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JetreL 12-15-2009 03:29 PM

IR Blaster Ideas for Multiple DirectTV boxes
So for the last year I have been using USB to switch channels on my (2) Direct TV H23-600 receivers. This has been working great until just recently. I have tried for the last week or so with little success to get everything back up and running. So I am almost to the point to go to an IR blaster and wanted to get some feedback on what everyone is using to control more than one device. I have tried the IR blaster on the back of the HD-PVR with lackluster result. (It seems pretty hit or miss. Not to mention that I will not be able to control both boxes)

My current config:

(2) Direct TV H23-600 receivers (Channel changed with Patterson USB devices flashed to latest firmware.)
(2) HD-PVRs
(1) Hauppauge HVR-1600
(1) Silicondust HDHomeRun

*sigh* Any feedback or ideas anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated!

JetreL 12-15-2009 11:52 PM

*bump* Hmmm 38 views and no comments... common guys any feedback is better than none!

Oh I'll start it off who here has used the USB-UIRT what have been the successes? Does it work well controlling multiple devices of the same type. Any gotchas I should look out for? Is there a better solution that you have found that would work in my scenario?

I just purchased 2 new USB to SERIAL cables plus a null modem to test if that fixed the issue but would like to conquer the blaster config as well.

davephan 12-16-2009 12:21 AM

Yes, you can use one USB-UIRT to control multiple set top boxes. The USB-UIRT has three zones. If the set top boxes only have one IR channel, then you can control 3 set top boxes with one USB-UIRT. If the set top boxes can be setup with their own IR channels, then you can control many set top boxes, three times the number of set top box IR channels.

The DirecTV set top box can be controlled by a USB-UIRT or a serial cable. The USB-UIRT can control DirecTV, Dish, and Cable boxes. So, the USB-UIRT might be the best choice if you want to be flexible, switching between the providers, to get the best prices.

I believe the serial cable might switch faster. I never set it up when I had DirecTV. Before DirecTV I had Dish Network with the USB-UIRT. Now I have cable TV with the USB-UIRT. I am not loyal at all to the media providers. The best deal gets my business.

Many people have trouble trying to use the HD-PVR IR blaster. Some were able to use it. Others could not. I am one of the people who gave up on the HD-PVR IR blaster, and just use the USB-UIRT that I purchased long before the HD-PVR.

There's a lot of information about multizoning the USB-UIRT on the following link:

There are some nice diagrams on page 6.

Other details about the IR files are in the same link.

I bought a metal jacked 1/8" stereo plug from Radio Shack and used some of the spare Hauppage IRs, cutting off the factory connector and replacing it with the 1/8" stereo plug.


CollinR 12-16-2009 07:34 AM

Many use the USBUIRT for this, it's kinda the standard method.

JetreL 12-17-2009 03:27 AM

Well of course in typical fashion I figured out how to fix the USB issue by flashing the firmware on my Patterson devices back by two versions. This after I purchased all the stuff for the USB-UIRT. At least I will have it moving forward. (That would of made such a nice 2 TB Drive) Thanks davephan and CollinR. Your help is much appreciated!

Polypro 12-17-2009 06:16 AM

DirecTV and serial is love/hate. Once you figure out the process that gets it working again ON YOUR BOX, I still say its worth it over IR. My thing is that I have to shut down the computer...just rebooting the receivers won't bring it back. As always, you can email Tim Paterson. They have a rack of receivers running, and always know what software is being pushed to what box...and if it affects the Paterson.


bhyman1 12-17-2009 01:30 PM

What sort of trouble did you have with the H23-600's?

I have two of them working perfectly with serial channel changing.

I'm using two GWC brand usb-serial port adapters I got from Newegg and some null modem cables. The only trick is I have to do a red button reset on each box after a reboot. After that they work fine.

sdsean 12-18-2009 03:58 AM

yeah i have serial channel changing workign fine as well,.. . .done it with both standard iogear usb-serial adapters and with paterson cables (which took me forever to figure out).

that being said, if you are going the ir blaster route. . i would stick with the cable the the HD-PVRs come with and just make sure to use some electrical tape and tape to the ir receiver on the stb and cover it up. . .that way you get no interference.

jkhouw1 12-18-2009 09:53 AM

for multiple devices, I use a universal remote control using RF to a universal remote control ir blaster.

the ir blaster has 6 ir out's and each device programmed on the remote can be instructed to send to either a single out or to all of them. I have more than one device that have overlapping ir commands, and with this I can specify exactly where I want the signal to go.

I also dont always use the little ir emitters: if the device to be controlled has the 1/8" input jack, I just use a mono 1/8" cable directly from the ir blaster to the input jack on the device so its never really infra red at all and there is no chance of interference.

JetreL 12-19-2009 06:59 AM

Hey Guys,

Thanks again for all the great feedback. I was scratching my head at what all of a sudden happened to my serial channel change. I truly prefer it over ir-blaster when it works.

Just some follow-up on what I did to trouble shoot and what finally worked.
  • reboot sage server and direct tv server (pressing the red reset button)
  • verify patterson device was still passing data (connect serial and usb at same time. then run config utility to test what it was sending and receiving.)
  • test if fixes worked (after reboots)
  • search patterson firmwares for new one (if there was one flash the device) test (after reboots)
  • flash other firmwares to see if they work and test (which finally fixed it)
It had worked for me for over a year but one day just stopped. The funny thing is I cannot put my finger on exactly what fixed it. There is very little logging going on when the channel changing happens so most of my testing was a shot in th dark. Maybe that will be my next feature request to Sage. (better logging with more access to individualize what you are looking for)

Thanks again everyone!

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