(Similar situation to here for some background, except we're on AT&T DSL, not a Mifi: http://forums.directv.com/message/11196099#11196099)
TL;DR version: Does the Genie Recommends feature preemptively download a ****-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?