NICE AND EASY: Should you get wired or wireless Genie clients?

DIRECTV’s Wireless Genie Mini Clients are mighty tempting. They’re only a bit bigger than wired clients and they don’t need a coaxial cable, saving you time and effort in installation. But are you better off with a wired client? Let’s take a quick look at the facts.

Wired clients are just as reliable, mostly.
As long as there’s a good wireless signal, the wireless clients are just as reliable as the wired ones. They aren’t any slower and aren’t likely to give you any problems. However, you need a good wireless signal. If your home’s walls have a lot of metal in them (such as metal studs or flex conduit) the wireless signal might have problems. If you have problems getting Wi-Fi throughout the house, you might also have problems with wireless clients.

Wireless clients have less range.
It might not make sense to you, but the maximum range for wireless clients is lower. The general rule of thumb is you can go up to 50 feet and through up to 3 walls with a wireless client, A wired signal can go 150 feet from point to point. Now, you could put the wireless video bridge further away from the Genie DVR to fix that but…

Oh yeah, there’s a wireless video bridge, and it costs extra.
In order to use wireless clients with your HR54 or HR44 Genie, you’ll need a Wireless Video Bridge. You run coax to this device and then it sends the wireless signal to the clients. You can put it up to 150 feet from the Genie if you want to run all that cable, but aren’t you trying to avoid that? The Genie 2 has a built-in video bridge so there’s nothing more to buy, but then you have that 50-foot distance limitation.

You can’t get 4K wireless, yet.
We all know it’s coming at some point but right now there is no wireless client that can do 4K for DIRECTV. It will happen, but it’s just a matter of when.

So…. it ends up being a tough decision.
There’s no doubt in my mind that wireless installs are going to become more common for DIRECTV. It’s just an easier install and with the bridge built into the Genie 2, there’s nothing more to buy. I imagine the average install will have at most two wired lines, with the rest being wireless. For now, though, I’d probably stay with 100% wired or use wireless for that one TV you tend to bring out to the patio. Or, if you have more than one unused bedroom, bring the client from room to room, for which ever room has guests in it that want it.

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.