Can you use an RVU TV without a SWM System?

You’ve heard of these TVs that show DIRECTV Service without needing a box at the TV? They’re called RVU TVs. Our tech desk was recently asked if you can use these RVU televisions without having SWM technology. The answer:


Why? There are two reasons.

First of all, the RVU technology built into the TV isn’t a full-on DIRECTV receiver. It’s a client, meaning that it doesn’t do all the receiving work. That work is done by a Genie DVR. The TV just shows video and audio and takes in commands from the remote. It’s a tribute to DIRECTV’s engineering staff that you can’t really tell the difference between a “Client” and a “Receiver” just by the way they act, but when you get into the nuts and bolts, there’s a big difference.

So, to boil that down… no Genie DVR means you can’t use an RVU TV.

Reason number two: Genie DVRs require a SWM system. They don’t work with the older technology used by the DIRECTV boxes in the mid-2000s. That technology required one wire per tuner, and that would have meant a lot more hardware inside the Genie DVR. That would have driven up costs, and really for no reason because DIRECTV has been using the SWM system exclusively for its new installs for over four years.

So, let’s boil down the second reason… Genie DVRs need SWM.

OK then, if you need a Genie DVR to use an RVU TV, and a Genie DVR needs SWM…

Right. You can’t use an RVU TV without SWM.

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.