Does a DIRECTV Genie Client have the same picture quality as the DVR?

The DIRECTV Genie Mini Client is a neat little piece of technology. It does everything the Genie DVR does (except picture in picture) and it does it in a tiny, silent package. Our tech team got a question from a customer, though:

“Does the client have the same picture quality as the DVR?”

It’s easy to understand why this question was asked. If you’re streaming to an over-the-top box like AppleTV, or if you’re using a Slingbox, you’ll find that the picture quality on the other end of the stream is not as good as when it started. It gets overcompressed and sometimes even drops in resolution.

The good news here is that both the regular Genie client and the wireless Genie client that’s coming soon both give you exactly the same picture quality as the DVR. The whole signal is streamed to the client — it’s not resampled, recompressed or touched in any way. There’s no downside to using the client, certainly no difference in picture quality.

The client is small, and that leads people to think it’s not very powerful. It’s exactly as powerful as it has to be, considering that the Genie DVR is doing almost all the work. The client is just accepting commands from the remote and displaying the video. That doesn’t take nearly as much horsepower as recording, scheduling and all of that.