Can I use all wireless clients with my Genie?

DIRECTV’s wireless Genie client is a neat piece of technology. No, it’s not “truly” wireless. You still have to plug it into the wall. You still have to connect it to the TV. But you don’t have to run a coaxial cable to it, and that’s a big deal. No coaxial cable means no damage to walls and floors. It means an easier installation. And, it means the flexibility to move that client when you want to rearrange the furniture.

Should you go all-wireless?

Here’s a little secret: most new Genie 2 installations for DIRECTV are all-wireless. They’re easier for the tech and the customers are happier.

You can go all-wireless as well. If you have an older Genie you will need a Wireless Video Bridge to create the connection, but the newer Genie 2 has that technology built in. Either way, you can use the same number of wireless clients as you would use wireless clients. With the older Genie, you get three connections at once, and with the newer Genie you get 7.

The wireless signal from either the video bridge or the Genie 2 is strong, and the amount of bandwidth needed isn’t much by today’s standards. But, you will need to consider one thing if you’re going to go all-wireless as a DIYer.

Installers have the tools of the trade

When DIRECTV installers come in, they test wireless signal using a dedicated app. This app isn’t available to regular folks, because it is essentially a Genie client that runs on a phone. I guess AT&T just isn’t ready for that technology to get out to the folks. I don’t know why.

Using this app, they can check the signal strength and quality before activating the client. This is incredibly important, because once that client is activated, it’s attached to a customer account and it’s hard to remove. It’s not impossible but it takes a lot of work because AT&T’s systems aren’t designed to allow it.

If you want to install clients yourself, you should be confident that it’s going to work. Without that special app, it’s hard. You can use practically any Wi-Fi tester app on the network that starts with “DIRECTV_WVB,” but that’s only going to tell you the raw signal strength. You won’t be able to connect to that network, so you can’t actually run data upload and download tests. Without that critical information, it’s going to be hard to know if everything will work the way you want it to.

For those willing to try…

The most important thing to know is that in most cases, a DIRECTV wireless signal will run a maximum of 50 linear feet through a maximum of three walls. I’m not making promises or guarantees, but in general you’re in good shape if the distance between Genie and client is somewhere in that range.

I’ll admit it’s pretty cool to have an all-wireless setup. It’s great when you want to rearrange furniture and it’s just one less cable to worry about. The overall reliability is great — I’ve never had one problem with my wireless system. It runs just as fast, feels just as responsive, and works overall just as well as a wired system.

Are you ready to take the plunge? Shop for all the best DIRECTV receivers, clients, and accessories at Solid Signal and don’t forget, free tech support is just moments away. Call us at 877-312-4547 during East Coast business hours or use the live chat function at Solid Signal. If it’s after hours, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you, usually within one business day.  You’re just steps away from your all-wireless future!

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.