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Thread: WHITE PAPER: A Guide to DIRECTV Networking

  1. #1

    WHITE PAPER: A Guide to DIRECTV Networking

    This tutorial has been completely revised and updated!

    Networking can be hard. When you're connecting a computer network to a complex home theatre system, it can be even harder. DIRECTV provides tools and parts for connecting its receivers and DVRs, but they don't always make it easy to understand what you need to do. There are several generations of equipment and several different ways of doing the same thing. Add to that, there are some parts that have very similar names but do different things!

    This guide will give you an overview of the different ways that DIRECTV receivers can be networked.

    This document is available in PDF format! Click here to download!

  2. #2

    In the beginning, there was Ethernet.

    Before 2006, DIRECTV receivers didn't have any network connections. However, almost every receiver made since then has had a jack for a plain old ethernet cable. The following receivers can all be connected via ethernet:

    • HR20
    • HR21
    • HR22
    • HR23
    • HR24
    • HR34 Genie
    • HR44 Genie
    • THR22 (TiVo)
    • H21
    • H23
    • H24

    The only receiver that's been made in the last three years without Ethernet is H25. Due to its small size, there just isn't room for an ethernet jack on the H25.

  3. #3
    If you already have networking experience, you might be tempted to connect all your receivers and DVRs using Ethernet. The procedure is easy: connect all the receivers to your home network. Then, on each receiver follow these steps:

    • {MENU}, then Arrow down to "Settings and Help" then press {SELECT}
    • Make sure "Settings" is highlighted and press {SELECT}
    • Arrow down to "Network Setup and press {SELECT}
    • Make sure "Connect Now" is highlighted and press {SELECT}

    You need to be aware that DIRECTV no longer supports Ethernet networking for whole-home viewing. You can still access on-demand content, TVApps and IPTV features like Pandora and YouTube, but without paying $2.99 for Whole-Home service, you will not be able to share content between receivers.

    If you want to use your Ethernet network for whole-home be aware that it's technically possible but be prepared to spend hours on the phone with DIRECTV getting this turned on. The front-line DIRECTV CSRs won't be able to do it for you, and you will be told over and over again that it can't be done. If you spend enough time on the phone you can get Whole-Home activated for your Ethernet-connected receivers, but they sure don't make it easy.

  4. #4

    Coax Networking: "Don't call me DECA"

    There's a lot of confusion about the term "DECA." A lot of people use the term to mean networking using your satellite cables.This is actually just called Coax Networking. The idea is that all your receivers communicate with each other through the satellite cables. This creates a smooth, clean path for sharing HD video and makes it easier for DIRECTV techs to set up without disturbing the rest of your network. So what is a DECA? It's a device that converts from ethernet to coax. That's what the name means... DIRECTV Ethernet Coaxial Adapter.

  5. #5

    DECA: DIRECTV Ethernet Coaxial Adapter

    Anytime you want to convert from coax networking to ethernet networking, you need a DECA. DECA stands for "DIRECTV Ethernet Coaxial Adapter." What you see is the Generation II DECA, but if you have the old-style white box DECAs they will work just as well.

    The following receivers will use a DECA to convert the coax network signal to an ethernet one:

    • HR20
    • HR21
    • HR22
    • HR23
    • H21
    • H23
    • R22
    • THR22 (TiVo)

    Because these receivers don't have built-in coax networking, they need an adapter to convert the network part and put it into the receiver's Ethernet port. Using a DECA is easy. Connect one end to the satellite cable and then connect BOTH the coaxial and ethernet cables to the receiver. Within a minute or two all the lights on the DECA should turn green indicating good communication.

    You may need to do the "Connect Now" procedure to get networked on these receivers.

    If you accidentally use a DECA on an H24, H25, HR24, or HR34 receiver it simply won't work. As a rule of thumb, if it's got a flat, touchscreen front, it doesn't need a DECA in back.

  6. #6

    DECA Broadband: Also called a Cinema Connection Kit

    Here's where it gets confusing. The device you see above you comes in a box marked "DECA BROADBAND." At times it's been referred to as a Cinema Connection Kit, but that term has gone out of fashion. This is the most recent version, but there has also been another version that looks like a small router. Both work identically.

    The purpose of the DECA Broadband is to give internet access to your home network. You hook up one end to a coax cable attached to your satellite dish or multiswitch, and the other end is connected via Ethernet to your router. It's self-configuring and should "just work" when you plug it in. If you see three green lights after it is plugged in and turned on, you're all set. A yellow light means a bad line somewhere.

    If you are using Ethernet networking, you don't need a DECA Broadband. Trying to use both Ethernet and a DECA Broadband will just make all your receivers confused.

