Ten biggest Genie myths (and two facts)

DIRECTV’s Genie system is still fairly new so there are a few myths that are out there that just aren’t true. Let’s take a look at the biggest myths, things people think are true but aren’t.

1. You can’t use a Genie if you already have an older DVR.

People believe this myth because Genie’s competitor, the DISH Hopper, won’t work with older DISH receivers. However, a Genie DVR will work great with any receiver model H21 and up, and any DVR model HR20 and up. You can use older equipment but it won’t see the Genie’s programs. Any newer receiver or DVR can play back programming from a Genie.

2. You need a DECA or internet connection to the C31 Mini Genie Client.

Not true. The Genie DVR connects to the internet and provides that information to the Genie Client. The only cable you need is the coaxial one.

3. You can’t watch over the air TV with the Genie Client. 

If you hook up an AM21 Antenna Module to the Genie DVR, it will feed over the air live programming as well as recorded programming to the client. However, you can only record two over-the-air programs at once.[

4. You need a C31 Genie Client if your TV is RVU-compatible.

There are very few TVs out there with built-in RVU but if your TV is on that list you can connect the TV to your router and get DIRECTV programming right on the TV with no external box. Here’s how. 

5. There’s no fee if you use an RVU TV.

Unfortunately this isn’t true. If you have a TV with RVU built-in, you still have to pay the same fee as if you had a Genie client.

6. Genie DVRs aren’t as fast as older DVRs.

It’s true that in the past the HR34 Genie DVR ran a little slower than the HR24, but it’s almost exactly the same speed now, and the HR44 Genie DVR is the fastest DVR DIRECTV has ever made.

7. If you have a Genie DVR, you still need a Cinema Connection Kit or Broadband DECA.

The Genie DVR will work just fine with an external Cinema Connection Kit or Broadband DECA, but if you have ethernet to the receiver you can connect it directly and it will supply internet to all your receivers, even the older one. The HR44 Genie DVR will even connect wirelessly.

8. Genie DVRs are loud.

Like other DIRECTV DVRs, the Genie DVRs are almost silent unless the fans kick in. Keeping your Genie in a well-ventilated place will keep it as quiet as possible.

9. If you are recording 5 things, you can’t use the clients.

Actually you can watch one of the programs being recorded. If you try to change channels, you will be given the option to cancel a recording.

10. You can’t have more than 3 Genie Mini Clients.

You can have up to 8 clients registered to a Genie DVR but only three of them can be active at any time. If you try to turn on the fourth you will see a message that all tuners are busy.

As promised, here are two true things about a Genie:

You can’t run a Genie without a SWM-enabled dish or SWM multiswitch.

There isn’t any way to use a Genie with a single-LNB dish or older dish, it just can’t be done without going SWM.

You can only have one Genie on your account.

Unfortunately DIRECTV only allows one Genie DVR on your account. Rumors pop up on the internet about super-users who have more than one but either they’re not telling the truth or they have some sort of back-end deal with DIRECTV that isn’t open to regular folks.

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.