DirecTV HR44 Genie - Worth The Hassle.

The difference between the HR44 Genie and its predecessor HR34 is similar to the difference between an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 6.

Both were fantastic, game-changing devices. And the changes seem subtle - more like refinements, really.

And then you take a step back and notice that absolutely everything has changed for the better.

For starters, the size.

We knew that the HR44 was a lot smaller than the HR34 - but that difference really can't be stressed enough.

The HR34 is the size of a stereo receiver. The HR44 is more like the size of a laptop.

I assume that some of this size reduction is thanks to the HR44's external power supply. Yes, the HR44 has a power brick. But it's relatively small, and it helps the box run a lot cooler.

The HR44's speed is also a huge differentiator. Our HR34 had gotten nothing but faster over the years.

The techs at DirecTV continuously improved the software, to the point that it was running the (wonderful) Genie HD UI at full speed.

And then... well, something changed. With the last few software updates, the HR34 finally hit its ceiling, and started moving slooooowly.

The HR44 has absolutely no issues with speed. It's snappier than the HR34 ever was, and that's saying something.

One final (major) differentiator - the internal wifi. You no longer need to use a DirecTV Cinema Connection bridge to connect your Genie to the internet for on-demand content. The HR44 found our wifi network, and connected immediately.

So... just like that, our Genie issues are over. The system is working perfectly.

FOUR STARS (out of four)


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