Satellite television provider DirecTV has released its latest HD DVR, the Genie. The Genie lets you enjoy HD DVR capabilities all over the house with a single box. It also learns what types of television you like and makes recommendations.
The Genie is essentially an updated, re-branded version of DirecTV's HR34 DVR. The "Genie" name is definitely more catchy and should position better against DISH Network's Hopper (HOPPPAAA!!!). It allows up to eight televisions to get full HD DVR capabilities from a central box. Each TV needs to have integrated RVU capability, a separate RVU-equipped device like a Blu-ray player or gaming console, or a small DirecTV client box. Once the televisions are connected, you can access DVR functions like viewing live and recorded shows, recording new shows, and pausing and rewinding live television.
The Genie's main claim to fame, and the HR34's before it, is that it has five television tuners and allows for recording of up to five HD programs at once. You can watch live or recorded TV, including the same recorded show, on up to four different televisions at the same time and can pause a program in one room and pick it up in another.
A feature new to Genie is what DirecTV calls "Genie Recommends." Similar to TiVo, Genie can recommend and automatically record shows that match up with a viewer's preferences. The feature is user-enabled, so it won't start filling up your storage unless you want it to.
The Genie has one terabyte of storage space, which DirecTV estimates is enough for 200 hours of HD programming or 800 hours of SD programming. Users will also be able to access DirecTV apps, including Pandora and Facebook.
DirecTV is currently offering the Genie to new customers. Customers can add the DVR as a free upgrade to select 24-month packages.