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DirecTV Releases New “Genie” in Wake of Hopper and Joey

Updated on October 22, 2012

DISH’s Hopper and Joey was the first whole-home HD-DVR system of its kind, and it was expected that, as usual, competitors would soon release their own versions in an attempt to rival the original. The Hopper and Joey is no different, as DirecTV has just released a new whole-home HD-DVR system of its own called the Genie.

The Genie and the Hopper and Joey Have a Lot In Common

The Genie and the Hopper and Joey are, in many ways, similar. They both include their own versions of Primetime Anytime technology (which records all primetime shows at once) and commercial skipping features. They allow for Bluetooth integration, have remote control locators built in, are set-top box size (although the Hopper is much smaller), and feature SRS TruVolume.

While these are coveted features, the similarities end with them. Many other critical aspects, such as storage space and price, contrast sharply.

They're Also Very Different...

Let’s start with storage space. While DirecTV’s Genie boasts an impressive 1 TB of space, it doesn’t come close to the Hopper and Joey’s 2 TB of storage. What difference does it make? 300 hours worth. The Hopper and Joey can record up to 500 hours, while the Genie will hold up to 200 hours of DVR recordings.

Speaking of recordings, the Hopper and Joey whole-home HD-DVR system is capable of recording up to 6 shows at one time with the Primetime Anytime feature. While the Genie contains the same primetime recording feature, it’s capable of recording 5 programs at once.

While both the Hopper and Joey and the Genie are TV Everywhere-enabled, only the Hopper and Joey allow you to watch both recorded events and live TV. The Genie allows access to the DVR storage, but not to live television.

With the Hopper and Joey, you can access sports apps that give you access to game information days in advance, don’t interfere with TV watching, and include Thuuz excitement ratings. Genie sports apps offer same-day information (on the Genie-connected TV only), but you better check it out on a commercial – It will take up your whole screen, making it difficult to watch TV and stay up to date. Also, there’s no Thuuz available on the Genie; it’s a DISH exclusive.

Want On Demand entertainment? The Genie does offer 7,000 video on demand options, while the Hopper and Joey offer 15,000.

External hard drives are compatible for both, but only the Hopper and Joey allows you to complement your current DVR storage selection with additional storage on a hard drive. The Genie replaces your current DVR storage when you set it up, so you’ll lose all of your saved shows.

Let's Compare Hopper and Joey Pricing to the Cost of a Genie

But what about pricing? How much is the Genie, and how much is the Hopper and Joey? Despite the fact that the Genie lacks many of the popular features of the Hopper and Joey, it may be a reasonable alternative for those looking to pay a little less.

The problem is that it’s actually more expensive. The Genie is only free for new customers with the $54.99 package or higher, whereas DISH’s $44.99 package will get you the Hopper and Joey at no charge. Monthly fees are a big higher, too; the Genie will cost you $38 per month. Sure, it’s only $7 more than the Hopper, but for fewer features including less storage capacity and the ability to function on only 4 TVs instead of 6, the Hopper and Joey is clearly the better option.

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