DirecTV Serial/USB channel changing for DVBLink for HD-PVR

Many people have trouble setting up serial/usb channel changing using DVBLink, DirecTV and Windows 7.  I am going to show you the software, hardware and steps I used to get channel changing that is 99% accurate (sometimes it misses the NFL Sunday Ticket HD sub channels).

Software used

  • HDPVR IrBlaster Bridge - This is a drop in replacement for the Hauppauage IR Blaster DLL. It currently supports talking directly to the DirecTV STB via the serial port.
  • (Optional) DirecTV Channel Control v1.0- This is a utility that will allow you to change channels and control your external direcTV set top box using the low speed data connection (home control) port in the back of the receiver.  This is only needed for the NFL Sunday Ticket HD

Hardware used

  • DB9, F/F, Null Modem Mini Type – monoprice
  • 2 USB to Serial Convert Cables (DB9M/USB B female converter and USB A/B cable) – monoprice

Steps to setup

Install HDPVR Ir Blaster Bridge.

Connect the USB to Serial Convert Cables to the DB9 Null Modem and install the drivers.

Setup DVBLink to use the HDPVR IrBlaster Bridge or the custom hooks(Optional).

Update

I forgot to include one important part.  You need to edit the HDPVRIrBlaterBridge.dll.config file to match the COM port of your USB to Serial Cable.  It is located by default in “C:\Program Files\ExpressIS\HDPVR IR Blaster Bridge\”

Optional

NFL Sunday Ticket and some of the other DirecTV sports packages use sub channels for the HD channels (ex. 703-1).  I had to use the following to allow me to be able to correctly change channels to the sub channels.

Download DirecTV Channel Control.  Extract it to a folder, I just put the directv.exe in C:\ to make it easy to find.

Edit the change-channel.cmd file located at C:\Program Files\DVBLogic\DVBLink\Data\HDPVR\Hooks.  My channel-change.cmd code change-channel.

Conclusion

After follwing the above steps I was able to have 99% accurate channel changes through USB.  It was faster and more reliable than using an IR blaster and it only cost about $18 for the extra cables and adapters.

 

Posted in HTPC Tagged with: , , ,
19 comments on “DirecTV Serial/USB channel changing for DVBLink for HD-PVR
  1. Ryan says:

    Hello,

    I am attempting a similar setup, but i cannot get past the setup of DVBLink. The instructions are somewhat unclear as to how to set the headends and run the scan. Could you contact me to walk me through this portion of the install? I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

  2. David Woody says:

    Check out my step by step instructions at http://woodyfamilycinema.com/?p=28

  3. Sean says:

    Hello,

    When using the DirecTV Serial Port channel changing, I’m curious about something:

    For the dash channels you have this:

    c:\directv.exe -port COM3 -box D10100 -key %CHANPRE%dash1select

    In my setup, I have patterson devices for 2 of my HD-PVRs, but for one of them I’m using a null modeum to usb.

    My question is how do I know what to enter for the -box argument?
    It looks like in your code you are using a DirecTV D10-100 STB.

    I have 2 HD-21s, and one H2-20. How do I know what to use for that line in the ocmmand file?

  4. David Woody says:

    The DirecTV D10-100 STB code will work with the newer recievers. I am using a HD-20 and it works fine.

  5. brian says:

    David,

    i am using the paterson tech tv translator serial cable. i downloaded and installed the hdpvr blaster bridge and selected its dll file as the “built in pvr blaster” in the dvb link configuration tool. for some reason, i cannot get the channels to change. they change in the paterson tech configuration tool, but do not with dvb link or windows media center. do you know what i’m doing wrong? is it because i’m using a serial port on the computer?

    thanks,

    brian

  6. brian says:

    also, the serial card is on com9 and i am using windows 7 64 bit, if that makes a difference. i appreciate any help you could give me.

  7. brian says:

    Nevermind, I found a solution!

    After I installed the program, I had to edit the HDPVRBlasterBridge.dll.config file to change the COM port to the one the TV Translator was using (it was using port 9 and the config file defaulted to port 3).

    I changed the config file with the free trial of the program UltraEdit:
    http://www.ultraedit.com/products/ultraedit/ultraedit_feature_map.html

    Now it works!! This is awesome! Thank you so much for posting the directions and link to the HDPVRirblaster program!

