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TiVo and DIRECTV FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

WeaKnees.com Information FAQ

Who is WeaKnees.com?
Why the name "WeaKnees.com"?
What are the shipping and payment options?
What is your warranty?
What is your return policy?
What "upgrades" do you offer for current DVR owners?
I want you to upgrade my TiVo for me... How fast can you upgrade my TiVo and send it back to me?
How do I make an appointment to bring my TiVo to you for upgrading?
I have other questions about TiVo and TiVo upgrades, but I'm not a customer. Can I contact you? What if I have no intention of purchasing anything from you?
What about other DVRs?


TiVo Pre-Sale Questions FAQ

What is TiVo?
Should I purchase lifetime service or monthly service for my TiVo?
How can I move video recordings from my TiVo to my computer for archiving or streaming?
My TiVo is broken! Can you fix it?
How do the various TiVo models differ?
Will the TiVo control my model cable box/Dish Network receiver/DIRECTV receiver?
Where can I get information about different TiVo models?
Will TiVo continue to support upgrades?
I want to preview the instructions - are those online?
How can I check my old drive(s) to see if they are OK?
What is OTA (Over the Air Antenna)? How can I get HD into my TiVo?
Can I record more than one show at one time on my TiVo?
What is the TiVo Mini? Can the Mini be wireless? What is MoCA?
What is the TiVo Bolt?
What is the TiVo Bolt Plus?
What is the TiVo Roamio OTA?



Upgrade Kit Pre-Sale Questions FAQ

Do your TiVo Upgrades come with the latest software?
Where can I learn more about upgrading my TiVo on my own?
If I use your TiVo Upgrade Kit (or have you upgrade my TiVo), will I lose my lifetime subscription?
If I use your upgrade kit (or have you do my TiVo upgrade), will I lose my programming and TiVo settings?
How long will it take to upgrade my TiVo if I purchase a TiVo upgrade kit?
Do you offer external hard drives for self-installation?


TiVo Troubleshooting FAQ

I have a TiVo and I am having problems with it; where can I go for help?



HR20 / HR21 / HR22 / THR22 / HR23 / HR24 / HR34 / HR44 / HR54 (genie) DIRECTV HD DVR FAQ

What is a genie?
What are genie clients?
What is a SWM system?
Can I connect my DIRECTV system wirelessly? What equipment do I need?
What is DECA?
Can I have more than one genie in my home?
What is RVU?
Which units can use external storage?
What are the base capacities of the HR20/HR21/HR22/THR22/HR23/HR24/HR34/HR44/HR21P and how many hours can the HR20-700, HR20-100, HR21-100, HR21-200, HR21-700, HR22-100, HR22-800, HR23-100, HR23-700, HR24-100, HR24-500, HR24-700, HR34-700, HR44-500, THR22-100 and HR21P (HR21-Pro) record?
Do you offer hard drive upgrade kits for the HR20/HR21/HR22/THR22/HR23/HR24/HR34/HR44/HR54/HR21P?
If you upgrade my HR20/HR21/HR22/THR22/HR23/HR21 Pro, can you move my settings and programming to the new drive?


External Storage for HD TiVo DVRs

What are the benefits of choosing either internal or external storage for my HD TiVo?
Are WeaKnees upgrades "verified" by TiVo?
Why do I need to send in my TiVo HD/TiVo Premiere for an upgrade?


WeaKnees.com Information FAQ


Who is WeaKnees.com?
We are computer consultants who became interested in TiVo, since they happen to be simplified computers running the Linux OS on PowerPC chips (the same chips in Macs). We began working with our own TiVos, upgraded them for clients, friends, and family, and the demand was so great that we began selling TiVo on eBay and direct on the Internet. We have been selling and upgrading TiVos since 2000 and have thousands of satisfied customers. We have sold countless upgraded TiVos and encourage prospective customers to review our customers' reviews of us. As many of the first TiVo DVRs were designed for DIRECTV, we also have a longstanding relationship with DIRECTV. weaKnees is an authorized DIRECTV reseller and an authorized TiVo reseller. You can find those reviews on our feedback page and at ResellerRatings.com.

