Solid Signal goes “Hands On” with the new DIRECTV C41 Genie Client

This review is available in PDF format! Click here to download!

The new C41 Genie Client from DIRECTV launches soon, and we’ve got an early look! You might think the photo above is the C31 Genie Client​and you’d be forgiven for that. The new C41 is a dead ringer for its older brother. Take a look at the two mini clients:

The C31 is the one on top.

What’s the difference?

The C41 Genie Client has a new logo on the front… can you spot it there, between the Dolby Digital and RVU logos? It’s flaunting its new RF-enabled remote system. This is the same remote used on the HR44 Genie DVRthe RC71. Here’s a picture of it from our HR44 review, sitting in front of a regular white DIRECTV remote.

The new remote is going to be a polarizing choice for some, because it takes away the {STOP} button and combines {PLAY} and {PAUSE} into one single button. On the other hand it’s easier to hold and easier to find what you want. The good news is, if you’re willing to forego that RF functionality you can use a regular RC65 remote instead and the missing buttons are all there and all usable. The new RF remote conforms to some industry standards, too, so hopefully we’ll see DIRECTV RF integrated into future universal remotes as well.

A closer look

The back of the C41 Genie Client is a very similar affair to the earlier C31 as well. You’ll find the coaxial cable — SWM only of course — as well as HDMI output and power. The bright light on the back of the C41 can be covered with electrical tape if you don’t want the whole neighborhood illuminated by its brilliance. There’s also a largely useless USB port, good for charging a phone but not much else, plus a 10-pin connector designed for our Component dongle or Composite dongle, so you can connect this little box to any television regardless of age.

The side of the C41 Genie Client holds one red button to be used in case there’s a problem.

Even the power adapter used on the C41 Genie Client is identical to that used on both the C31 and H25 receiver, and different from the one used on the HR44 Genie DVR.

Overall impressions

With the C41 Genie Client, DIRECTV completes the revolution it started with the HR34 Genie DVR. The old DIRECTV remote was the last piece of the puzzle to go, and if you are the sort who likes the new RC71 remote, this box lets you use it in a second room. It’s true, the RC65 looked positively huge compared to the tiny client box. Function is exactly the same as the C31 Genie Client, and both C31 and C41 can be used on either HR34 or HR44 DVRs.

The bottom line is that you’ll find the C41 Genie Client to be a competent, evolutionary client box that takes the good parts of the C31 Genie Client and pairs it with advanced RF technology.

Curious to see our review of the C31 Genie Client? Click here for a complete walkthrough!