Should you upgrade your Genie client?

Hard to believe but the Genie Mini Client has been with us almost a decade. The first ones hit the streets all the way back in 2011. The whole Genie program has been a complete success for DIRECTV and AT&T, bringing quiet, inexpensive and energy-efficient boxes to homes.

In that time there have been several models of the basic Genie Client. Model C31 was the first and it is the only one that is designed to work with the old-style white remote. (We still sell those remotes at Solid Signal.) Models C41, C51 and C61 are largely identical.

If your client still works…

If you don’t want to upgrade to wireless or 4K, there is no reason to upgrade your Genie client. It’s a reliable piece of technology that hasn’t changed in the last ten years. The newer models aren’t faster, they don’t use less power, and they aren’t more reliable. The only reason to trade in one wired Genie client for another would be if it broke, which is very rare.

Should you go wireless?

The AT&T Wireless Genie Mini Client is actually the default client for new installs. Putting in wireless clients makes installs go faster. In almost all cases, these wireless clients are just as reliable as wired ones. They don’t require new holes to be drilled in your walls and they respond just like the wired ones.

If your client box is within 50 feet of the Genie DVR (or Wireless Video Bridge, for older Genies) and has no more than 3 walls between client and Genie, it’s a good fit. Those are guidelines. Some people have even better results than that.

You should look at upgrading to a wireless client if you’re moving your wired client and don’t want to run new cable. If you have a Genie 2, you already have the wireless capability you need. Otherwise it can be added to older Genies.

What about 4K?

The 4K Genie Mini is a wired client that supports 4K programming. (That’s why it’s called that.) It’s larger and uses more power than a regular client. It also doesn’t output at all to standard definition TVs. But, it does give you a great picture on your 4K TV. DIRECTV now has plenty of 4K content and you’re missing out if you’re watching on a 4K TV with just a regular client.

How to upgrade

Upgrading a client is really easy. In many cases you just disconnect one client and connect another. If it’s wireless, there’s a simple pairing procedure, and you do need to program the remote. You can generally use your old remote if you want, it’s simple to reset it so it can be used with another receiver. Before you pack up your old client, press MENU, then go to Settings, Remote Control, and follow the steps to Reset Remote. Then the remote can easily be programmed on the new box with this tutorial.

When you get your new client you will need to call to activate it. If you got it from Solid Signal, (and I hope you did) call us at 888-233-7563 and we’ll get you set up. If you got it straight from AT&T you’ll have to call them, which can take a lot longer.

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.