Find more information about WeaKnees.com on the WeaKnees Blog and at the weaKnees TiVo Forums.

Why the name "WeaKnees.com"?
We chose the "weaknees" moniker for several reasons. We were looking for a name that would, in a word, express the feeling that TiVo users get when they first start using a TiVo. We think you'll be amazed by TiVo and, frankly, weak in the knees. And "We KNow our Stuff." But please don't judge TiVo by our lack of marketing savvy. Try it yourself! And remember the spelling when trying to find us! When you're looking for our TiVo and TiVo upgrades, it's WeaKnees.com, and not weakknees.com, weak-knees.com, weeknees.com, weekknees.com, weakness.com or weekness.com.

What are the shipping and payment options?
Please see our shipping and payment options information.

What is your warranty?
Our complete warranty policy is here. If you have any questions about our warranty, please contact us. Generally, our philosophy regarding warranties: Being without a TiVo is a terrible thing. Therefore, we spend a great deal of time testing our hard drives and upgraded TiVo recorders before we sell them, so that our customers do not have problems down the road. When we encounter defective parts, we don't use them! Finally, we hope all TiVo users (customers and others) will use the our helpful protection information to help protect their TiVos from the biggest sources of potential problems.

What is your return policy?
Please see here for our return policy.

What "upgrades" do you offer for current DVR owners?
When we first started weaKnees, "upgrade" was a term we used to refer to a capacity upgrade; namely, adding a larger hard drive to a TiVo. We still use that term in the same way, and we can add recording hours to any TiVo and to just about any DIRECTV DVR (even if it's not a TiVo). Our customers often think of "upgrade" to mean many other things: Adding more tuners to an existing TiVo or DIRECTV DVR (not possible), upgrading to a newer TiVo model while retaining an existing lifetime TiVo subscription (not possible), adding more RAM (also not possible, but not to be confused with adding recording space, which is possible). We have many other parts and accessories for all sorts of DVRs, including new and upgraded remote controls and other parts and accessories.

I want you to upgrade my TiVo for me... How fast can you upgrade my TiVo and send it back to me?
Send us your TiVo and we'll upgrade it for you when you buy any TiVo upgrade and add our upgrade service. We'll email you immediately with our shipping address and shipping instructions. Professional Upgrades and Deluxe Upgrades are done by us - you send us your TiVo, we upgrade and test it, and then send it back to you. In the case of Deluxe service, so long as your TiVo or DIRECTV DVR (HR24, genie, etc.) is fully functional, we also copy all programming/settings to the new drive(s). Turnaround time is generally within 1-3 business days. Free return shipping is via UPS Ground or sometimes USPS; faster options are available during checkout. If you have any questions about shipping, feel free to email us at info@weaknees.com.

How do I make an appointment to bring my TiVo to you for upgrading?
We offer walk-in appointments; we must know in advance that you are coming. Please contact us for more information, or place an order and choose the "Will call/pick up" option as your shipping choice. Please please be sure that you have read our walk-in information before coming! We operate out of a warehouse, not a retail store and offer walk-ins as an accommodation to our local customers. We do not accept credit cards in person; please place your order online, in advance, if you plan to walk in. Otherwise, we will request cash payment when you arrive.

I have other questions about TiVo and TiVo upgrades, but I'm not a customer. Can I contact you? What if I have no intention of purchasing anything from you?
At bottom, we're TiVo addicts. We probably spend far too much time, in fact, keeping abreast of all of the latest TiVo hacks, tricks and all things TiVo. We enjoy sharing our knowledge with other TiVo enthusiasts, but our first priority is taking care of our customers and prospective customers. We regularly and rapidly respond to inquiries at the weaKnees TiVo Forums, so please visit there if you have any TiVo-related questions. If you are looking to upgrade your TiVo on your own--using a non-weaKnees hard drive--please understand that we cannot afford to offer free phone support. Please refer to the many resources available online, such as the Hinsdale TiVo Upgrade website and the Interactive TiVo Upgrade instructions. If you are looking to get your TiVo repaired, we'd suggest the fixmytivo TiVo Repair site, as well as the weaKnees TiVo Repair and Troubleshooting page.

