Problems with a Genie Client or smart TV? Try changing the cables

If you’ve recently been living with Genie problems such as the dreaded DIRECTV Error 54 (MoCA test error) you know it can be very frustrating. It seems like everything works fine sometimes and sometimes your Genie Mini Client or smart TV just doesn’t work. You may have tried changing DECA adapters, and perhaps you’re getting green lights on all your DECAs. Yet, the problems are still there.

If you’ve tried everything else, the problem is probably in the cable. Actually, if you can possibly try the cable first, you’ll usually find that’s where the problem is to begin with. Cable problems fall into two categories: the ones you can fix, and the ones you can’t.

Let’s start with the problems you can’t fix. There’s a distance limitation to working with Genie and you start to run into problems when the total distance between Genie and client exceeds 250 feet, or if either run is over 150 feet. That’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s still a pretty good one. If you suspect your cable run is longer than that, try to simplify things. If the cable runs through the attic or basement, try running diagonally instead of against the walls or corners. I know, it’s not as pretty, but the cable length you save could make all the difference.

Now onto the problems you can fix. Maybe the cable’s gotten beat up. Maybe insects have chewed through it or maybe it got kinked up. Maybe the ends have started to get loose. Start by changing the ends (if you don’t have something like our CABLEKIT, check it out, it’s a great value) and even try changing the ethernet cable between DECA and smart TV. You’ll be surprised how well this can work.

You may have never had problems before and even other aspects of your smart TV may still work, but DIRECTV’s networking is very demanding. There’s no buffering involved so the communication needs to be really clean all the time. That’s part of the reason why DIRECTV prefers that you use their coax lines instead of ethernet cables; ethernet is designed for redundancy not smoothness, and smoothness is what you need.

It might even be worth it to make a whole new cable and string it across the floor, just to see if it solves the problem. If you’re at the end of your rope, why not? I’ve heard too many times that DIRECTV techs can’t even diagnose problems like this properly and sometimes leave without solving things, or propose using a receiver instead of a client or smart TV. You deserve better than that… you deserve to have your setup your way.

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 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.