Should you worry about your DIRECTV equipment during a power failure?

Are you sitting there reading this article on your phone, in the dark? I get it. Severe weather events aren’t just for the winter and spring anymore. It’s a year-round thing now. And, as you’re sitting there wondering what comes next, you might be thinking about your sensitive DIRECTV equipment and what you should be doing about the fact that it’s sitting there in the same darkness you are.

How DIRECTV boxes respond to power failures

DIRECTV equipment does very well in power failures. All DIRECTV receivers, clients, and DVRs are based on the Linux operating system. Linux is descended from the operating system designed to run telephone exchanges. It’s really good about dealing with unexpected power losses.

Your DIRECTV equipment will start back up on its own. It can take up to 15 minutes for everything to communicate with everything, but if you have a Genie system it generally takes less than 5 minutes. Before everything’s up and running, you may get some errors like the devices can’t connect. You could be told there is signal loss. If these problems last more the 15 minutes, reset all your boxes and try again. If you’re still not getting DIRECTV, you’ll need a service call. But it’s very rare.

Should you worry about power surges?


All your DIRECTV equipment should be on surge protectors. In fact, anything remotely electronic should be on a surge protector. Surges and brownouts are common just after you lose power, and if you don’t have your equipment on a good power protection system, you may wish to unplug receivers until the power is back on for good.

It’s generally not necessary to use uninterruptible power supplies with DIRECTV equipment. Unless you’re willing to invest in a system that can keep your TVs and all your home theater equipment running for hours, it’s not worth it.

What about solar and generators?

It’s getting more and more common for people to have some sort of system that cuts in if the power goes down. Sometimes it’s solar, sometimes it’s a generator, or sometimes it’s something like Tesla’s PowerPack system which is essentially an uninterruptible power supply for your house.

Generally speaking if you have a system like this, it’s designed to provide a smooth transition so you don’t have to think about it. The switchover is clean and so fast that you don’t have any problems with your home electrical system.

What if you do find a problem?

Most of the problems with DIRECTV equipment come from stuff not booting up in the proper order. If you are experiencing problems, reboot your DIRECTV boxes in the following order. Wait until you see live TV on one type of equipment before going to the next step.

Before doing anything, make sure all power inserters and other little boxes used in your DIRECTV system are plugged in, and that you have internet service. Then…

  • FIRST: older non-Genie DVRs
  • SECOND: older non-Genie receivers
  • THIRD: Genie DVRs and the Genie Home Media Server (Genie 2)
  • FOURTH: Genie clients

Generally, this solves any problems you may be having. If you’re still having problems, call us at 888-233-7563 and we’ll be happy to help you through the process!


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.