Having Trouble Finding Our Upgrades? It's not Weakness TiVo, Weekknees TiVo, Weeknees TiVo or Weakknees TiVo!

What about other DVRs?
We now offer kits and professional installation for many other units in addition to TiVo:




TiVo Pre-Sale Questions FAQ


What is TiVo?
TiVo is a life-changing experience, plain and simple. TiVo will revolutionize the way you watch television. Since we're not marketing experts (look no further than our domain name to confirm that), we would much prefer you to find the answer to this question on your own, by looking at TiVo's website and by seeing what others have said about TiVo. Many, many articles have been written about what TiVo can do. Many commentators at the end of 1999, 2000, 2001 and beyond have called TiVo the 'Gift of the Year.' We encourage you to read about TiVo and its benefits from others who have done a far better job at explaining what TiVo can do for you. Naturally, if you have any specific questions, feel free to email us. In a sentence, though, we can say what we've been saying to friends, family and potential customers for a long time: TiVo will change your life!

Should I purchase lifetime service or monthly service for my TiVo?
Currently, lifetime service is available for any standalone TiVo ("standalone" means a TiVo without a built-in DIRECTV receiver) that we sell on our website. Lifetime service is $549. Generally, here are some of the factors we would recommend you consider when deciding whether to purchase monthly service (monthly service prices costs about $15/mo) or lifetime service ($549 for the life of your TiVo unit):

- If you purchase lifetime service for your TiVo and later want to upgrade to a different TiVo, you will have to purchase lifetime service again for your new TiVo. However, there is a good chance that you'll be able to sell your used TiVo with lifetime service and recover a good portion of the amount you paid for lifetime service. There is no telling what the market for used TiVos with lifetime service will be in the future, but purchasing lifetime service, unlike purchasing monthly service, will retain value.

- If you purchase lifetime service and your TiVo malfunctions down the road, you will have no alternative but to get your TiVo fixed. If the problem is with the hard drive or power supply, we can do the work. If the unit is a standard definition standalone TiVo, we have can repair just about any problem (power supply, hard drive, motherboard): See our high definition TiVo repair page for current TiVo models and our flat-fee TiVo repair page for standard definition older models. If you face a non-drive malfunction and instead had purchased monthly service, then for less than the cost of a repair, you might be able purchase a used, inexpensive TiVo of the same type and move your drive from one TiVo to the other.

- TiVo has been around for more than 15 years and was recently purchased by a larger company, but if for some reason you are concerned about the longevity of TiVo (the company), then purchasing monthly service is certainly safer than purchasing lifetime service. We believe that even if TiVo has significant financial problems, the subscription portion of the service, which is fairly easy to provide, is likely to survive.

- If you have DIRECTV and are looking to purchase a DIRECTV/TiVo combination unit (also known as a DIRECTV DVR), then your only option is monthly service. A monthly fee of $7/month will activate the TiVo service for all standard definition DIRECTV DVR units on your DIRECTV account. The THR22 High Definition DIRECTV DVR requires the TiVo service ($5/mo) AND the DIRECTV DVR service ($7/mo), but this $12/mo charge covers all THR22s (and all other DIRECTV DVRs) in your house. For those who have an older SAT T60, DSR6000 or GXCEBOT and who purchased lifetime service with TiVo, that service will remain on your DIRECTV account and you will not have to purchase monthly service for the TiVos on your account. (Beware of anyone trying to sell you a DIRECTV DVR with lifetime service!)

How can I move video recordings from my TiVo to my computer for archiving or streaming?
The lastest model TiVos (TiVo Roamio Pro, TiVo Roamio Plus, TiVo Bolt, TiVo Bolt Plus) all have the built-in capability to stream recorded content to laptops and iOS/Android devices. Certain other TiVo models (Premiere-line, base-model TiVo Roamio and Roamio OTA) require the TiVo Stream to get streaming functionality. The stream (whether purchased separately or built-in) can also move files to iOS/Android devices for offline viewing, but this is not designed for archiving purposes, because the recordings expire. In addition, all streaming and offline viewing is subject to copyright restrictions, which vary show to show and cable company to cable company. Older model TiVos could perform similar functions with the TiVo Desktop software, but this is no longer supported.

