Control Your DirecTV Receiver From Your DVR Via USB

Early DirecTV receivers had serial ports which allowed TiVo, ReplayTV, and other DVRs to control them without using IR blasters. Serial provides a more reliable control connection as there is no chance of interference or having the IR emitters moved while cleaning, etc. And it offers a bidirectional communication channel so the DVR can confirm the change. But later model DirecTV receivers dropped the serial port, forcing users of third party DVRs to use IR blasters.

I just became aware of another solution. Paterson Technologies offers a serial to USB adapter which allows users of TiVo, ReplayTV, ShowStopper, BeyondTV, SageTV, MythTV, and Windows Media Center to control the DirecTV model D11, D12, H20, H21, H32, HR20, and HR21 receivers. It is more than just a simple serial to USB cable, there is some intelligence built in such as the ability to map channels so you can have your DVR, say, tuning channel ’4′ and the satellite receiver actually being tuned to channel 4-1 for OTA ATSC. You can configure it by connecting the adapter to a PC.

It isn’t a cheap option at $42, but for those using 3rd party DVRs with newer DirecTV receivers it may be worth it for the reliability of serial over IR, and the channel mapping abilities. You can check it out for yourself.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • Ben Drawbaugh

    It’s been possible to control the DirecTV STBs with a cheap RS-232 to usb adapter since as along as I can remember, but it’s good to see a more universal approach with additional features.

    • Anonymous

       I assume that it is possible because i also heard about its control from my colleague who still using Direct TV. All users are still waiting for its new features. Hope we will see as soon.

  • greg_burns

    Bought one of these gizmos for my dad’s S2 last year (he has the H20-600 HD DirecTv receiver).

    Channel changing is instantaneous, unlike RF (which, while works, is problematic to setup for the H20). I really wasn’t expecting the instant channel changing! I had gotten so used to seeing the the 3 digits appear 1 second at a time.

    Was it worth $50? Maybe, maybe not. But it sure does work well.

  • Gryphon

    The home automation port’s still there on at least one more recent (within the last year or two) DTV receiver model, but for some reason DTV deliberately gimped the box’s OS so that it only partially works. Mine, for example, can’t be ordered to change to any channel below 100 through the port, which prevents me from viewing the local channels (all of which have numbers down in the old VHF range). Annoying, but nowhere near as annoying as constantly recording the wrong thing because of IR Blaster failure.

  • MegaZone

    So what model receiver do you have. Maybe I should get you one of these to do a review on. :-)

  • Gryphon

    Investigation reveals that it’s one of the later-rev D10s, so apparently this gadget won’t work with it. (I presumably thought it was a more recent model than it is because I received it fairly recently, but then, there’s no telling how long it sat on a shelf in a warehouse before that.)