What is the difference between Genie and Whole-Home viewing?

DIRECTV’s C31 Genie Client is a whole new animal, unlike any other DIRECTV box that came before it. It’s not only tiny, but it’s really not even a satellite receiver. Why? The reason comes down to RVU.

RVU is the new technology that forms the heart of all future DIRECTV products. Unlike an H25 receiver, the Genie Client does not have a tuner. It acts like it does, and the reason is RVU. All the Genie Client does is get video and audio from the Genie DVR, and processes remote commands. All the real work is done by the Genie DVR, which sends complete images and sounds — with menus and informational screens included — to the Genie Client. RVU makes it happen securely, so that your programs can’t be pirated.

The older whole-home system was not as smart. When you asked to play a program from your H25 receiver, it actually started downloading the computer files for that program and then decoded them. The process was slower but it did work. However, there was one piece to the puzzle that made it problematic for some people… you couldn’t pause live tv. That’s because live TV came from the tuner inside the H25, not from the DVR where recorded programs were stored. The Genie Client uses the tuners inside the Genie DVR, so you can pause live TV anytime.

RVU is a more advanced technology than the old multi-room viewing system, but the Genie Client is actually much simpler. Since it doesn’t have to do as much work in displaying menus and tuning live TV, it can be smaller and use much less power. Many people have commented that the Genie Client is so small it practically disappears when not in use.

If you’re interested in a more detailed description of what the Genie Client can do that a plain-jane H25 can’t, click here for our comparison showdown!

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.