My DVR is broken! Can you fix it?
If you have a Series 1 or Series 2 TiVo, we can fix 99% of problems, all for a flat-fee. See our flat-fee TiVo repair page. If you have a Series3, Series4 TiVo, Roamio or Bolt, please see our Series3 and Series4 HD TiVo Repair Page for more information or assistance troubleshooting your problem. Please see our TiVo powering up page and our TiVo repair page for more self-help troubleshooting information. If you have a DIRECTV DVR that needs repair, please order from our high definition DVR repair page.


How do the various TiVo models differ?

Series 3 TiVo DVRs vs Series 4 (Premiere) TiVo DVRs vs Series 5 (Roamio line) vs Series 6 (Bolt).

  • Number of Tuners - The TiVo Bolt Plus, Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro have six tuners (ie., the ability to record and/or tune to 6 different channels simultaneously). The TiVo Bolt, TiVo Roamio OTA, TiVo Roamio, TiVo Premiere4 and TiVo Premiere Elite each has 4 tuners. The original TiVo Premiere has 2 tuners, as do the Series3, TiVoHD and TiVo Premiere XL.
  • Digital Display- The original Series 3 TiVo has a digital display on the front which says, among other things, what is recording on each tuner. No other TiVo has that display.
  • Additional Information - To compare the older-model two-tuner TiVos, see our Series3 and Series 4 TiVo DVR Comparison Chart.
  • Use of TiVo Mini- TiVos with 4 or more tuners can use a TiVo mini. The number of minis that can be used simultaneously is 2 less than the number of tuners (so a 6-tuner TiVo can use 4 Minis simultaneously and a 4-tuner can use 4 minis simultaneously). You can install more than this number of Minis, but not all will be usable at the same time.
  • Antenna/cable/satellite- None of these TiVos (Series 3-6) will work with satellite. Only the Premiere, Premiere XL, Series3, TiVoHD, TiVoHD XL, Roamio OTA, base-model Roamio (4-tuner) and TiVo Bolt work with antenna. The Roamio OTA works with antenna only. The Bolt and base-model Roamio work with antenna OR cable (not both). The 2-tuner units work with cable AND antenna.
  • CableCARDs- The original Series3 requires two CableCARDs. The TiVoHD and TiVoHD XL have two CableCARD slots, but require only one multi-stream card. All other TiVo will accept and require only one card. The TiVo Bolt and TiVo Bolt Plus DO have a card slot--it's on the bottom of the unit, a bit tough to locate.
  • Recording Quality- Series4 units and later can all record high definition up to 1080p. The TiVo Bolt and Bolt Plus can record in 4K. Series 3 TiVo DVRs can record up to 1080i.

Series 2 TiVos vs Series 3 / Series 4 TiVos. There are many differences between Series2 and Series3/Series4 TiVos. Among them:

  • High Definition - The primary difference between Series 2 and Series 3/4 TiVos is that S3 TiVos can process, record and play back in high definition
  • Cable or Satellite Boxes - Series3 / Series4 TiVos cannot be used with satellite at all. When used with cable, you will use a CableCARD rather than a cable box. The CableCARD is essetially a cable box on a card, and is inserted directly into the Series3/Series4 TiVo and programmed by the cable company.
  • Netflix - Series3 / Series4 TiVo boxes can stream Netflix; Series2 units cannot
  • Off-air Recording - Dual-tuner Series2 TiVos cannot record off-air programming. Older single-tuner TiVos can, but require a converter box. Series3 TiVos, on the other hand, can record digital off-air stations.

    The Series 4 TiVo Premiere and TiVo Premiere XL can reord off-air programming, but the TiVo Premiere Elite cannot.

