuners in the Genie and directs them to the slave receiver. The Genie itself has 5 tuners in it so adding one slave only utilizes one of the tuners. The Genie "slave" receivers have full access to the recorded material on your Genie receiver and can be used to schedule recordings on the receiver as well.

 

4. I've been told that I might need a "swim" device, what is it... and do I need one?

ans: Yes. The Genie receiver is a SWM only receiver. A SWM switch can be added to your existing dish for SD only reception. With a new Slimline dish the SWM setup is integrated in the LNB. (SWM is a technology used by DirecTV to multiplex 8 separate channels on a single coax line. Each channel can be used for one tuner. A Genie setup uses 5 of the 8 channels.)

 

5. Can I connect one Genie to two TVs wirelessly as advertised and if so how?

ans: I have to defer on this one. From what I have read, the "wireless" features on DirecTV's setup are only available in selected markets. We do not have that functionality in So. Cal. yet.

 

6. If I decide to upgrade can I just ask them to send me the equipment and install it myself, or must it be professionally installed?

ans: No. DirecTV only sells Genie receiver with an installation (at least the "free upgrades" are only with professional installation).. But, it is their policy to not do RV installs so you need to find an alternative for your equipment source. You can find third party dealers that will sell you a receiver that you can install yourself and you can find third party installers that may help you with the installation. You really want to get very familiar with what is involved with this technology prior to doing a self-install for a Genie. (Your questions here suggest that you might benefit from professional help with a Genie installation.)

 

I hope this helps.

Bob

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5. Can I connect one Genie to two TVs wirelessly as advertised and if so how?

ans: I have to defer on this one. From what I have read, the "wireless" features on DirecTV's setup are only available in selected markets. We do not have that functionality in So. Cal. yet.

 

6. If I decide to upgrade can I just ask them to send me the equipment and install it myself, or must it be professionally installed?

ans: No. DirecTV only sells Genie receiver with an installation (at least the "free upgrades" are only with professional installation).. But, it is their policy to not do RV installs so you need to find an alternative for your equipment source. You can find third party dealers that will sell you a receiver that you can install yourself and you can find third party installers that may help you with the installation. You really want to get very familiar with what is involved with this technology prior to doing a self-install for a Genie. (Your questions here suggest that you might benefit from professional help with a Genie installation.)

 

 

 

A Genie can be connected to miniGenie "clients" either via coax or wirelessly. The restriction on distribution of the wireless device to only certain markets was lifted over a year ago. The client boxes are also readily available on Amazon and elsewhere. If you were to choose to go wireless you would also need to buy a Wireless Bridge which is used to transmit the signal to the client.

 

DirecTV will do RV installs, the problem is that it very much depends on the installer. We were able to have our Trav'ler upgraded to SWM and have a Genie installed but we were lucky enough to have identified an "RV friendly" DTV installer.

 

However, as has been said in previous posts, having a Genie won't enable you to get reception under trees which was what you asked for in the OP. For that you will need a carryout dish of some kind.

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DirecTV will do RV installs, the problem is that it very much depends on the installer. We were able to have our Trav'ler upgraded to SWM and have a Genie installed but we were lucky enough to have identified an "RV friendly" DTV installer.

 

 

Installers on other Satellite Forums have made it clear that DirecTV policy does not want them doing RV installs. They do this on their own. As docj says, ".. was lucky enough to have identified an "RV friendly" DTV installer". Do not confuse this with policy. It is a crap shoot finding one who will do this. Third parties who specialize in this are a sure thing.

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Installers on other Satellite Forums have made it clear that DirecTV policy does not want them doing RV installs. They do this on their own. As docj says, ".. was lucky enough to have identified an "RV friendly" DTV installer". Do not confuse this with policy. It is a crap shoot finding one who will do this. Third parties who specialize in this are a sure thing.

 

Thanks... you have been very helpful. Just a couple of related questions. If DTV requires a professional installation will they know whether or not a DTV installer is RV friendly or not? Also, you mention specialized third parties are a sure thing... where can I find such specialized third parties? Do you have any that you can recommend?

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Thanks... you have been very helpful. Just a couple of related questions. If DTV requires a professional installation will they know whether or not a DTV installer is RV friendly or not? Also, you mention specialized third parties are a sure thing... where can I find such specialized third parties? Do you have any that you can recommend?

Bobster,

I really wish I has someone to recommend. I am one of those guys who takes a receiver from the house, puts it in the RV, aims my dish manually and starts everything up. I don't have a rooftop mount anymore. And doing your own aiming of a SWM dish is even more difficult/expensive now since most of the moderate priced SWM compatible meters have all disappeared and only the high-priced units have prevailed. (But, $500 for a meter is still a lot less expensive than $1,800 for an automatic dish.)

 

I did Google "RV Satellite Installers" and a number of businesses popped up. I know previous posts on other forums have mentioned some company in Arizona a lot. They apparently do great work. But, most RV satellite installers do good work.

 

I am sure if you ask around you can find someone who can help you with your setup. My only intent here was to save you the many frustrating calls to DirecTV only to have them turn you down or have an installer show up and refuse to do the install. (This occurrence is well documented on two other forums I frequent.) From what I can determine, DirecTV considers the SWM technology technical enough to have surpassed the capability of most DIYers and do not want the trouble calls when someone does it themselves.

 

They are also using the Genie upgrade as an opportunity to confirm the "integrity" of the current install (whatever that means). They even insisted on a professional installer showing up at our place when I upgraded my D12 (SD receiver) to an HR24 (HD DVR). They first wanted to charge me $60 for the install. I told them I knew how to hook things up and did not want to pay the $60. So, rather than send me the receiver and let me install it myself, they cancelled the $60 installation charge and sent an installer for free. While they were here they ran a test to determine my "level of service". I had to turn on all the receivers. Then there was a 4 digit code that showed up on the screen of one of the TVs. The installer had to confirm that code on his ipad. Having a third party do the installation just bypasses all this "silly business".

 

Hopefully others will chime in with installer suggestions.

 

Bob

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Regardless of how DirecTV likes to do things, I assume that people here realize that the HR44 Genie can be easily obtained through Amazon, Weaknees.com and other sources. Converting existing dishes to SWM isn't all that difficult and there isn't anything all that complicated with wiring a SWM system. I had a DirecTV installer convert my Trav'ler Sk-3005 to SWM because I don't like working on my roof, but the actual work isn't all that hard. Yes, if you order the components yourself you have to pay for them whereas I got my Genie for free but it does eliminate the need to find RV-friendly installers.

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Thanks... you have been very helpful. Just a couple of related questions. If DTV requires a professional installation will they know whether or not a DTV installer is RV friendly or not? Also, you mention specialized third parties are a sure thing... where can I find such specialized third parties? Do you have any that you can recommend?

I had some damage done to the dish by a low hanging branch while in San Angelo, TX and wasn't able to get any HD channels. I waited until I was in snowbird territory in Foley, AL to call Direct TV and the tech they sent was very knowledgeable about RV set ups. He offered and we accepted to have the Genie service installed so my suggestion is to go where the techs work on RV's all the time.

 

On a side note, here in north GA I wanted a dish permanently installed since the trees block my Travel'r dish. I told Direct TV that we had moved and the sent a tech who installed the dish and connected it to the Travel'r at the base with no questions asked. For $23 which was a great price for a dish and a pole in the ground.

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