    There is a wireless version of the CCK which is used when it's not possible to get ethernet and coax in the same room. It supports WPS (Wireless Protected Setup) which allows for one-button setup. If your home router isn't designed for WPS, it's also very easy to set up the wireless CCK using any HD receiver that supports ethernet. Just temporarily connect it to that receiver's ethernet port (and not the coaxial cable port) and go through the "Connect Now" procedure. Once it is part of your wireless network, disconnect the ethernet cable and connect a coaxial cable to make it part of your coax network.

    All current HD receivers and DVRs, plus the standard-definition R22, can use coax networking, meaning one connection to the internet through the CCK will give on-demand features and whole-home sharing to all receivers.

    Note: The Genie DVRs have built-in DECA Broadband functionality... wait a little while and we'll get to that.

  7. #7

    Turning a receiver DECA to a DECA Broadband

    The only difference between a receiver DECA (meant to connect a receiver to a coax network) and a DECA Broadband (meant to connect the coax network to a router) is a power supply. If you have older DECAs around you can convert them to DECA Broadbands by adding a power supply.

    DIRECTV does not sell the adapter required to turn its EPS10 power supply into a DECA power supply, but the Sonora PS121000A has been tested for this use and will work just fine. Just connect it to the short white cable end of the DECA and plug it into the wall. The ethernet cable can then be connected to the router or to any other ethernet device.

    Why would you do this?
    If you have a device that needs a wired network connection but there isn't an ethernet cable handy, you can use an approved DIRECTV splitter and a Broadband DECA to create an instant Ethernet connection. You can even plug the DECA Broadband into a switch and plug several devices into it. We'll show you how this works a little later.

  8. #8

    HR24, H24, and H25 - No DECA required

    The DIRECTV HR24 DVR, H24, and H25 receivers were designed for coax networking from the start. Although the HR24 and H24 also have an Ethernet port, they work best when connected to a coax network. This has led some people to say they have "Built-in DECA." They do have chips inside them that let them use coax networking without any other adapter, that's what people are trying to say.

    Connecting one of these receivers to a coax network should be automatic. If the coax network is present when they boot up, it will be recognized and configured. If it isn't, the "Connect Now" procedure should work to quickly connect these boxes to the internet, as long as the DECA Broadband is already in place.
    Last edited by Stuart Sweet; 12-23-2013 at 04:30 PM.

  9. #9

    Genie DVRs don't need a DECA Broadband

    This is the HR44 Genie DVR. It was designed from the ground up to be the only DVR you'll need in the home. Because of that, it can do tricks that other DVRs can't, and it handles coax networking different from other DVRs.

    With a Genie you don't need a DECA Broadband. You can connect an ethernet cable straight to it and it will supply internet to all your other receivers. You can even connect via Wi-Fi. if you have an older HR34 Genie DVR, it can also connect via Ethernet and take the place of a DECA Broadband but it does not have built-in wireless.

    In order to use a Genie to supply internet to your other receivers using a wired cable, just connect the cable and reboot the receiver. No other steps should be necessary. To use Wi-Fi, make sure that all other Broadband DECAs are removed (receiver DECAs are ok) and go through the "Connect Now" procedure:

    • {MENU}, then Arrow down to "Settings and Help" then press {SELECT}
    • Make sure "Settings" is highlighted and press {SELECT}
    • Arrow down to "Network Setup and press {SELECT}
    • Make sure "Connect Now" is highlighted and press {SELECT}

    At that time you should be asked what kind of network adapter you are using. Choose "Wireless." Be prepared to choose your router by name and enter in the security key. Remember that security keys are case-sensitive.

    Note: Unlike other receivers, it's not a good idea to connect your receivers via ethernet cables if you are using a Genie. If you choose to connect all your receivers that way, you will have to use a band stop filter to disable the Genie's built-in DECA Broadband function.

  10. #10

    Basic Coax Networking, Step 1: Installing the Band Stop Filters (if necessary)

    In order to prepare your DIRECTV system for coax networking, the first step is to install band stop filters on any equipment that is not designed for networking, or any equipment you do not want to network.

    The Connected Home signal that is used in coax networking is very strong compared to other signals on the line and can overpower that signal, possibly leading to damaged receivers. In order to keep these receivers from getting damaged, we use band stop filters. The band stop filter stops the Connected Home signal from reaching the receivers. It can also be used in a room such as a child's bedroom that you want to shield from the rest of the home.

    You will need the following:
    DIRECTV Band Stop Filter (BSFR01) from Solid Signal)

    The following receivers do not receive the connected home signal:
    • D10
    • D11
    • D12
    • R10
    • R15
    • R16
    • H10
    • H20

    Of these, the D12 and R16 should have band stop filters if they are connected to the SWM outputs. Other receivers only connect to the legacy ports and do not need Band Stop filters.

    Installation is simple. Disconnect the satellite cable from the receiver and connect it to the band stop filter. Then, connect the attached coaxial cable on the filter to the receiver. The following diagram shows installation of a band stop filter.


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