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Genie Recommends data usage

Genie Recommends data usage

(Similar situation to here for some background, except we're on AT&T DSL, not a Mifi:

TL;DR version: Does the Genie Recommends feature preemptively download a crap-ton of VOD content using up tons of gigabytes of data usage?

Full story: My parents (whom I am visiting for the holidays) switched from Dish to DirecTV (bundle with AT&T DSL, which they also upgraded to the max possible 6mbps) on 12/2. On 12/10, they got a notice from AT&T that they had exceeded the monthly data cap (150GB). By the time they logged in yesterday to follow up on the message, data usage had skyrocketed to 580GB for the month--the usage meter was showing ~50GB/day (near the max possible for a 6mbps connection saturated for 24 hours). Connected devices to the network are two older desktops that spend most of their day sleeping (and don't run anything like torrenting), an iPad mostly used for online shopping (very, very rarely a short YouTube video; never movies or anything), and the DirecTV HR44 Genie (with a mini in the bedroom). They have watched maybe a total of five VOD movies on the Genie--certainly not enough to use anywhere near that much data.

I routed the Internet connection through my laptop so I could monitor data usage (aggregate; can't find a way to easily track usage per device), and about an hour later, I saw a spike of ~3GB of activity in the course of about another hour. I recalled a setting in the Genie menu to disable the Genie Recommends feature, so I did that and the data usage through my laptop has dropped to almost nil (maybe 300MB in the last 6 hours).

I understand the Genie Recommends feature grabs stuff off the satellite it thinks you might enjoy (which obviously uses no Internet data), and while it does seem to cause some VOD titles to appear in the playlist queue, from what limited amount I've been able to read online, it makes those titles appear but doesn't actually download them until you hit play.

Is this incorrect? Is it actually downloading dozens of gigs of VOD content automatically every day? It's the only reason I can think of why their data usage exploded so much (from ~10-15GB/month before getting DirecTV to now 50 times that amount and we're only two thirds of the way through the billing cycle). We'll see if keeping Genie Recommends off keeps the data usage down, and then after a day or so I might turn it back on and see if the data usage skyrockets again, but I thought I'd check here. Thoughts?

Message 1 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

Turned that off when I got my first DVR years ago. Yes it's downloading all the time as long as you have disk space so unless you like going there to find something to watch just turn it off.

Message 2 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

I just checked my Internet usage and it was 151, 285, 251 GB for the last three months.  Comcast is not limiting me, but I just turned "Genie Recommends" off and will see what my usage is hereafter.

  • Press MENU on your remote and use your down arrow key to highlight Search
    & Browse.

          Select TV Shows

          Use your down arrow key to highlight Genie Settings.

          Here, you’ll have the option to turn Genie Recommends on or off.

Message 3 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

Wow...they really should mention that somewhere. It's not clear at all, and in fact, according to  Hands on: DIRECTV Genie HD DVR and "Genie Recommends" - The Solid Signal Blog, "If you are internet connected, you'll also see a list of on demand programs. These don't download until you ask for them."

So far my parents are up to $80 in overage charges due to this. Maybe the fact that this DirecTV subscription is through AT&T will make AT&T have some leniency on the fees.

Data usage yesterday was 0.77 GB. BIG change.

Message 4 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

That is correct the movies will not be download till asked but the Genie recommends is a separate function.

Message 5 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

It is? The line I quoted was from a section in the review titled "Let's take a look at Genie Recommends." Am I missing something? Without Genie Recommends on, those titles wouldn't appear in the queue at all.

Can you elaborate?

Message 6 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

The green circle watch instantly movies are sent to your hard drive via the sat link so they don't use the internet, only On Demand programs use the internet.

Message 7 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

Right. So the question is, is Genie Recommends downloading On Demand programs behind the scenes (there are random On Demand programs appearing in the recordings playlist) without my knowledge and permission and causing this excessive data usage?

After turning it off, it seems usage has dropped dramatically, so my inclination is to say yes, it is. And if so, this is a major problem...especially if it's doing this to the tune of 500+GB in 20 days.

Message 8 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

Well, seems that was it. Since turning it off, usage has hovered between 0.5 to 2GB per day.

Sounds like AT&T is going to credit the $90 in overage charges. Smiley Surprised

Next time I visit, I'm tempted to turn it back on for a day just to test and see if it jumps way back up, but suffice it to say, this is a dangerous feature, and DTV needs to look at how it's implemented as far as how it handles on-demand content.

Message 9 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage


i am a new 2 month user

My  cox cable data usage went through the roof!  2 days over 41 gig,,,, nuts I went from averaging 100 gigs or less to over 351 gig this month wow!

I Did what you suggested and it went back to normal

i called tech and they said they had no clue about sucking data and it must be something else...wrong!!

thank you for saving me money


Message 10 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

thank you!

your post saved me big money 

Message 11 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

Update  July 2014

Even after the fix,  have a major problem with DirectTV using an insane amount of DATA when my Gene is connected to the Internet.  It used 182 gigabytes on one day and almost a hundred the next. As soon as I

Disconnected  the Gene from the Internet my Data uses went down to let than a gig a day….

It was not the Gene recommends that was the problem the Genen kept sucking data even after I turned it off…

I really like DirectTV but it is unlikely I will keep it is they cannot fix this issue. It is not right and a huge problem that could cost me allot of $$$.

I went to you customer service people who said they will check on the problem but I will not get a response…???

That is nuts


Bob Thomas

Message 12 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

I know the last post was a while ago but I thought I should share my experience so that it may help someone. I am on a 300GB data cap with Comcast. Every month I was either approaching 300GB or going over. I wasn't sure what was causing the high usage. I came across the forum linked below and decided to unhook my HR24 from the internet for a whole month to see if it makes a difference. I didn't take any other devices offline and used the internet (gaming, Netflix, etc.) as I normally do. This month I'm around 85GB of data usage with 3 days to go. Apparently, the DVR is constantly using data for some reason. The link below indicates it's a firmware bug.

Message 13 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

thank you for the post.  i just got took for $50 in overage in under 24 hours.

Message 14 of 30

Re: Genie Recommends data usage

Yep, been having the same problem. One evning I discovered that 30gigs of usage corresponded to the time that a full two seasons of VOD being downloaded--without my permission. I now control it by turning it off at the router, and turning it back on when I want a specific VOD. Hope DTV responds to it eventually, been with them since 2000. Techs seemed to agree that my solution was necessary. Don't think it's a bug.

Message 15 of 30
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