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The Definitive Review of the Genie from DIRECTV

It also only shows what's on for the next hour and half, and only on a single channel. Watching TV The primary user interface elements displayed over the video are the info banner and the scrub bar. And while this does mean you have a single point of failure, we think that's a small price to pay for a more elegant solution.

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This remote retains most of the main navigation in the center, but continues to offer a resolution button up top, which is a feature customers appreciated in the previous model. By default, the list is displayed in alphabetical order -- although shows that start with "The" are incorrectly listed with the Ts -- but you can also reverse that order, or sort by date newest to sameplate dating apps, or oldest to newest.

Even better, the networks that are also broadcast over-the-air are in their correct channel assignment -- NewsChannel 8 is just 8, and not Unlike the phone app, the tablet app is only available for iPad -- we reached out to a DirecTV representative regarding a timeline for release on other platforms, but have yet to hear back.

After you've scheduled a few recordings, you might opt to enable Genie recommends, which will in turn automatically record other shows you might like.

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We wish a mount was included to make it easier to hide, especially since there seem to be holes on the bottom to facilitate one. Of course there are other ways to find shows to record besides browsing the guide; another favorite is search.

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If you have no vcr then I recommend buying a cable amplifier and hooking it up. The lights are pretty bright out of the box, but can be dimmed or disabled On either side of the front main panel is a door, with the right side revealing the conditional access card, and the left hiding a USB port.

Ultimately, X1 from Comcast and The Hopper from Dish, offer similar functionality and an equally dynamic user interface. The back of the unit offers more outputs than most other DVRs on the market, including an optical audio, which was an upgrade added to the most recent model of the Genie.

The grid displays what's on six channels for the next hour and a half. Whole-home DVR Until recently, having multiple DVRs in house meant managing duplicate series recording lists and walking into different rooms to resolve conflicts While the ultimate entertainment dream is to be able to watch whatever we want, wherever we want and on any device we want, for now we'll settle for a great in-home experience.

Our favorite thing about the guide is the way DirecTV handles channel numbers, specifically HD channels.

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So our questions in a DVR review are two-fold: DirecTV does offer a device called the Nomad, direct tv genie hook up instructions allows you to transfer recordings to your smartphone, but it wasn't provided to us to be included in this review. You can use the fast-forward or rewind buttons to skip 12 hours at a time and, oddly, the red and green buttons do the same thing, while there is no apparent way to easily skip three hours.

Live TV anywhere in the house has become more attainable, but up until recently, having multiple DVRs in house meant managing duplicate series recording lists and walking into different rooms to resolve conflicts. The user interface looks very polished, and the app makes it easy to schedule recordings and even watch a mix of live and on-demand content on the go.

This is more of a score board than a guide, and it displays scores from all recent American sports events. To use it, you simply hit the down button on the remote twice while watching live TV, and from that point forward the DVR will buffer live TV on two channels instead of one.

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Current channel information plus date and time are also shown in the banner, along with quick access to the last four channels you've watched, your favorites channel lists, closed caption settings, audio and video details, parental controls and the ability to enable picture-in-picture.

Another nice feature for sports fans: Aside from a slight degradation in UI responsiveness, the experience is identical to that of the TV that has the HR34 connected to it.

DirecTV Genie whole-home DVR review

What is the user interface for the Genie like and what can you expect from your experience. Speaking of power, it is of the in-line brick as opposed to the wall-wart variety, and interestingly, has holes to make it easily wall-mountable. Guide The classic grid guide has been a staple for TV viewers since before the remote control, and the DirecTV Genie guide should feel pretty familiar to most users.

This feature is complimented by the Score Guide, which provides real time game updates at the click of a button. We didn't give the Genie much time to figure out what we like, but we did schedule 22 series recordings and check back a week later to find 12 recommendations, two of which we opted to watch.

This is especially helpful when you know you are in the mood for a movie -- perhaps a comedy -- and want to start from there. Web, smartphone and tablet apps If you still have a TV provider without a mobile companion app or a website for streaming and managing your service, then, well, you might be a laggard.

Capable of recording five shows at once to its 1TB hard drive, the HR34 will typically connect to the main TV in your house.

The Definitive Review of the Genie from DIRECTV |

Overall we found the iPhone app very snappy and full of useful options. In comparison, the Hopper offers about 2TB or double the storage. Then while watching live TV, you hit the up arrow and can quickly tune to one of those channels by selecting the corresponding logo.

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Essentially, it works by selecting your favorite nine channels. This makes it very easy to reference the current time of the program, the name of the show, how big your buffer is and how much time is left -- perfect for those late nights when you want to check the time and determine if it is too late to finish what you've started.

You might miss the lack of a Toslink option for optical digital audio -- and there's also no ATSC tuner, which can come in handy if DirecTV doesn't offer every local channel in your market via satellite.

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Overall, navigating the interface feels snappy, but we did notice lag from time to time, such as when the system was downloading content and made us wait. However, you do have the ability to authorize pay-per-view content, which is for those who don't have their DirecTV set-top box connected to the mothership via the internet or a phone line.

The interface is predominately blue and black, and is heavy on cover art. These wireless extensions allow programming or live TV to be paused, stopped, recorded, and played from any room. The smartphone app also isn't built as a second-screen app, so you can't use it as a remote control or get additional information about the program you are currently watching like you can on the tablet app.

Up top is a format button for easily controlling how the box outputs standard-definition video on an HDTV, as well as a TV input button that lets you tune the TV to the correct input for DirecTV without searching for another remote.

The lights are pretty bright out of the box, but all -- except for the record indicator LED -- can be dimmed or disabled by pressing both the right and left direction buttons on the box.

DirecTV Genie whole-home DVR review

The DoubleDown feature and the lack of scrub bar during replays are helpful, and there are also sports mix channels that essentially let you watch eight channels at once and select which one to listen to. Speaking of watching the same thing on different TVs at the same time: It's not a huge deal, though, as the "Jump to a date and time" option can get you exactly where you want, very quickly.

Beyond the standard scrub bar and info banner, the Genie has a few unique features, the first of which is named DoublePlay and is probably only comparable to TiVo's dual live buffers. It's also where you can check on the Queue for downloads and Purchases, plus your recording defaults more on that later.

Main Features

Just click and be in control from anywhere in the room or beyond. Selecting the channel in the guide and hitting info isn't very intuitive. In fact, to avoid a spoiler that might be shown in the video preview, you have to exit the menu, press pause or change the channel, then go back to where you were in the menus.

However, the website doesn't allow you to check your to-do list remotely or resolve any recording conflicts the smartphone and tablet app also do not do this.

If you find something in the guide you'd like to record, simply hitting the record button once is enough to make it happen. Although it would be ideal to have no box at all on your wall-mounted TVs, the Mini Client is a pretty decent compromise, at less than a hundred dollars.