Review: DirecTV Genie whole-home DVR Page 3

RVU: Our View

Ever since the first cable got connected to a TV, we're been trying to get rid of the box. Now there's some hope, at least for DirecTV subscribers: RVU technology, which lets you connect an RVU-enabled TV directly to its Genie whole-home DVR without a separate Mini client.

Think of RVU as a passenger riding on the DLNA bus; it's a separate IP-based server/client protocol that's based on DLNA standards. You see the same interface no matter what device is connected, with the server, rather than the thin client boxes, doing all the heavy lifting.

In the DirecTV system I tested, the Genie acts as the server, sending the interface and programming to the Minis using MoCA, though RVU also supports Ethernet, HomePlus, and Wi-FI. A TV with built-in RVU should act just like a Mini.

Samsung, an RVU Alliance member, has supported RVU in some of its sets since late 2011, and all of its 2013 Smart TVs will feature it. Sony is joining the party this year with a few select RVU models. The bad news: Even though there's no box, DirecTV will still charge a monthly "receiver" free for each RVU set. - K.J.