Are you getting”content protection” messages on your Genie client? Here’s the fix

It seems that DIRECTV’s Genie Mini Clients are a little more strict when it comes to enforcing HD Content protection than its DVRs are. The new Gemini devices are even more strict. I found this out when I recently upgraded the equipment in a spare room. I powered up, then turned on the TV in the spare room, which is connected via HDMI using a long cable. That worked fine. However, I had the other TV connected via component. This is a setup I’ve had for a while. No I don’t recommend doing it that way anymore. But, I generally feel like you shouldn’t try to fix what isn’t broken. I’m not the only one who does it that way. That’s how I, like many other people, run more than one TV from the same DIRECTV box. It helps save on mirroring fees with TVs I don’t use a lot. I wasn’t expecting this hiccup.

Foiled by HDCP​

HD Content Protection (HDCP) is a scheme hooked up by content providers that’s designed to keep you from making perfect digital copies of your content. Along with other forms of encryption, HDCP was supposed to stop massive video piracy. It’s hard to say how much piracy would have taken place without these things in place, but my younger friends tell me that between password sharing and torrenting, it’s easy to get any content you want for free, as long as you’re ok with breaking the law. (Personally I’m not.) So, the real effect of HDCP is to make it harder for people like me to legally and ethically share programs to multiple TVs.

Hard, not impossible. Here’s the fix:

Use an HDMI splitter instead​


Solid Signal has a lot of different HDMI splitters at different price points, depending on what you need. I personally like this one from Cabletronix because it’s right in that sweet spot. It actually works, which most of the cheap ones don’t. But it’s also not as expensive as most of them. If you have a specific need like 4K, you can start spending a lot of money, but in many cases the less expensive ones work great too. This allowed me to take the component cable out of the mix. Not only did I get a solution that worked well, I actually got better picture quality. Component video is pretty good, but it’s never going to be as good as HDMI. Component video also doesn’t carry 4K or Dolby audio, which are getting to be more common.

If you’re just trying to watch an old tube TV​

If you get this message while watching an old tube TV, even with no other TV connected, it’s generally due to an HDMI cable also being connected. Disconnect the HDMI cable and use a Genie Composite Cable instead. Then, reboot the client by pressing the red button and it should work just fine.

Why doesn’t this happen as often on the older receivers?​

The receivers aren’t as strict in enforcing content protection, at least for now. But there’s always a chance that would change so just going back to a traditional receiver isn’t worth the risk.

By the way, if you get weird “blanks” when you go to the guide or playlist…​

If you have no idea what I’m talking about that’s great, but a lot of people with older HDTVs find that when they go to the guide or playlist the TV blacks out for a second and comes back, almost as if there was a signal loss. This, unfortunately, is also due to HD Content Protection. The guide and playlist pages don’t have it, but the live programming does. Switching back and forth from a protected to non-protected source is what’s creating that particular annoyance. Newer TVs don’t have this problem as often, but they still have it. Unfortunately there’s no real fix. It’s caused by the way DIRECTV provides content protection. There’s nothing that us regular folks can do about that.

Need more help? Call us!​

We’re here for you during East Coast business hours to answer all your DIRECTV questions. Call us at 888-233-7563. If it’s after hours, fill out the form below. We’ll get right back to you!

The post Are you getting”content protection” messages on your Genie client? Here’s the fix appeared first on The Solid Signal Blog.

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