Series 1 TiVos vs Series 2 TiVos

  • Better components - the original components were good, but some components (especially modems) began to fail over time. We have yet to see a failed modem in a Series2 TiVo.
  • Faster processor and more RAM - Ever wait when you set a Season Pass or scroll through a list? These new units are up to four times as fast as the older ones.
  • USB/Ethernet ports - The new units have USB ports (and, in the case of the standalone dual-tuner Series2 TiVo, an ethernet port) that can be used to access local ethernet networks for guide data (TiVo service is still needed), to download content from the Internet, to move content between TiVos, and to move content to and from a PC.
  • Off-air Recording - Series1 TiVos and Dual-tuner Series2 TiVos cannot record off-air programming. Older single-tuner TiVos can, but require a converter box, which can be difficult to find and many are not compatible. Series3 TiVos, on the other hand, can record digital off-air stations.
  • Use - TiVo has stopped supporting Series1 TiVos and they can no longer dial in. As a result, the Series1 TiVo's main use now is for sports teams (diving, gymnastics, etc.) who want a TiVo to record from a standard definition camera for playback to those just finishing a dive, routine, etc. If you are a sports coach looking for a DVR/TiVo to record at practices, please contact us. We have helped many coaches in this regard.


Will the TiVo control my model cable box/Dish Network receiver/DIRECTV receiver/U-Verse receiver?
There is no high definition TiVo that works with DISH network and there is no TiVo whatsoever that works with U-Verse. Sorry, no exceptions.
For DIRECTV, there is one high definition TiVo that is compatible--the THR22. All other HD TiVos (Series3, Premiere, Roamio, Bolt, etc.) do NOT work with satellite or U-Verse. The older Series2 TiVos will work with some DISH and DIRECTV receviers, but only in standard definition. Please note that DIRECTV DVRs with TiVo have a DIRECTV receiver built in and will not control another box. TiVo units will not control C-band satellite receivers.

Where can I get information about different TiVo models?
We recommend seeing the TiVo reference site TiVopedia. There's good technical information about every US TiVo model there.

Will TiVo continue to support hard drive upgrades?
weaKnees has an excellent relationship with TiVo even though we are not affiliated with them. We have been providing hard drive upgrades and related services since 2001, and we have every reason to believe that TiVo will continue to support hard drive upgrades. In fact, when TiVo first became available, TiVo/Philips offered capacity upgrades as a service to existing customers. At some point, TiVo decided that it was not cost-effective to do so. After TiVo stopped doing upgrades, they came out in support of the growing community of users who upgraded their TiVos on their own. We believe (as do many others) that TiVo would suffer a massive public relations disaster if they stopped supporting TiVos with added capacity. In addition, TiVo executives have publicly acknowledged and thanked upgraders for their enthusiasm for TiVo. You should note, however, that TiVo does not support all types of TiVo hacking. For example, TiVo does not support RAM upgrades, extracting video and, obviously, subscription theft.

I want to preview the instructions - are those online?
You can preview the instructions that you will receive in your TiVo upgrade kit, so that you will know how easy the process is.

How can I check my old drive(s) to see if they are OK?
If you want to test a hard drive to see if it is ok, there are two ways to do that. The first is by removing the drive and testing it using the drive manufacturer's utility. For more information, see this thread in the weaKnees TiVo forums. The second is by running a "kickstart 54" test from within the TiVo (not available with Series1 TiVos and DIRECTV TiVo DVRs). For more information, see our TiVo Kickstart Codes page.

What is OTA (Over the Air Antenna)? How can I get HD into my TiVo?
OTA is a transmission format by local broadcasters to distribute the major networks in HD format. Please see our OTA HD page for more information.

Can I record more than one show at one time on my TiVo?

The numer of tuners in a TiVo determines how many channels you can record simultaneously. The TiVo Bolt Plus, Roamio Plus and Roamio Pro all record 6. The Bolt, Roamio, Roamio OTA, Premiere4 and Premiere XL4 all record 4. Earlier high definition TiVo models record 2. All DIRECTV DVRs with TiVo (which require DIRECTV) can record two shows at the same time. The THR22 HD TiVo can record two shows at once using two lines or, if you are using a SWM system, you can record two shows using only one satellite line. Standard definition DIRECTV TiVos and the HR10-250 require two lines from the satellite dish in order to record two shows at once.

Although the Series2 TCD649080 and TCD649180 are technically "dual tuner" units, only in certain cable markets (where the signal is still analog) can this TiVo record two shows at the same time. To do that, one of those shows must be from an analog, non-scrambled cable channel (through the RF input on the TiVo).

What is the TiVo Mini? Can the Mini be wireless? What is MoCA?

