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  #1  
Old 08-24-2012, 04:48 PM
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How to set up serial tuning on DirectTV+DVR.

There's something I can't figure out about this method of channel changing. Just about everything I see talks about using a USB to Serial cable, and then talking about a "virtual" USB to Serial connection. I have the DirectTV SD box and there is only a USB port on it, no serial port. My computer has the same thing, no serial port. If these solutions are using the USB port on the STB side, and a computer serial port, why can't you just use a USB to USB connection? What am I missing?
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freewheeling View Post
There's something I can't figure out about this method of channel changing. Just about everything I see talks about using a USB to Serial cable, and then talking about a "virtual" USB to Serial connection. I have the DirectTV SD box and there is only a USB port on it, no serial port. My computer has the same thing, no serial port. If these solutions are using the USB port on the STB side, and a computer serial port, why can't you just use a USB to USB connection? What am I missing?
Umm... did you maybe post to the wrong thread? Anyhow, I don't know the specifics, but, from what I've read, the USB port on some (all?) of the DTV boxes is actually acting like a serial port. In other words, it's not a "real" USB port. This is why you can't make a direct connection. The receiving USB port wouldn't understand the data being sent; however, a serial port has no issue interpreting it.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2012, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Skirge01 View Post
Umm... did you maybe post to the wrong thread? Anyhow, I don't know the specifics, but, from what I've read, the USB port on some (all?) of the DTV boxes is actually acting like a serial port. In other words, it's not a "real" USB port. This is why you can't make a direct connection. The receiving USB port wouldn't understand the data being sent; however, a serial port has no issue interpreting it.
Yeah, I didn't intend to post it to this thread but can't remember where I did intend to post it. Why couldn't you use a "virtual" software fix of some sort. I downloaded one but it has three different ways to set up the virtual com port: pipe, bridge, and input/output files. I can't figure out what the difference is, or which would be appropriate. A bridge might be the way to go, it seems, because you have a kind of "virtual serial device" on the STB side that's USB and an actual USB port on the other side. I have some USB to Serial conversion cables that are pretty old, but don't have an RS232 port to attach it so it's kind of useless.
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:55 AM
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Should I post the above in a separate thread?

I'm sure there's an answer to this, and it's not awfully technical. I just don't grasp it. My Win 7 64-bit box shows a number of "virtual" com devices. Two of them seem connected to my Blackberry.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2012, 02:28 PM
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How to set up serial tuning on DirectTV+DVR.

I decided to re-post this here, since I had posted it to the wrong thread. There's something I can't figure out about this method of channel changing for the DirectTV STB. Just about everything I see talks about using a USB to Serial cable, and then talk refers to a "virtual" USB to Serial connection at the OS level. I have the DirectTV SD box and there is only a USB port on it, no serial port. My computer has the same thing, no serial port. If these solutions are using the USB port on the STB side, and a computer serial port, why can't you just use a USB to USB connection instead of the USB to Serial cable? What am I missing?

I gather that the DirectTV USB isn't a real USB but acts like a serial port. So you'd need either a serial port on the computer side along with a USB to Serial cable, or a USB port that "acts like" a serial port and a USB female-to-male adapter. So, assuming I have the adapter, how do you get a USB port to act like a serial port. I downloaded a utility for setting that up but it has three options: pipe, bridge, and file-to-file and I don't know which to use or why, or if there's some other way to do this. I have a couple of "virtual" USB to COM virtual ports that are already set up for my Blackberry Bold, which was apparently done by the Blackberry software. So it must be possible, but I'm just too dense to see it.

Once there's a "virtual COM" all I need to do is point the SageTV software to that COM for tuning?

* merged *
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2012, 11:50 PM
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Just had the same problem.
See:
http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58863

The solution is to plug in a standard computer usb to serial adapter into the DirecTV reciever, and then use a "null modem" adapter to connect to a computer serial port, or, another usb/serial adapter.

BobPhoenix led me to the original thread with the solution.
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2012, 09:44 AM
bhyman1 bhyman1 is offline
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Look up IP channel changing, it's easier and better than using the serial port adapters. I used to use it when I still had Sage operating. Easy to set up.
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2012, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bhyman1 View Post
Look up IP channel changing, it's easier and better than using the serial port adapters. I used to use it when I still had Sage operating. Easy to set up.
Thanks. Although I have the cables from a few years ago I'm not sure how well they work any more and don't have an RS232 input anyway. Will check out IP channel changing. I'm currently using a USB UIRT, but for some reason my fluorescent light is interfering with it.
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2012, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by freewheeling View Post
Thanks. Although I have the cables from a few years ago I'm not sure how well they work any more and don't have an RS232 input anyway. Will check out IP channel changing. I'm currently using a USB UIRT, but for some reason my fluorescent light is interfering with it.
I can't find very much on this, but gather it involves using an internet connection from the box to your account. I don't have an internet connection to my box. I think you can do that with the HD-DVR models but not the SD model I have. I need to do the serial route, but it seems incredibly wasteful to use two USB-Serial cables with a null modem in between, which is what I gather would work. Seems like it would be a lot simpler to use some virtual software to assign a USB input to a COM port. There has to be a way to do this.
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2012, 04:54 PM
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I guess not, huh?

Amazing. No way to just do a USB to USB connection and have the USB on the computer side emulate RS 232?

