Can you use a C31 Genie Client with Cat-5 Ethernet cable?

Maybe.

DIRECTV’s C31 Genie Client is a masterpiece of miniaturization. It’s the tiniest box DIRECTV’s ever built with full DVR functionality and at the size of a paperback book or phablet, it’s not going to cause a lot of trouble while it sits quietly on the nightstand or on the back of the TV.

Miniaturization comes with a price though, and there simply isn’t room enough in the box for every single feature. One important feature that was left behind was the ethernet connection. Every DIRECTV DVR and receiver since the HR20 and H21 has had an ethernet connection except the tiny C31 and the SWM-only H25. If you have been using ethernet for your multiroom viewing you may think twice before using the C31.

Of course, any room that you have already used for a receiver in the past has coaxial cable, and since the C31 works best using a coaxial cable you’re probably all set. But what if you want to use the Genie Client where there is only an ethernet connection?

Truth is, it’s really not recommended, but it can work. If you connect a Cinema Connection Kit backwards, it can work. Connect the ethernet cable into the kit, then the coax cable into the C31 Genie Client. In some cases people have reported that this works as well as using coax, but there are a few warnings.

First of all this is a completely unsupported configuration. Solid Signal doesn’t warranty it and neither does DIRECTV. Second, if you’re going to do this, it’s not going to work with your basic run of the mill router. You’re going to need a router that is designed to work with video streams because if not you may see a lot of stuttering and jerkiness. A router may be designed to run at 1000Mbps but that doesn’t mean it can send a smooth stream across the line, even at 10Mbps.

If you want to really take a risk, try connecting a Wireless Cinema Connection Kit instead — if it does work you’ll have DIRECTV in any room you want without wires!