MoCA and DECA – What’s the Difference? Or Is There One At All?

MoCA Logo I’ve seen a lot of confusion over MoCA and DECA in various forums recently, so I thought it was worth addressing. Mostly people saying that DirecTV uses ‘DECA’ and not MoCA, and they’re not compatible. This is both correct and incorrect.

MoCA is a standard for networking over coaxial cables in the home, set by the Multimedia over Coaxial Alliance. The standard takes its name from the group, like ATSC. For purposes of this post, MoCA is a standard.

DECA is DirecTV Ethernet-to-Coaxial Adapter. It is a piece of hardware. Not a standard.

So what is it hardware for? Simple – MoCA. Yes, DirecTV uses MoCA. The DECA is just the adapter needed to connect an DirecTV receivers Cat5 Ethernet port to the MoCA coaxial network.

Great, so if DirecTV uses MoCA and cable uses MoCA, it’s all good, right? Not quite. The MoCA Blog explained things well a year ago:

MoCA has specified 2 frequency bands at which the network can be operated: High-RF MoCA for Cable MSOs and Verizon FiOS from 850-1500 MHz, and Mid-RF MoCA for DirecTV from 500-850 MHz. Our more advanced readers may recognize that cable TV broadcasts below 850 MHz on the coax and satellite TV broadcasts above 950 MHz, hence the need for MoCA to avoid interfering with current signals on the line and 2 separate RF bands. Both versions of MoCA are being deployed primarily to enable the Multi-Room DVR feature available from all the major Pay TV providers.

So yes, it is all MoCA, but it is MoCA using two different frequency bands. So a DirecTV MoCA network will not interoperate with a a cable MoCA network. And you can run them over the same coax – cable MoCA would conflict with DirecTV’s video signal, and DirecTV MoCA would conflict with cable’s video signal. So if you’re running DirecTV over your home coax and you want to connect other devices to your MoCA network, such as a gaming console, you’ll need a DECA for that as well as you need mid-range MoCA.

Clear? Good.

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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  • http://twitter.com/hemo_jr Matt Hickman

    Does the hardware need to be dedicated for each of the MoCA frequency bands?  Or is there hardware that handles both? Perhaps with an auto negotiation capability similar to Ethernet?

  • http://twitter.com/hemo_jr Matt Hickman

    Does the hardware need to be dedicated for each of the MoCA frequency bands?  Or is there hardware that handles both? Perhaps with an auto negotiation capability similar to Ethernet?

  • http://twitter.com/hemo_jr Matt Hickman

    Does the hardware need to be dedicated for each of the MoCA frequency bands?  Or is there hardware that handles both? Perhaps with an auto negotiation capability similar to Ethernet?

  • http://twitter.com/hemo_jr Matt Hickman

    Does the hardware need to be dedicated for each of the MoCA frequency bands?  Or is there hardware that handles both? Perhaps with an auto negotiation capability similar to Ethernet?

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      In theory you could have one device that handles both ranges.  Think of dual-band WiFi products.  802.11b/g live in 2.4GHz, 802.11a lives in 5GHz.  802.11n lives in 2.4Ghz and/or 5GHz.  There are single-band 802.11b/g/n products and single-band 802.11a/n products, but there are also dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n products – and the dual-band units when running as 802.11n can combine the throughput of both frequency bands for a higher total throughput.

      There’s no reason you can’t have a dual-band MoCA adapter than boosted throughput in the same way.

      *Except* MoCA is almost exclusively used on coax that is also carrying cable or satellite signals.  And you can’t use mid-range MoCA on coax with cable, or high-range MoCA on coax with satellite.

      I’m not aware of any dual-band MoCA products.  The only application of mid-range MoCA I’m aware of is DirecTV, and they supply their customers directly with STBs with native support or the DECA for those that aren’t.  So there probably isn’t a large market for 3rd party vendors who might make a dual-band product that could be used with cable or DirecTV, just one band at a time.

      • http://twitter.com/hemo_jr Matt Hickman

        I was thinking of the Best Buy Insignia TVs with TiVo software.  There is a stated desire to connect to Direct TV’s  Multiroom viewing – which means DECA.  And there is a natural potential for access to any future TiVo streaming.  And is suppose to support MoCA. 

        A special model of each Insignia TV to access Direct TV and another to access TiVo streaming seems seems inefficient.  (Also, BB may be hoping to leverage any Direct TV TiVo drivers for their Insignia TiVo software in order for the TVs to support Direct TV multiroom)

      • http://twitter.com/hemo_jr Matt Hickman

        I was thinking of the Best Buy Insignia TVs with TiVo software.  There is a stated desire to connect to Direct TV’s  Multiroom viewing – which means DECA.  And there is a natural potential for access to any future TiVo streaming.  And is suppose to support MoCA. 

        A special model of each Insignia TV to access Direct TV and another to access TiVo streaming seems seems inefficient.  (Also, BB may be hoping to leverage any Direct TV TiVo drivers for their Insignia TiVo software in order for the TVs to support Direct TV multiroom)

        • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

          It may not have any built-in MoCA HW at all, relying on the Ethernet connection for streaming.  Which can be connected to an external MoCA ECB or DECA if needed.

  • http://twitter.com/67boogie Rick Moree

    I had been using powerline adapters to connect my Slingbox to my Directv receiver.  The powerline adapters stopped working and rather than replace them I purchased a 10/100/1000 switch and connected it to the DECA unit. I put a heavy load on the SWM by running multiple MRV streams on top of a Slingbox stream and it works flawlessly.  Your mileage may vary.

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  • Joe Friday

    Can I use slingbox without a cable box?

  • Joe Friday

    Can I use slingbox without a cable box?

  • Joe Friday

    Can I use slingbox without a cable box?

  • Joe Friday

    Can I use slingbox without a cable box?

  • Joe Friday

    Can I use slingbox without a cable box?

  • Joe Friday

    Can I use slingbox without a cable box?

  • Joe Friday

    Can I use slingbox without a cable box?

  • Joe Friday

    Can I use slingbox without a cable box?

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

    • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

      A Slingbox needs *something* to feed it an A/V signal. That could be a cable box, satellite receiver, TiVo, DVD player, external antenna tuner, etc. Different Slingboxes have different inputs available.

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