Hughes Electronics - Receivers

Receivers

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In the past, receivers were manufactured by DirecTV and other companies. Other companies' DirecTV receivers have been phased out and DirecTV now designs their own models with companies such as Pace Micro Technology of Britain, LG of South Korea, and Thomson of France. DirecTV and TiVo announced on September 3, 2008, that they will work together to develop a version of the TiVo service for DirecTV's broadband-enabled HD DVR platform. Originally scheduled to launch in the second half of 2009, it was expected to be available in spring 2010 but delayed again. It was finally released on December 6, 2011. The new unit, model THR22, is now available in select markets. The THR22 DVR does not have all the features of the HR24 DVRs.

DirecTV typically uses a fixed 18-inch-diameter (460 mm) dish antenna to receive its signals. Traditionally an 18×24-inch elliptical was used; however, most new installations use an 18×20-inch antenna to receive signals from three geostationary satellite positions simultaneously. These systems are becoming more common as DirecTV attempts to squeeze more programming onto its growing systems. DTV is now installing a dish that has five LNBs for HDTV programming and local channels in selected markets. These systems receive signals from up to five separate satellites in both the Ku band and Ka band. After the new satellite, DirecTV 11, is fully operational, DirecTV will stop supplying dual, triple, and five-LNB dishes to all customers and move to supplying a three-LNB Ka/Ku dish known as the Slimline3. This dish will see orbital locations 99, 101, and 103 degrees West. The Slimline3 will be the new standard install dish (for HD and SD programming), while the five-LNB Slimline will be used for installs in areas that receive local or international programming from orbital locations 110 or 119. The Slimline3 looks nearly identical to its predecessor, aside from a smaller LNB.

The new DirecTV HD channels require an H20/HR20 or H21/HR21/HR22/HR23/H24/HR24 set top box (STB). In order to receive the new HD channels (channels added after September 2007), all HD receivers except the HR23 must have a B-Band converter installed. If the converter is not installed, viewers can only receive older HD channels (channels 70–99). The B-Band Converter (BBC) is also not required with the new Single Wire Mulitswitch (SWM or SWiM) system, which preselects the satellite and transponder tuning and can feed up to 8 tuners via a single coaxial cable. The "HR" moniker designates the receiver as a HD digital video recorder (DVR) model.

Only the H20/HR20 support direct reception of over-the-air ATSC broadcasts. The H21/HR21/HR22/HR23/H24/HR24 receivers do not have a built in ATSC tuner, but the AM21 external tuner is available. In addition, there is HDMI support for HDTVs with an HDMI port. New STBs also support MPEG-4 standard for HD *Programming. DirecTV also offers the AM21 (an ATSC add-on for the HR21), the HR21-Pro (an HD-DVR with 100 hours HD or 400 hours SD recording capacity), and an online DVR scheduler.

  • DirecTV Receiver is a common standard-definition model. D12 was the last one produced, as this type of receiver is being slowly phased out, according to DirecTV's February 28, 2008 Investors Info.
  • DirecTV HD Receiver (H10/H20/H21/H23/H24/H25) is a receiver which can receive an HD signal and broadcast in 1080i resolution. H25 is the latest version. After a 2009 software upgrade, the H2n series is capable of receiving 1080p resolution. The H2n series is also the only series capable of operating with the Whole-Home DVR.
  • DirecTV Plus DVR (R15/R16/R22) is a standard receiver with a built-in digital video recorder. It contains a 160 GB (new models as of 2010 have a 360 GB) hard disk using the IDE 40-pin connection and can store up to 100 hours of programming. R16-300 is the last of these line of receivers; they are being slowly phased out, according to DirecTV's February 28, 2008 Investors Info. The R22 is a "watered down" HR21 as it can receive MPEG4 and has all the features of the HD DVR, including HD output. However the unit is locked to output standard definition only. In 2010 the R22 is unlocked to output HD output.
  • DirecTV Plus HD-DVR (HR20/HR21/HR22/HR23/HR24), the most advanced everyday-consumer receiver in the lineup, is capable of full 1080p high definition and combines both high-definition and DVR capabilities in one unit. It contains a 320 GB hard drive (500 GB on the HR22, HR23,and HR24) using the SATA interface connection. The DirecTV Plus HD DVR also features Media Share, allowing users to view photos and listen to music stored on their computer (with compatible DLNA server software) on their TV, and Whole-Home DVR Service which allows them to watch any recorded program on any HD or HD-DVR receiver in the house. The HR24 is the latest, with the HR23 being its predecessor. The HR24 like the HR21, HR22, and HR23, lacks an ATSC tuner as the HR20s had, but does support the AM21 external tuner for over-the-air channels. The HR24 can be expanded to 2TB drive on the eSATA port for up to 480 hours of HD and 1750 hours of SD recording.
  • DirecTV Pro HD-DVR (HR21-Pro), the most advanced home theater receiver with HD and DVR in one unit, has a larger capacity hard drive, better cooling and is rack mountable. The DirecTV Pro HD DVR also features Media Share, allowing users to enjoy photos and music stored on their Intel Viiv processor technology-based PC on their TVs. HR24 is the latest (May 2010). Guide scrolling and channel surfing is much faster than previous models.
  • The DirecTV "Genie" Home Media Center HD DVR (HR-34) the successor to the HR-24 features the ability to record 5 shows at once, allows for Picture in Picture, and has 1 TB of hard drive space allowing for 800 hours of high-definition recording or 2000 hours of standard-definition recording. This unit does not feature rack mount functionality like its HR-21 and 24 predecessors did.
  • DirecTV Sat-Go ("Satellite-To-Go") is the world's first portable satellite TV system, conceived by producer Rick Rosner. It combines a receiver, antenna and TV all in one easy-to-carry unit.
  • DirecTV DVR with TiVo Service (THR22) uses the same technology as the HR22 but has a TiVo user interface. The interface is currently the older SD one. This DVR does connect to the Internet, but only for TiVo program guide information. Currently the THR22 cannot download program content via broadband.

Even with the new receivers DirecTV does not offer 1080p on any channels except Pay-Per-View channels and DirecTV on Demand.

DirecTV has introduced a new line of remotes to go with their new receivers.

  • Universal Remote (all remotes control receiver, TV, and two other devices): An infrared remote that is pointed at the receiver to operate and stores device control codes, even when batteries are changed.
  • Universal RF Remote: This remote is essentially the same as the above, but with RF functionality to allow it to control the system through floors, walls, etc. Other differences are that it is also backlit for easier viewing in the dark. Note that RF features only work with DirecTV HD and DirecTV Plus HD-DVR Receivers.

Former remotes sold by DirecTV that still work for their receivers.

  • Big Button Remote: The standard Universal Remote, enlarged for easier use.
  • NFL Remote: A limited-edition RF capable universal remote control that comes in different designs for each NFL team. It features the colors and logo of one team on the front of the remote, and on the back, that same team's championship stats. Comes with a backlight for easier viewing in the dark.

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