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DIRECTV Equipment: The Complete Guide for 2024

Everything to know about watching TV with DIRECTV

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This post was written in partnership with DIRECTV.

DIRECTV service features a reliable connection and supports a 4K picture when available (4K TV and high-speed internet connection required). And you never have to install the satellite yourself, so put the ladder away. In fact, you can also forgo the satellite altogether and connect using high-speed internet. The service is not just appealing to people who want a clear picture — you’ll also get a lot of channels and more DVR space than you’ll find with cable or streaming platforms. 

DIRECTV equipment extends beyond the satellite. The Genie HD DVR lets you record a lot of content at once and has picture-in-picture. If you add the Gemini device to your plan, you can easily access your favorite streaming platforms, including Netflix and Prime Video. 

DIRECTV Equipment: Satellite vs. internet

There are two ways to connect to DIRECTV: satellite or internet. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the right mode of connection for you comes down to your personal preferences. Importantly, the equipment needs vary based on whether you choose satellite or internet connection. 

How to connectA professional technician will install a satellite dish to your home.You will use your existing home internet to connect to service. At least 8 Mbps speed is recommended. 
Required equipmentGenie receiver
Gemini is optional 
DVR storage200 hours can be saved to Genie receiverUnlimited cloud DVR*

*Recordings expire after 90 days. In a series recording, a max of 30 episodes are stored (the oldest episode is deleted first which may be in less than 90 days). Restrictions apply.

DIRECTV Equipment: Genie

The Genie receiver is an HD DVR that DIRECTV satellite users need to connect to TV service. The DVR allows you to record up to five programs at the same time with 200 hours of storage space. You can connect Genie Mini devices wirelessly to your Genie, which allows you to watch DIRECTV in multiple rooms. Up to eight Genie Minis can be connected to the same Genie receiver. You can also get a Genie Lite if you just want satellite TV with no DVR or upgrade to the Genie 2, which requires no wires and can be placed anywhere in your home. 

The Genie also has picture-in-picture and grants access to an on-demand content library. You can pause and rewind live TV HDTV for up to 90 minutes. 

How to set up the DIRECTV Genie

1. Connect the Genie to your TV. The Genie has several connection ports: One Satellite In, one Internal RF antenna, one  Front USB port, one  Back USB port, one Ethernet port, one eSATA port, one Phone Jack, and one AC Power Inlet Connector. After your Genie is connected to the satellite, you can use the HDMI or USB ports to connect the receiver to your TV using the applicable cord. 

2. Turn on your TV. 

3. Wait for the Satellite Dish Setup screen to appear on your TV. 

4. Leave the default settings in place and skip past the Order ID field. 

5. Select “Continue” on the screen. Follow the ensuing instructions to finalize the setup and reach the Guide screen to begin watching TV. 

DIRECTV Equipment: Gemini

directv gemini device

The Gemini is a streaming device for users who connect using a satellite. If you have a Genie receiver, the Gemini must connect to the receiver. Once installed, this receiver lets you add your favorite apps, including Max and Peacock, to view streaming content. Think of it like a Fire TV Stick or Chromecast device. 

Alternatively, you can choose the Gemini Air. This smaller device is a standalone and never needs another receiver to connect to. Just plug and play with your TV. 

How to set up the DIRECTV Gemini

1. Plug one end of an HDMI cord into the Gemini and the other end into an HDMI port on your TV if you are connected using home internet. If you have a satellite, connect one end into the Gemini and the other end into the Genie. 

2. Connect the Gemini to the power supply cord and plug the cord into a wall outlet. 

3. Power on your TV; if your device is connected directly to the TV, you may need to switch your source input to match the HDMI port your Gemini is plugged into. 

4. Use your remote to follow the on-screen prompts to pair your remote and Gemini. To connect, point the remote at the Gemini and hold down the fast forward and rewind buttons at the same time for several seconds. The TV will display a confirmation screen when pairing is complete. 

5. If your Gemini is connected to your TV, you will also need to select your wireless network and provide the password. Your Gemini may restart. Review the terms and conditions, then select the room location. 

6. Enter your Google ID and password, or create a new Google ID if you don’t already have one. (Google, Google Play, and Android TV are trademarks of Google LLC.)

DIRECTV Equipment: Integrated voice remote

DIRECTV voice remotes for Genie and Gemini are powered by Google Assistant, making it easier for you to find programs and manage your DVR. The Genie and Gemini use two different remotes, but the voice commands operate the same. Pressing the Google Assistant button (which has a microphone on it) allows you to give the remote a command such as “Watch ABC,” “Search rom-coms,” or “Open Hulu.”


What happened to the DIRECTV Osprey?

The DIRECTV Osprey box was rebranded to the Gemini. Users can connect to streaming platforms with the Gemini using their home internet. 

When did the DIRECTV Gemini launch?

DIRECTV launched the new equipment in spring 2023. 

Do I need internet access to use DIRECTV?

You can use your home internet to connect to DIRECTV. You can also use a satellite connection. If you choose a satellite, you will still need internet if you want to connect a Gemini device to your Genie receiver.

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