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Thread: DirectTV IR Help Needed

  1. #1
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    Question DirectTV IR Help Needed

    Just moved to a new house & had to leave FIOS. I now have DirectTV and cannot get IR codes working correctly for the STB they gave me. The box I received is a "D12MP-500" or "D12-500". I'm not sure which one it is since the box has 2 differnt model numbers stamped on the back. From the IR Server Suite tools, it appars the hex codes for the same button change each time its pressed. After many attemps of testing the same buttn [0] i did not notice the same hex code twice. Is there any way to get this working correctly or are my fun loving PVR days just come to an end? Any help would be appreciated.
    PVR Specs: Intel D945GCLF2 [Atom 330], 2GB RAM RAM, 1TB SATAII HD, Hauppauge HVR1600, Lite-On 20X DVDRW, Small Mini-ITX case, Hauppauge MCE IR Remote/Blaster, DirecTV D12-500 STB -- Windows XP SP3, GBPVR v1.4.7, Official Hauppauge drivers & Intervideo Decoder, IR Server Suite, Wireless MediaMVP (for TV in bedroom).

  2. #2
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    *** bump ***
    PVR Specs: Intel D945GCLF2 [Atom 330], 2GB RAM RAM, 1TB SATAII HD, Hauppauge HVR1600, Lite-On 20X DVDRW, Small Mini-ITX case, Hauppauge MCE IR Remote/Blaster, DirecTV D12-500 STB -- Windows XP SP3, GBPVR v1.4.7, Official Hauppauge drivers & Intervideo Decoder, IR Server Suite, Wireless MediaMVP (for TV in bedroom).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by turajb View Post
    Just moved to a new house & had to leave FIOS. I now have DirectTV and cannot get IR codes working correctly for the STB they gave me. The box I received is a "D12MP-500" or "D12-500". I'm not sure which one it is since the box has 2 differnt model numbers stamped on the back. From the IR Server Suite tools, it appars the hex codes for the same button change each time its pressed. After many attemps of testing the same buttn [0] i did not notice the same hex code twice. Is there any way to get this working correctly or are my fun loving PVR days just come to an end? Any help would be appreciated.
    I have seen one remote that toggled back and forth between two different codes with each press, but this sounds new.
    I haven't used IR Server Suite, but maybe you can just learn one hex code for each button (shouldn't matter which one) and see if the STB responds consistently.
    If DirectTv has implemented something to "encourage" customers to use their PVR solution, then they might have broken the capability to use one of those third-party remotes that can control multiple boxes. I would call their technical support and ask them what third-party multi-system remotes will work with their box. Maybe the third-party remote would have a consistent IR sequence that you could use to train IR Server Suite.
    Or you could switch satellite providers. I don't think their competitor has implemented anything like that (I got my system less than a year ago, and I learned the codes in GBPVR using my MCE beanbag).

  4. #4
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    Well in a nutshell, I found the answer to my IR issue - a DirectTV tech rep recently confirmed that the new D12-500 STB encrypts all of the remote's IR signals, except the power button. The IR codes are different each time the same button is pressed, so there is no way to learn the IR codes. In my testing, I was able to confirm this. I was also lead to believe by the rep that the USB port on the back of the unit either has been turned off or will be turned off upon the next automatic STB firmware update, so trying to get a serial->usb cable working is pretty much a waste of time. I would need to obtain an older STB such as a D10 or D11, which do not encrypt the IR signals. However the local installer checked & they do not have any older STBs currently. However it was recommended that I contact DirectTV's main office directly & see if they will offer an exchange. All the gory details are noted within the same post on the BYOPVR.com forum.
    PVR Specs: Intel D945GCLF2 [Atom 330], 2GB RAM RAM, 1TB SATAII HD, Hauppauge HVR1600, Lite-On 20X DVDRW, Small Mini-ITX case, Hauppauge MCE IR Remote/Blaster, DirecTV D12-500 STB -- Windows XP SP3, GBPVR v1.4.7, Official Hauppauge drivers & Intervideo Decoder, IR Server Suite, Wireless MediaMVP (for TV in bedroom).

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up

    Just a fast follow up to note that I finally found/implemented a working solution with my PVR & a DirecTV D12-500 STB.

    As those following this post would be aware, the DirectTV STB (model: D12-500) I was provided was a PITA. It took me a while to figure out that an IR Blaster solution wouldn't work. This was because the IR signals from the remote are encrypted & the IR code change each time the same button was pressed. I also learned this appeared to be limited to only the new D12 STBs. Older DirectTV STB models [such as the D10's & D11's] don't have encrypted IR signals & could work just fine with IR blasters.

    Anyways, my final working solution with my PVR & D12 STB, was to use a special Serial-to-USB cable. I purchased the "USB TV Translator" from Paterson Technology [http://www.patersontech.com/]. And to control the channels, I used the "DirecTVChannelControl" app from the GBPVR Wiki [http://gbpvr.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/U...hannelControl]. The "RCA" boxtype & "NEW" command set options with the "DirecTVChannelControl" app worked perfectly. Since its implementation, all PVR channel changing has been flawless.

    Also to follow up on being told that DirecTV had/was going to disable the the USB port on the back of the D12 STB, that was apparently a lie. I was informed by a much more knowledgeable DirecTV installer (who had to fix some coax issues at my new house left by the last installer), that the firmware used by the D12 STB is the same used for the D10 & D11 STB. As such, they share the same features that are enabled/disabled within each firmware upgrade -- like the phone/USB port on the back of the box. Long story short, DirecTV cannot disable the USB port as they have a deal with Tivo to support their devices & they need to leave these ports active for the Tivo's STB channel changes. So unless something major happens, the USB port of this STB should remain active for quite a while.

