When I first wrote this article in 2016, I told you not to get a 4K Genie client if you had an HDTV. Since then, my guidance has changed, and that means a total rewrite for this article.
Which client to choose
Today, DIRECTV offers three different options for Genie client boxes. The base version is the HD Genie Mini. This box essentially hasn’t changed in over ten years. It doesn’t have to. The idea of the client box is that it does very little work on its own. It is really nothing more than adapter that translates your remote commands into network ones, and converts network information into video and audio for your TV. For years I said this model was the way to go, and that you should ignore the other clients.
However, as things improve, I have to change my advice.
Today, I happily also recommend the Wireless Genie Mini. This is now the default device for new installations, because it’s so easy to place. The wireless client uses a private Wi-Fi network provided by the Genie server instead of coaxial cable. If you have a Genie 2, this capability is built in. Other Genie DVRs require a separate bridge device. Either way, the average home can support these devices easily. So long as you are within 50 feet and have fewer than 4 walls between server and client, you will probably get great results.
The 4K client
The 4K Genie Mini client does everything the wired client does, and also decodes 4K programming. It is larger and uses more power than the HD client, but in all other ways it’s identical.
In the past, using a 4K client with an HDTV (not a 4K one) would mean living with nag messages every couple of days. You would be urged to make the most of your experience by checking for the best resolution you could display. This would get very annoying after a while.
Today those nag messages are almost completely gone. I know that they can show up every few months in the case of some TVs, but for the most part they are just part of history. Since that was the biggest problem you’d have with a setup like that, I can now recommend the use of 4K clients if you’d rather be futureproof.
Know the limitation
If you have an HR34 or HR44 Genie, you can’t add a 4K client. If you have an HR54, you can add as many as you want, but only one can be watching 4K content at once. With a Genie 2, up to three boxes can be watching 4K at the same time.
Keeping all of that in mind will help you make smart decisions. And of course, you know that if you need help, it’s just a phone call away! Call our support professionals at 888-233-7563 during East Coast business hours and you’ll be connected to an expert who can help!