Can you use a DIRECTV Genie on 220 volt power?

Did you know that we do more marine satellite activations than anyone else on the planet? That’s right. You may know Solid Signal as the best place to shop for DIRECTV parts and accessories, but our Signal Connect division leads everyone else in delivering marine solutions for satellite TV, satellite internet, and cellular solutions.

Marine DIRECTV is… a little different.

While your home doesn’t move a whole lot (hopefully), boats are constantly in motion in three dimensions. This is a problem for satellite dishes which need a steady base. They need to aim at satellites over 22,000 miles away. So, the satellite TV solutions for marine tend to be a little more… complex.

Marine satellite dishes test signals multiple times every second to account for the movement of the boat. As the boat moves, the dish constantly re-aims to make sure the signals stay strong. It’s an amazing balancing act, but it does mean that marine satellite antennas are a bit more expensive than the ones you get for home or business.

While that’s a big difference between marine satellite TV and home-based satellite, it’s not the only difference. A lot of larger vessels are designed and chartered in countries outside the US, and so they run on 220 volt power with European plugs. This means that anything on them needs to be adapted to connect to that power source and still keep your electronics from exploding. Too much power fed into something that’s not prepared for it will cause that thing to die instantly.

DIRECTV equipment and 220 volt power

There is some DIRECTV gear that will run off 220 volt power. It’s not really done on purpose, it’s more that the manufacturers used power supplies that work on 110-240 volt power. They’re often less expensive than voltage-specific ones. I wrote a whole article about those receivers here, so I won’t spend a lot of time talking about that.

While you can use some H24 and HR24 models with 220 volt power, the bottom line here is that you can’t use a Genie with 220 volt power. The power supplies used with Genie DVRs, servers, and clients only run of US standard power.

What can you do?

If your boat only has 220 volt power and you want to use DIRECTV equipment, you’ll have to use a voltage converter. But you’ll need to be careful with the one you choose. You’ll need to know the difference.

Most devices listed as travel converters don’t change the voltage that’s going to the device. That’s a problem if you have 220 volt power, which will damage any device not designed for it. All these things do is change the shape of the plug. In the case of things like hair dryers and phone chargers, that’s enough.

What you need is something that will change both the voltage and frequency of the power. 220 volt power is generally at 50Hz, while 110 volt power is generally at 60Hz. You’ll also need something that is rated to run continuously. The voltage converters that are sold in airports usually won’t run for more than an hour or so before they get too hot. At that point they shut down.

You can find the device you’ll need from industrial hardware stores or through other online sources. As I write this, we don’t sell them at Solid Signal, but they’re not hard to find.

Another option

Another option is to use a power supply that is designed for 220 volt and graft the power plug from the existing Genie power supply onto it. This can be a good solution if you have access to different power supplies and you’re good with soldering. Just be careful, and know that you’re obviously voiding the warranty of the receiver when you do it.

Here are the specs you need. Remember when it comes to amperage, you can exceed the rated draw and you’ll be fine.

ModelNormal Power SupplyDC Voltage OutputAmperage Draw
HS17 Genie 2EPS1725.2V2.86A
All Client boxesEPS1012V1.5A

If you’re able to lay your hands on 220 volt power adapters that put out the correct voltage and at least the amount of amperage that you need, then all you need to do is cut off the power connector from the supplied power supply and attach it to that power supply.

Signal Connect is your marine source

We’re here to help you with everything you need for the entertainment and info/data systems for your boat. Call us at 888-233-7563 during East Coast business hours! If it’s after hours, fill out the form below and we’ll call you back, usually within one business day.

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.