  8. Mike says:

    Hi!
    I’m just getting into the HD PVR game and am having a lot of fun so far.

    Anyway I have a DTV HD box connected to my HDPVR via component cables. That’s connected to my PC via USB 2.0. I purchased the 2 USB to serial connectors and the null modem connector and have it connected to the PC and DTV box. I installed the IRBlaster bridge and it shows up on COM3 under hardware properties. Everything looks good but it does not change the channels. Any ideas? This looks really cool, especially if it will increase the speed and accuracy of the default IRBlaster. (It stinks!)

    Thanks for your help!

    Mike

  9. Mike says:

    Also… I did setup the blaster as per your instructions in the HD PVR properties box.

  10. David Woody says:

    Mike,
    I updated the post with the info that might help you. Here is what I added:

    I forgot to include one important part. You need to edit the HDPVRIrBlaterBridge.dll.config file to match the COM port of your USB to Serial Cable. It is located by default in “C:\Program Files\ExpressIS\HDPVR IR Blaster Bridge\”

  11. Mike says:

    Thanks David, but I checked that. ATEN USB to serial shows up under hardware manager on com 3. I also tried turning off my firewall just to test. It still does not work.

    Is there anything I need to do on the DTV box?

  12. Terry says:

    Since my Directv STB (H20) only has a USB connector on the back panel, is the actual hookup as follows:

    - Computer’s serial port (DB9) to null-modem
    - Null modem to USB/Serial converter
    - USB/Serial Adapter to Directv STB USB port

  13. Terry says:

    The answer is yes. And yes, I’ve answered my own question.

    One more question – should I create a seperate “HDPVRIrBlaterBridge.dll.config” file for each of the serial ports/STBs I have (with the proper com references)? Two in this case.

  14. Terry says:

    Should I create a seperate “HDPVRIrBlaterBridge.dll.config” file for each of the serial ports/STBs I have (with the proper com references)? Two in this case.

  15. Terry says:

    Do I create a copy of the installed HDPVRIrBlasterBridge folder and files for control of a second Directv STB?

  16. Mike says:

    Hi David!

    Still not working. What’s next!

  17. Terry Dabis says:

    Mike,

    I just got this working with two Directv HD20 STBs without any problem at all. Actually, I was surprised that it installed so easily.

    So I thought I would try to help out. Just to be clear, what Mike is describing here is a setup for one STB. He is using a USB to serial converter connected to one of his computers USB ports. He then connects the DB9, via a female to female null modem adapter (or cable), to the DB9 of a second USB to serial converter. This is then connected to the STB’s USB.

    What I did was bought a dual serial PCI card (Monoprice #187) and two female to female null modem cables (Monoprice #477). I already had the USB to serial converters.

    This might be where you are having your problem – the USB to Serial converters need to be of a specific type as specified here:

    http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Controlling_DirecTV_Set_Top_Box_(STB)_via_USB_or_Serial

    Basically you want a converter with:

    USB Vendor ID= 0x067B
    USB Product ID= 0×2303

    This can be determined by installing the converter on a computer (as if you just wanted to add a serial port) and then looking at the properties of the serial port it created in Device Manager. One of the tabs is “Details” and you can select the above IDs from the drop-down list to see the values. They should match those above.
    I then connected the null modem cables to the serial ports on the computer (via the card) and the USB to Serial converters. The end of this was connected to the STB’s USB port.

    I installed the HDPVR IrBlaster Bridge software and copied it to a second folder. Then I changed the config files in each folder to match the port numbers of the card added (com4 and com5 in my case). Once I setup the DVBLink as Mike describes for each of the two instances, it worked perfectly.

    I hope this helps.

    Terry

  18. Terry says:

    Do you have any setting suggestions for DVBLink to speed up the channel changes with this setup?

  19. Craig says:

    Thank you for this great information. For those that cannot get this working, make sure you reset the Directv box after plugging in the USB to serial cable (red button by card access). I was not able to communicate with the box until I tried this. Also, I am can confirm Dynex DX-UBDB9 adapters from Best Buy work.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "DirecTV Serial/USB channel changing for DVBLink for HD-PVR"
  1. [...] Instructions on setting up DirectTV and USB/Serial channel changing: here [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>