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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 04-26-2009, 07:25 AM
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davephan davephan is offline
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Serial USB Control of DirecTV D12-300

I have D12-300 DirecTV set top boxes that have USB connectors. I know the Patterson device can directly attach for changing channels. However, someone posted a cheaper way to do it with a USB to serial cable. Are there cheaper ways to do the USB channel changing, or is the Patterson device the best choice?

I have a USB-UIRT, but sometimes things move around a bit, and the optical control stops working. I think the USB control is supposed to be a lot faster too. Maybe it is time to break down and change to USB control of the DirecTV set top box.

Dave
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2009, 12:22 PM
Tiger62 Tiger62 is offline
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*******Edited!!!******

Yes, there is a cheaper way. For about $13.87 plus shipping, from monoprice.com. I just implemented this and it works like a charm.

USB-to-serial adapter (2 @ $6.34 ea)
db9 F/F Null Modem (1 @ $1.19 ea)

1. Put the two adapters back-to-back with the db9 Null Modem between them.
2. Plug one of the cables into a USB port on the PC and install the driver included.
2. Using Control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager, find out which COM port has been assigned to the USB/Serial device. (Write it down.)
3. In Sage, Setup Video Sources, select the Serial control and set the COM port.
4. In Sage, Detailed Setup, Customize, set Directv Serial Channel changing mode to "FAST".
5. Plug other end of adapter cable into DirecTV USB port.
That's all there is to it. It has worked flawlessly for me for about three weeks. (Using HR-20 receiver)

Last edited by Tiger62; 04-28-2009 at 03:44 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2009, 02:31 PM
71_Cuda 71_Cuda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger62 View Post
Yes, there is a cheaper way. For about $13.45 plus shipping, from monoprice.com. I just implemented this and it works like a charm.

USB-to-serial adapter (2 @ $6.34 ea)
db9 F/F Gender changer (1 @ $.77 ea)
Is that the exact parts you used? I thought you had to use a null modem (this part). I guess the part you listed could work the same way. I'm using the part I linked to and they work just fine.

Also, to the OP...
If you have an available serial port on your computer, you only need one of the USB-to-Serial adapters. You can plug the null modem directly into the serial port on the back of the motherboard, and then plug the adapter cable between it and the DirecTV STB. This brings the cost down to about $7.87 plus shipping.

I am actually running two DirecTV boxes (1 x H20 and 1 x HR20). I have one going directly from the serial port on my MB and the other from a USB port. So I'm using 3 of the USB-to-Serial adapters and 2 Null Modems.

Last edited by 71_Cuda; 04-29-2009 at 08:36 AM.
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  #4  
Old 04-28-2009, 03:43 PM
Tiger62 Tiger62 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71_Cuda View Post
Is that the exact parts you used? I thought you had to use a null modem
You are absolutely correct! My post above has been edited to show the correct parts. Thank you.
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  #5  
Old 04-28-2009, 07:30 PM
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Thanks for the responses!

I would really like to improve the reliability of the channel control. I understand it is faster than the USB-UIRT too, but I don't know how much faster.

Dave
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2009, 09:11 AM
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troyt troyt is offline
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Interesting concept. I'm short on USB ports though.

I was looking through monoprice.com, and they have a 2 port serial PCI card. I have an older motherboard that has 4 pci slots (and 2 PCI express slots)

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

Looks to me like that might work too, but it would also require a null modem gender bender.

All and all a cleaner (and cheaper?) solution to using IR blasters.

Thoughts?
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  #7  
Old 05-30-2009, 10:28 AM
bhyman1 bhyman1 is offline
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I have a 2 port PCI serial card in my server, works great along with the one onboard serial port. Just use one USB-Serial adapter and the null modem and you're set.
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2015, 02:48 AM
nettech_gt nettech_gt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger62 View Post
*******Edited!!!******

Yes, there is a cheaper way. For about $13.87 plus shipping, from monoprice.com. I just implemented this and it works like a charm.

USB-to-serial adapter (2 @ $6.34 ea)
db9 F/F Null Modem (1 @ $1.19 ea)

1. Put the two adapters back-to-back with the db9 Null Modem between them.
2. Plug one of the cables into a USB port on the PC and install the driver included.
2. Using Control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager, find out which COM port has been assigned to the USB/Serial device. (Write it down.)
3. In Sage, Setup Video Sources, select the Serial control and set the COM port.
4. In Sage, Detailed Setup, Customize, set Directv Serial Channel changing mode to "FAST".
5. Plug other end of adapter cable into DirecTV USB port.
That's all there is to it. It has worked flawlessly for me for about three weeks. (Using HR-20 receiver)

I recently switched from Dish to DTV. I want to setup serial tuning. (I don't have enough available ports for HTTP tuning) I purchased the above mentioned parts from Mono Price to use with my H24 receivers. And followed the instructions. My computer sees the serial adapters but when I try to change my tuning method in SageTV nothing is listed as an option to select...? I installed the serial adapters with the Prolific drivers dated 6/5/15. And also used the Prolific utility the tells you the chipset. Mine are PL-2303 XA/HXA. I read on the MythTV wiki that anything other then the PL-2303 don't work. Could this be why SageTV doesn't see it? Or am I doing something wrong? THANX!
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2015, 10:57 AM
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Olias Olias is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nettech_gt View Post
I don't have enough available ports for HTTP tuning
I recently rebuilt my Sage server (from XP to Win 7) and decided to use http tuning instead of serial on my two DTV boxes. For $8.93 you can pick up a network switch to add ports.
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2

If you can't get serial tuning to work this may be a workable option.
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2015, 06:04 PM
aaronb aaronb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olias View Post
I recently rebuilt my Sage server (from XP to Win 7) and decided to use http tuning instead of serial on my two DTV boxes. For $8.93 you can pick up a network switch to add ports.
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2

If you can't get serial tuning to work this may be a workable option.
Yeah, a switch is very cheap, I wouldn't rule out HTTP tuning for lack of ports
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  #11  
Old 06-30-2015, 09:06 AM
nettech_gt nettech_gt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olias View Post
I recently rebuilt my Sage server (from XP to Win 7) and decided to use http tuning instead of serial on my two DTV boxes. For $8.93 you can pick up a network switch to add ports.
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2

If you can't get serial tuning to work this may be a workable option.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronb View Post
Yeah, a switch is very cheap, I wouldn't rule out HTTP tuning for lack of ports
Well... in my situation I use managed switches. (multiple VLANs) So a used one is $70 and the two GBICs I would need to stack them is another $50. That is double what I paid for the USB to serial adapters. Not to mention the extra time to configure the new switch etc.

Thankfully I think I have serial tuning working now. I had to delete all my sources and start from scratch. We'll see if serial tuning proves to be reliable or not. If not then I guess I'll be getting another switch and setup IP tuning.
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2015, 01:32 AM
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newyankee newyankee is offline
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I've been using this "serial" tuning method for years, it has been rock solid.
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