C31… the one that started it all

Back in 2012 we didn’t know we were looking at the future. DIRECTV released its 5-tuner HR34 Genie in early 2012. Sure it looked like the future of DIRECTV, a bigger and badder cousin to the HR24. But it was about to become so much more.

The C31 Genie Mini Client was the first in its generation. Unlike anything else in the lineup, it worked exclusively with the HR34 Genie. It was half the size of even the smallest DIRECTV receiver yet it offered DVR functionality in a totally silent package. If the HR34 looked like the future, this looked like warp speed time travel.

The original review

I published the first ever review of a Genie Mini Client in August of 2012, and my verdict was simple:

It’s like being in front of the HR34, without the size or noise.

That about says it all. We take the Genie mini clients for granted now, but this was a really revolutionary sentence. At that point we’d all had DVRs for about 7 years, but if you wanted to have one in the bedroom you knew it would be a fight. Having a DVR in the bedroom meant making a lot of space, dealing with all the lights on the front, and most importantly, the sound of a hard drive cranking away 24/7. That sound may have faded into the background of a busy living room but I’m here to tell you it was pretty obvious at 3:00 in the morning.

That particular C31 shown in the review was actually my bedroom client for a long time. Clients don’t really break. There are no moving parts and they run so cool that the solid state components just don’t wear out. It’s very possible that the original client installed is still in service anywhere.

In the meantime, the Genie client family evolved. It went wireless. It went 4K. And eventually, it went to the new AT&T corporate look. Throughout its evolution, it’s always been the best way to watch DIRECTV Satellite. And you know what, I have a feeling that’s not about to change any time soon.

If you’re looking to upgrade or add Genie clients to your satellite TV system, give the folks at Solid Signal a call. You never know… they could find some low-cost options for you! The number, as always, is 888-233-7563.


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.