Can you connect your new DIRECTV-Ready TV wirelessly?

Sad news for folks who picked up a new Smart TV over the holidays. While most smart TVs from Samsung, Sony, and LG are “DIRECTV Ready,” they can’t connect wirelessly. You’ll need an ethernet cable connection.

DIRECTV Ready TVs contain a software version of DIRECTV’s Genie Client, making them standalone devices that don’t need a separate client box. However, DIRECTV and the TV manufacturers intentionally don’t let you connect wirelessly. There’s simply too much going on with most people’s wireless network to allow for the clean, smooth transport required for this technology. While you can use the TV’s built-in Wi-Fi for many other things, you can’t use it for DIRECTV.

Connecting the TV requires the use of one of these and a coaxial cable connection near the TV. The coaxial cable goes into one end and ethernet comes out the other end to your TV. It’s not only the DIRECTV-recommended method, it’s the only method that really works. Running plain old Ethernet cable sometimes works but there have been a lot of reports of problems.

DIRECTV does offer a wireless solution but it relies on a separate video bridge that is not designed to be used with smart TVs. This is more frustrating than anything else, because it’s obvious that these TVs could actually run wireless if they were designed to connect to DIRECTV’s Wireless Video Bridge. Unfortunately, despite extensive attempts at hacking the bridge (which is essentially a customized version of a Belkin router) I’ve yet to hear of anyone actually doing this. So, I have a feeling it can’t be done, at least not by mere mortals.

The good news is that if you do connect your TV for DIRECTV service, your other smart TV apps will use that same super-clean connection and you should get really responsive speed and high quality when you stream other services as well.