If you have a subscribed TiVo with four or more tuners (Premiere4, PremiereXL4, Roamio, Roamio Plus, Roamio Pro, Roamio OTA, Bolt, Bolt Plus) connected to one TV, you can use a TiVo Mini DVR Companion to get the full TiVo experience on a second TV in your home. Using a Mini for additional TVs is far less expensive than getting additional TiVos because Minis include a TiVo subscription. The Mini will access the playlist from your main TiVo and also allows you to control and schedule recordings on that main TiVo through the Mini.

If you have cable and are currently paying the cable company for multiple cable boxes or DVRs, using a TiVo on one TV and Minis on the other is often an extremely economical way to reduce your cable bill.

To use a Mini, both your main TiVo and the Mini must be wired and each must be wired to your Internet connection (via your home router). The wired connection can be through the cable company's coaxial cable and/or through Ethernet. If you have cable coax and Ethernet to the main TiVo, then the Mini can be connected through Ethernet or coax (using MoCA). If you have only coax running to the TiVo and the Mini, then you will need a MoCA Bridge to add Ethernet to your cable coax line. For more information, see our TiVo Mini FAQ.

What is the TiVo Bolt?

The TiVo Bolt is a sixth-generation, four-tuner TiVo that can work with off-air antenna or cable (but not both). It comes standard with either a 500gb (up to 75 HD hour) or 1TB (up to 150 HD hour) hard drive. weaKnees can also upgrade the unit with significantly more recording capacity, using a larger internal drive and/or an external drive.

What is the TiVo Bolt Plus?

The TiVo Bolt Plus is a sixth-generation, six-tuner TiVo that can work with cable only. It comes standard with a 3TB (up to 450 HD hour) hard drive. weaKnees can also upgrade the unit with significantly more recording capacity by adding an external drive.

What is the TiVo Roamio OTA?

The Roamio OTA is a four-tuner, fifth-generation TiVo that works with off-air antenna only. It comes with a 1TB internal hard drive (upgradeable to far more) and, unlike other TiVos, includes a fully-paid TiVo subscription.

Upgrade Kit and Pre-Sales Questions FAQ


Do your TiVo Upgrades come with the latest software?
Generally, all replacement kit upgrades come with the latest software. In cases in which a newer software version has been released, your TiVo will download the latest version as soon as they connect to the TiVo service for the first time after the new drive kit is installed.

Where can I learn more about upgrading my TiVo on my own?
We have put together a number of links to "how-to" guides, Q&A forums and the like on our TiVo forums. See also our Interactive TiVo Upgrade Instructions (Support for this site is NOT available - it is a do-it-yourself tool).


If I use your TiVo Upgrade Kit (or have you upgrade or repair my TiVo), will I lose my lifetime subscription?
No. Our upgrade kits will not impact your paid TiVo subscription. If you already have lifetime service, you can purchase a kit (or have us upgrade your TiVo for you) and you will not lose your service. Please note that opening a TiVo will void the factory warranty.

If I use your upgrade kit (or have you do my TiVo upgrade), will I lose my programming and TiVo settings?
If you are replacing a hard drive with a self-install kit, then unfortunately there is no way to save your programming and settings. If your TiVo is fully functional and you purchase the Deluxe Upgrade Service (available for most TiVo models), then you can send us the TiVo and we will copy everything from your old drive to the new.

If you ship us your TiVo to have an external drive added, then you will not lose your programming/settings.

How long will it take to upgrade my TiVo if I purchase a TiVo upgrade kit?
If you have a one-drive TiVo and purchase a TiVo Upgrade Kit from us, expect to spend about 10-30 minutes to upgrade the TiVo (once it is disconnected from your TV/entertainment system).

We wrote our TiVo upgrade installation instructions ourselves and we took a long time in doing so. We have had very few TiVo upgrade purchasers call us or email with installation questions, which we believe suggests that our instructions are complete and simple. However, we are readily available to answer questions for any of our TiVo Upgrade Kit purchasers. Just send us an email.