Update: I found a shareware program that creates a "virtual RS232 port" but first had to create a "virtual null modem" between COM7 and COM8 and then activate the virtual RS232 port at COM7. I can look at the interaction and should be able to tell what protocols to employ, but I can't figure out how the virtual ports know which USB device to identify with. There's a whole lotta "black box" goin' on.

Last edited by freewheeling; 08-27-2012 at 09:00 PM.
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  #11  
Old 08-28-2012, 08:47 AM
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I did it the "pay" way. Even though I switched to IP Tuning for the HD boxes, I still have one SD box, without an RJ45 port that I use this with. I used a 'Patterson' device and a Syaba USB to Serial adapter. I had to install a PL231 driver (but I think Windows Update finds it for you). You may be able to find a Patterson on Ebay...they stopped making them IIRC.

The other way is 2 USB to Serial adapters with a 'Null' adapter in the middle. Both of the above are all over this site.

If you have an RJ45 port, and a home network, IP tuning is the cat's meow though. It doesn't use the internet, just your network.

P
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2012, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Polypro View Post
I did it the "pay" way. Even though I switched to IP Tuning for the HD boxes, I still have one SD box, without an RJ45 port that I use this with. I used a 'Patterson' device and a Syaba USB to Serial adapter. I had to install a PL231 driver (but I think Windows Update finds it for you). You may be able to find a Patterson on Ebay...they stopped making them IIRC.

The other way is 2 USB to Serial adapters with a 'Null' adapter in the middle. Both of the above are all over this site.

If you have an RJ45 port, and a home network, IP tuning is the cat's meow though. It doesn't use the internet, just your network.

P
Thanks. I found the other USB to RS232 cable, so I've got two and checked on the web under U232-P9 for a driver and found one for Win7 32 bit. Figure it'll probably work for 64bit too. So, with the null cable adding 15 feet I've got about 30 feet of cable to hook up 2 devices that are about 6 inches apart.

Don't hear the environment complainin' tho so I guess I'm alright. Will see how it turns out.
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2012, 10:47 PM
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Nope, I guess not.

That didn't work either. I didn't really expect it to. Too Rube Goldberg, so too many components that can go wrong. The USB to Seria cables require a driver, and though I have a driver for the one of the computer side the STB doesn't have a driver so don't see how that could work.

Still don't understand why I can't use virtual RS232 adapters at the USB hub, assuming the STB device already outputs a RS232 set of signals.

Guess I might have to get the HD version so I get the ethernet port. That also might have the benefit of giving me access to the actual files with I can modify with Show Analyzer (which is still the best commercial detector even though the software hasn't been updated since 2010).

Last edited by freewheeling; 08-28-2012 at 10:53 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2012, 08:00 AM
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I'm really confused about what you're trying to do and why. This method isn't acceptable to you?
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  #15  
Old 08-29-2012, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Skirge01 View Post
I'm really confused about what you're trying to do and why. This method isn't acceptable to you?
Can't get it to work. My serial to USB cables are old and cost about $50 apiece way back when. Perhaps they're out of date? Did you have to set up a driver for your serial to USB cable? If so, what about the other end? You're using two so why doesn' the other side have to use a driver? If you don't have to install a driver perhaps that explains why yours works and mine doesn't.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:25 AM
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OK, I ordered that stuff. What the heck, it's cheap, and my usb to serial cables are ancient. Also, the null modem I was using is about 20 feet long, so bit of overkill.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by freewheeling View Post
Can't get it to work. My serial to USB cables are old and cost about $50 apiece way back when. Perhaps they're out of date? Did you have to set up a driver for your serial to USB cable? If so, what about the other end? You're using two so why doesn' the other side have to use a driver? If you don't have to install a driver perhaps that explains why yours works and mine doesn't.
I paid about that for my Patterson cables if I remember correctly. Could you actually have a Paterson cable?

If you do all you should need is a single USB to serial converter. Then connect the USB to serial converter to the PC USB port and the serial end to the Patterson cable and the USB connector on the Paterson cable to the STB. I have one setup this way and another Patterson cable connected to a native serial port on my server controling my 2 SD boxes.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BobPhoenix View Post
I paid about that for my Patterson cables if I remember correctly. Could you actually have a Paterson cable?

If you do all you should need is a single USB to serial converter. Then connect the USB to serial converter to the PC USB port and the serial end to the Patterson cable and the USB connector on the Paterson cable to the STB. I have one setup this way and another Patterson cable connected to a native serial port on my server controling my 2 SD boxes.
I don't know what a Patterson cable is. I have two USB to Serial cables connected through a null modem. It worked for awhile but has now stopped working. Tried rebooting everything. I'm gonna give up and order the HD box.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:08 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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Originally Posted by freewheeling View Post
I don't know what a Patterson cable is. I have two USB to Serial cables connected through a null modem. It worked for awhile but has now stopped working. Tried rebooting everything. I'm gonna give up and order the HD box.
It looks like they might have went down in price or I'm remembering incorrectly. Anyway a Patterson cable looks like this.
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  #20  
Old 09-07-2012, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BobPhoenix View Post
It looks like they might have went down in price or I'm remembering incorrectly. Anyway a Patterson cable looks like this.
Sold out. Still not clear why my setup isn't working. It works for a minute or two and then stops.
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