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Lots of Genie and Satellite Technical Questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by dismayed, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. dismayed

    dismayed Cool Member

    Dec 24, 2011
    So I have some general technical questions, more out of personal curiosity than anything, that I was hoping someone could comment on. I currently have a DirecTV HD capable satellite dish, an HR21, an H25, and a D12.

    First some questions about my current setup. The dish visually appears to be an AU9 SL5, although I can't find a model number on it anywhere to confirm that. It has one cable coming out of the dish, which goes to a green rectangular box with one input on one side and four outputs on the other side. The box is labeled "SWM" in large letters and I think I can see "SPLIT4" or something followed by a model number (it's tacked to the underside of an awning). These four wires go into my attic, but I can't see where.

    My first question is that, based on some YouTube videos I've watched, I would have thought that there would be a gray heat-sink looking box (also called a SWM?) in the loop somewhere, and that it would feed into the green SWM box that I found... but I don't see the gray box anywhere. Is that unusual, or is it just a dated setup? This becomes more important in my next question.

    So the next question is, is the above setup "Genie ready" or would I need to have an installer come out if I decided to order one?

    Now for some questions about the Genie itself:

    Currently, I have two separate wires coming out of my living room wall that go into the two coax inputs on the back of my HR21. I understand that with the Genie I now only need one coax going into the box, and that from that one input I essentially have multiple tuner capability (for DVR recording, PIP, etc.)... is that correct?

    I have read some general grumbling about the Genie not integrating well with a Slingbox, but other than some vague references to IR issues I haven't really heard what that is all about. Thoughts?

    I have read that the Genie GUI is "slower" than past models. I have an HR21, which is annoyingly slow. Would it at least appear faster than this?

    I have a multitude of tiny little boxes feeding into my HR21 (one is labeled a DECA, which looks to be a converter, which feeds into what looks like a mini wireless router of some sort that plugs in my actual router). I think that I have read that the reason the Genie is bulkier than some past models is because it integrates all of these components, and so all these extra external things would not be needed with the Genie. Is that correct?

    Regarding the Genie Mini Client, I can find very few explanatory details on DirecTV's website. Based on the use of the word 'client' though, and a mention of the protocol 'RVU,' from what I can surmise this thing is a wireless dumb terminal being served up from the Genie HD DVR. Does that mean that this client box does not require a coax input? If that's the case then this is very exciting as I could add more TV options around the house. Am I correct in thinking that the only input to the client needed is just simply power?

    If I went the Genie route the Genie Mini Clients would replace all of the additional units in my house including the D12, is that correct?

    I noticed that the only usable outputs on the back of the Genie Mini Client appear to be HDMI and "A/V Out." I am not sure what the heck A/V Out is... it looks like the splitter ports that were used with old camcorders way back. Can that port be used to connect up with an SD TV?

    Finally, do you know what the max number of Mini Clients per Genie is?

    Thanks if you made it this far in my post. :)
  2. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    You have SWM, as the H25 requires it. The Genie is faster than the HR21, no doubt. It is a bit slower than the HR24, but could improve more in the future. Of course it also does more. There is only one coax cable for all 5 tuners.

    The Genie does not need it's own DECA, it is built in, like it is in the H25.

    The clients are not required. You can keep what you have. The client can pause/rewind live TV, but use one of the tuners of the Genie when watching live. The C31(the mini client) does need a coax connection. The limit is 3 clients, you can only have one Genie.

    AV Out uses a proprietary dongle, there is a composite version I believe.

    If you kept all your current equipment, there wold need to be a SWM upgrade due to the number of tuners, but if you replaced one box with the Genie it wouldn't be needed. Your setup is limited to 8 tuners.
  3. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    And just to explain some additional things. As mentioned, you already have SWM so only one coax is needed to your receivers no matter how many tuners they have. The reason you don't have the gray box that says SWM on it is because the LNB on your dish has it built-in.

    On the backside of your HR21, you have a DECA adapter which allows the satellite signal and Ethernet traffic to be split out from the single coax and fed to the HR21. The router you describe is most likely a Cinema Connection Kit (CCK), which is what bridges your coax network to your home network and allows Internet accessibility to your receivers. The HR34 has a DECA built-in and can also act like a CCK so you would not need the CCK any more.

    As for speed, the HR34 is pretty quick. Much faster than your HR21, but definitely slower than the H25. You would be very happy with it.

    - Merg
  4. dismayed

    dismayed Cool Member

    Dec 24, 2011
    Thank you both, you gave me all the answers that I needed!
  5. smitbret

    smitbret Legend

    Mar 26, 2011
    You can actually have up to 8 clients installed, but you can only access 3 at any given time.

    There are proprietary 10-pin dongles for both component and composite that would be installed with the Clients, but are $8 if you need to pick one up later.
  6. dettxw

    dettxw MRVing

    Nov 21, 2007
    Choctaw, OK
    I think DirecTV is still requiring a tech to visit to install an HR34 (and C31 clients if desired).
    If you're in the OKC area the installers seem to be much better since DirecTV took over the local contractor/installer.
  7. billcoff

    billcoff Mentor

    Jul 26, 2007
    I don't know about Slingbox, but I have a Vulkano Flow sitting on top of my HR34 that integrates just fine.
  8. Joe166

    Joe166 AllStar

    Jan 5, 2007
    I had a problem with my slingbox ProHD (or whatever the top of the line is called) with my Genie, but I had the problem before I ever got the Genie. I could not turn on the receiver from wherever I was, so I had to either leave the receiver on when I left town or ask my wife to go into the den to turn it on if I forgot. It wouldn't change channels either so I would just leave it on whatever (sports) channel I would want to watch, but it was very limiting.

    The problem persisted with the Genie and so I called slingbox for customer support and they were very helpful. I had switched from IR to RF (I may have that backwards) because there was a chair that sometimes blocked direct line from my watching location to the receiver and I was advised that slingbox uses a command that wouldn't work that way and so when I switched the receiver under settings to the other it worked perfectly.

    I subsequently bought the new slingbox 500 and it was a breeze to set up. It doesn't require running a wire to the front of the genie to blast commands as it seems to just go from the box with enough strength to bounce off walls.

    It has worked perfectly since I changed the receiver to the other method of receiving channel changes and power signals. No problems at all.

    So, I think that is the problem they were talking about. If you must use the non linear method of controlling from the remote to the receiver the slingbox won't turn it on or change channels because it is not communicating with the box.

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