Do you offer external hard drives for self-installation?
It is possible to add an external hard drive to any high definition TiVo (i.e., Series 3 and later). If you want to keep your internal hard drive and add an external, we need to get the TiVo to our warehouse to add the external. We use software to pair the internal and external hard drives. To find external hard drives for your TiVo, start with our TiVo upgrade page. Western Digital has produced very limited (and limited capacity) hard drives that can be self-installed, but these are very hard to come by and do not have an internal fan. They also come in only 500gb and 1TB sizes, which is limiting. We think our external hard drives offer a far more reliable solution. See also the additional questions below.

TiVo Troubleshooting FAQ


I have a TiVo and I am having problems with it; where can I go for help?
We have a TiVo troubleshooting page, which is full of useful information if you are looking to self-diagnose your problem. These pages will help you through numerous problems, including TiVos that are stuck on "powering up" or stuck on the screen that says "A Severe Error Has Occurred". If your TiVo is rebooting, has a flashing green light, will not start up or otherwise isn't working, please contact us for assistance.

HR20 / HR21 / HR22 / THR22 / HR23 / HR24 / HR34 / HR44 / HR54 (genie) DIRECTV HD DVR FAQ

What is a genie?
The "genie" is DIRECTV's flagship DVR. The first generation genie--HR34, HR44, HR54--has 5-tuners (ie., can record 5 shows simultaneously) and a 1TB hard drive. The genie requires a SWM setup. It has only one satellite line from the dish to the genie, and from that one line it can power all 5 tuners. The genie will work with wired or wireless clients as well as additional DVRs (HR24) and other non-genie receivers (H24, H25).

What are genie clients (genie minis)?
If you have a genie in your home for one TV, you can install genie clients on additional TVs to get the full DIRECTV experience on those TVs. Those clients will network with the main genie and can play live TV and recordings. The clients can display a completely different live TV channel or a completely different recording than is playing on the genie (or other client).

There are three different types of clients: Wired high definition DIRECTV clients (eg. C61), wired 4K clients (eg. C61K) and wireless high definition clients (eg. C41W). Clients will only work if you also have a genie and they all require a SWM system.

What is a SWM system?
SWM, also called SWiM (pronounced "swim") stands for single-wire multiswitch. SWM technology allows multiple satellite receivers, DVRs and clients to be connected via a single satellite connection to the dish, using DIRECTV SWM splitters to split that single line into multiple lines. Using a SWM, a single satellite line to a genie can power all of its tuners. Prior to the existence of a SWM system, each receiver required a dedicated cable line to the satellite, and two-tuner DVRs required two separate satellite lines.

For additional information about SWM, see this DIRECTV SWM information page.

Can I connect my DIRECTV system wirelessly? What equipmnent do I need?
It is not possible to connect a receiver to your TV without a wire. All DIRECTV equipment needs a physical wire from the box itself to the TV. This is typically HDMI, but can also be composite (red/white/yellow) or component (red/blue/green plus red/white). For newer model receivers, composite and component is through a DIRECTV component breakout cable or DIRECTV composite breakout cable.

All of that said, you can connect a receiver to the satellite without wires. If you have a DIRECTV receiver near your TV that is connected to your TV, but you do not have the ability to run a cable from the receiver to your SWM system, then you need a wireless C41W and a Wireless Video Bridge (WVB). The WVB connects to your receiver and then wirelessly communicates with your satellite on a proprietary DIRECTV wireless network. You can use one WVB for multiple C41Ws, or you can use multiple WVBs to get better wireless access for your C41Ws around the house.

What is DECA?
DECA stands for "DIRECTV Ethernet over Coax Adapter," and essentially allows you to combine Internet onto your DIRECTV satellite line. This works only with a SWM system. DECA can be very useful if you do not have the ability to run an ethernet line to your genie, or otherwise do not have ethernet running around the house, but do have satellite lines. DECA can also be used to create an internet jack in a room that has a DIRECTV receiver but does not have an ethernet line to your router. In other words, if you have a room in your house where you want a wired internet connection but you cannot run ethernet cable there, DECA can be used to provide an ethernet jack to, say, your laptop, desktop, smart TV, etc. For help, contact us.