    Overall, I'm very happy that I have my PVR back. Boy did I miss not not being able to record all my shows for the last several weeks. I'm also glad I didn't have to deal with the WAF side of things. Because if I was married, this PVR switch from FIOS to DirecTV would have put the PVR's WAF into the toilet.


    PS - In case anyone wants to know, I did test some homemade cables, some other types of IR blasters & some related software solutions. None of them really panned out, except for 1 (which worked, but weirdly).

    I tested the Windows "directv.pl" perl script (v1.9) that was ported from MythTV. That script can be found here (http://www.pdp8.net/directv/directv.shtml) for those that want to look at it. Anyways on my PVR, that perl script couldn't communicate with my D12 STB when it was run by itself. But it did work perfectly when I had the Paterson Technology's "TV Translator Configuration Utility" app running with the Test Window open. I think this may have been due to the TV Translator Config's test window forcing the serial port to remain active/on.

    In either case, when I used the perl script with its D11 STB setting, it accepted & processed each of the channel changes. I simply did not keep this solution, since I did not want to leave a program open on the desktop 24/7 with a test window open, just so I could pass channel changes directly to the STB. I knew there had to be a better solution.

    Since I was in a hurry to get my PVR back online, I never really followed up on why it worked only in that usage condition. Either way, I suspect with a bit of research & tweaking, that perl script would work perfectly. Maybe someone else can use my results to get the "directv.pl" perl script working entirely on its own.

    Now that all done, its time for a beer & to watch some PVR TV.
    PVR Specs: Intel D945GCLF2 [Atom 330], 2GB RAM RAM, 1TB SATAII HD, Hauppauge HVR1600, Lite-On 20X DVDRW, Small Mini-ITX case, Hauppauge MCE IR Remote/Blaster, DirecTV D12-500 STB -- Windows XP SP3, GBPVR v1.4.7, Official Hauppauge drivers & Intervideo Decoder, IR Server Suite, Wireless MediaMVP (for TV in bedroom).

  6. #6
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    Damn, I wish I had seen this earlier. I am having Directv installed tomorrow. I will not have a D12 DVR, should be an H21 or H22, but if that's the case, it's a deal breaker. I also use a MX 500 universal remote, and that wouldn't work either.

  7. #7
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    The D12 is not a DVR, its a standard-definition STB. I have it slaved to my PVR for channel tuning purposes.

    The H21 & HR22 are high-definition STBs & supported by that cable. Unfortunately, I have no idea if these STB's have encrypted IR signals - so you may need to do your own research there.

    Anyway it shouldn't be that bad, since I know my solution works. Its very likely it will work for you as well. You will need to purchase that cable I noted about & use that free channel changing utility. That cable does have a 45 day return policy. Additionally, you should still be able to use your remote with an IR receiver to catch the remote signals & pass them to your PVR. That is what I'm still doing with my Hauppauge MCE IR remote.

    Hope this helps...
    PVR Specs: Intel D945GCLF2 [Atom 330], 2GB RAM RAM, 1TB SATAII HD, Hauppauge HVR1600, Lite-On 20X DVDRW, Small Mini-ITX case, Hauppauge MCE IR Remote/Blaster, DirecTV D12-500 STB -- Windows XP SP3, GBPVR v1.4.7, Official Hauppauge drivers & Intervideo Decoder, IR Server Suite, Wireless MediaMVP (for TV in bedroom).

  8. #8
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    I have a H21-200, and I use the serial port to change the channels.

    No idea if the IR is encrypted or not.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by scb147 View Post
    No idea if the IR is encrypted or not.
    This is probably a stupid Q, but why would they want to encrypt the IR? Are they trying to prevent 3rd party IR controllers? (I suppose they make more money if they sell replacement IR controllers.) Do they want to stop HTPCs so they can sell more DVR boxes? (How many geek HTPC users are there?)

    What am I missing?

  10. #10
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    This is probably a stupid Q, but why would they want to encrypt the IR? Are they trying to prevent 3rd party IR controllers? (I suppose they make more money if they sell replacement IR controllers.) Do they want to stop HTPCs so they can sell more DVR boxes? (How many geek HTPC users are there?) What am I missing?
    Since I'm not the president of DirecTV, nor the engineer of the DirecTV D12-500 STB, I can only make educated guesses.

    My best guess would be that DirecTV wants to force users to only use their propriety remotes & services. Maybe to block out other universal remotes or something like that. It also prevents 3rd party PVR, DVR & similar recording devices from easily utilizing their STBs.

    Just look at what the TV industry did with the restrictions they placed on using CableCards with PCs -- is that enough said???

    In short, its all about keeping users renting their equipment & limiting them to only their offered TV services. This keeps the money rolling in & keeps the user in debt to that company in more ways then one.

    If you look at all the stuff we have to go through to get our PVR working & all the things we needed to research/learn, most people after weeks of failures/problems to get things working correctly, would just throw up their hands in disgust & simply subscribe to their TV provider's DVR service just to get things over with.

    It all comes down to money my friend. It simply another way to get users locked into using only their offered hardware & services.

    At least that is my take on it.
    PVR Specs: Intel D945GCLF2 [Atom 330], 2GB RAM RAM, 1TB SATAII HD, Hauppauge HVR1600, Lite-On 20X DVDRW, Small Mini-ITX case, Hauppauge MCE IR Remote/Blaster, DirecTV D12-500 STB -- Windows XP SP3, GBPVR v1.4.7, Official Hauppauge drivers & Intervideo Decoder, IR Server Suite, Wireless MediaMVP (for TV in bedroom).

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