Can I have more than one genie in my home?
DIRECTV currently does not permit more than one genie on an account. We sure hope that changes, but it has been years and this restriction has not been lifted. If you want the ability to store more recordings or you want the ability to record more shows than the genie offers, you will want to consider a genie hard drive upgrade or additional 2-tuner HR24 DVRs.

What is RVU?
"RVU" refers to a TV that has DIRECTV built into it.

A DIRECTV Ready TV has built-in RVU technology that lets you enjoy DIRECTV service and full HD DVR functionality without a receiver when it's used as an additional TV in a Genie HD DVR setup. DIRECTV 4K Ready TV also uses built-in RVU technology so you can enjoy DIRECTV 4K On Demand programs as they become available.

Which units can use external storage?
All high definition TiVo DVRs can use external storage. All DIRECTV HD DVRs can also use external storage. We also sell DVRs already expanded with larger internal drives and well as external storage. If you have a high definition TiVo (other than the TCD648250B), we will need the TiVo at our warehouse to pair the external with the internal.

What are the base capacities of the HR20/HR21/HR22/THR22/HR23/HR24/HR34/HR44/HR54/HR21P and how many hours can the HR20-700, HR20-100, HR21-100, HR21-200, HR21-700, HR22-100, HR22-800, HR23-100, HR23-700, HR24-100, HR24-500, HR24-700, HR34-700, HR44-500, HR54-700 and HR21P (HR21-Pro) record?
All HR20/HR21 units have a 300gb or 320gb hard drive (earlier versions have the 300; later versions the 320) from the factory. The HR21P (HR21 Pro) and HR22/THR22/HR23/HR24 units have a 500GB drive from the factory. The 320GB unit can record up to 30 hours of HD (in MPEG2); up to 50 hours of HD (in MPEG4); and up to 200 hours of standard definition. The 500GB units can record up to 100 hours in HD (MPEG4) and up to 65 hours in HD (MPEG2). Genie units (HR34, HR44, HR54) have an internal 1TB drive, which can record up to 200 HD hours. Keep in mind that "up to" really does indicate a maximum capacity. If you are recording shows with a lot of movement (sports, action, cartoons), you are likely to max out at fewer hours, although DIRECTV now broadcasts nearly all of its programming in MPEG4 format.

Do you offer hard drive upgrade kits for the HR20/HR21/HR22/THR22/HR23/HR24/HR34/HR44/HR54/HR21P?
Yes. See our HR20/HR21/HR22/HR23/HR24/HR34/HR44/HR54/HR21-Pro DIRECTV HD DVR Upgrage page. weaKnees upgrades the DIRECTV HD DVRs by removing the factory drive and replacing it with a larger drive. If you have a unit that you want upgraded, you can send the unit to us for an upgrade. The pricing for an upgrade includes installation charges and the cost of ground shipping from us back to you. Turnaround time for the upgrade is generally 1-2 business days.

We also offer THR22 HD TiVo upgrade kits.

We also offer external storage for all of these units. See below for more information.

If you don't have the unit already, then the easiest and fastest solution is just to get an upgraded DIRECTV HD DVR or upgraded THR22 from us.

External Storage for HD TiVo DVRs


What are the benefits of choosing either internal or external storage for my HD TiVo?
Benefits of internal storage: Replacing your internal drive with a larger one has several advantages. With an internal upgrade, all parts are inside the unit itself, total power consumption is lower, your original drive can remain on site as a backup, and with fewer moving parts (one drive versus two) there are fewer points of failure. For new purchasers, larger internal storage always makes the most sense. Benefits of external storage: Adding an external drive also has advantages. You don't lose your settings and programs (with internal upgrades, that can be true in some cases also). And you can get a larger total unit - up to 20 Terabytes of total storage, depending on the TiVo model.

Are WeaKnees upgrades "verified" by TiVo?
No, our external drive kits are not verified. We use what we've found to be the best drives available for our kits. We're convinced that these are the best drives for use with DVRs.

Why do I need to send in my TiVo HD/TiVo Premiere for an upgrade?
Only the original Series3 (TCD648250/TCD648250B) can accept an external drive without any software modification. All other HD TiVos require us to pair the internal and external drives using special software. If you have a DIRECTV HD DVR, then externals can be self-intalled without sending in the DVR.


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