31 Replies Latest reply: Sep 5, 2013 9:15 PM by kazz RSS

From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?

kazz

Years back DTV was beta testing Whole Home and it was free.  I have a very well-networked home with gigabit to all endpoints that aren't wireless.  I ran ethernet cables to each receiver, gave each a static IP address, and configured Whole Home on each receiver.  We loved the results after DTV ironed out a few bumps.  One day Whole Home disappeared.

 

Many months later Whole Home was a service advertised by DTV that required an installer and a monthly fee.  I called in to ask about it, explaining that it had been working well.  I was told I had to pay for installation and the equipment to make it work.  I explained I needed neither as it was working fine and I maintain a very robust network, etc.  I was directed to a technical person.  I explained how it had all been working for us prior to the end of the beta.  The tech didn't know much about networking but was at least willing to turn the service on to see if it would work.  And, lo and behold, it did.  DTV started charging me the $2.99/month (or however much it is) for the pleasure of using it.

 

A number of techs have been out over the years since: moving the dish, adding a receiver, moving a receiver, etc.  Each was at least confused with some curious about how I had it working.  But, again, it's been flawless (other than one wireless-bridge-connected DVR which was a signal strength issue since resolved).  One tech left me a DECA for each receiver saying I was paying for them and should have them even if I'm not using them.  The last tech, however, told me I was all wrong, was lucky, etc. as he installed a Genie.  One of his concerns was 'balancing' the system so that the same number of receivers are on either side of some switch or splitter or something.  And he was saying that the Whole Home as I had it set up would cause problems.  So I thought I'd seek an education and/or affirmation.

 

1. Am I the only one using an out-of-band ethernet network to run my Whole Home?

 

2. Is there some 'requirement' for using the DECAs either legally or technically?  If so, please explain.

 

3. Is there other equipment needed if I want to use DECAs?

 

Thank you for any constructive answers!

  • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
    dcd

    You are way way way behind times with this post.  The BETA of Whole Home was in fact free of charge and was a DIY operation from the get go.  When the DECA technology became available the Whole Home went mainstream and a $3 per month charge was imposed.  Those of us who wished to keep their Ethernet based system were allowed to convert to the new Whole Home while keeping the Ethernet connections.  At that time I had a email response suggested that worked well.  Directv had a person assigned to those requests and they honored them.  That email response suggestion was written on 8/9/2011.  You're welcome to try it but I'd guess the window for activating a non compliant system is well past.  Also note that many of the newer receivers require DECA and a SWM system.

     

    Go to your account online,
    copy your account number, then select Help -> contact us -> email ->
    select language -> fill in the blanks -> Topic "services" ->
    whole home DVR -> activate -> give them your account number, tell them
    you've been using beta and want the Whole Home DVR service activated using your
    own network and that you do not want to order DECA.

  • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
    kazz

    Perhaps I don't understand your reply but I'm not sure you read all of my post.  I do have Whole Home activated.  I do pay $3 per month.  It is working without issue.  I'll restate my questions:

     

    1) Do others use just ethernet to run Whole Home successfully?

    2) Are DECAs required for proper operation or DTV support?

    3) If I do use DECAs, what other equipment and infrastructure do I need?

     

    Thanks.

    • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
      dcd

      Sorry for the miscommunication.  You may not be the only one running an Ethernet based network but the number certainly shrinks over time.  What would you need to convert?  You'd need a SWM dish for starters.  DECA adapters are required for older receivers, models H or HR20 through H or HR 23.  From the 24 model up the DECA is built in.  And, you'd need a DECA BB adapter or a CCK-W to bridge your system to the router.  The main advantage of the DECA is it's a one wire system.

      • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
        gr8ful2u2

        I have done the same thing. Ethernet to most of my DVR's, perhaps one or two are Wifi.

         

        I did the free trial and now I pay the $3. (Should be free IMHO.)

         

        Why does he need a SWM, DECA BB adapter or a CCK-W? I plug my Ethernet or Wifi right into the DVR port. Everything works fine.

         

        I have 3 HR20-700's and one HR24.

        • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
          kazz

          The real answer to your question:

           

          You can run just ethernet to all of your receivers and have Whole Home (assuming DTV will turn it on and you're willing to pay the $3 per month).  I had two receivers connected to ethernet via wireless bridges.  All, again was working fine.  I was wondering what it would take to convert one or both to DECAs instead of using the wireless bridges.  I was told I needed a CCK.  I didn't want a wireless CCK, I wanted one that was coax only.  I was told in this thread that the HR34 I had recently installed acts as a CCK when attached to the ethernet.  So I converted one of my ethernet-connected receivers to using a DECA.  It works.  I'll be trying it with another receiver soon.

           

          There's nothing wrong with WiFi if your signal is good enough.

           

          I wanted to see if I could use a DECA on one or more receivers and have other receivers connected via ethernet.  I have some heavy obstructions that impact wireless.  So far using a mixed DECA and ethernet infrastructure for appropriate receivers is working since the HR34 has a built-in CCK.

           

          Basically, I'm trying to eliminate using wireless.  DECAs and the built-in CCK in the HR34 are making that happen.

           

          Does that clear things up?

  • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
    kazz

    Thanks.  That leaves one new question.  Can I have some ethernet and some DECA?  For instance, if I had a new location that didn't have an ethernet drop and I had the CCK-W and a DECA could I use that?  This may be a tricky one, I know!  I assume the CCK-W switches the data signal from the ethernet network over to run on the coax.  I assume it just acts like a bridge meaning the DECA'd receiver would see all the network, including the router and internet.  Hope this makes sense...

  • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
    shannon01

    You would only need the CCK-W and would connect it directly to the receiver with an Ethernet cable provided that it is lower than an H/HR24 and you can't use DECA without a SWM system so you can't have a mixed system.

    • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
      kazz

      Thanks, but let me draw up my situation:

       

      I have one HR21/200, three HR23/700s, and one HR34/700.  The HR34/700 is next to my router.  All of my receivers, otherwise, are connected via ethernet cable to my home network.

       

      My thought was to extend Whole Home, etc. to a receiver that does NOT benefit from an ethernet connection.  Can't I just plug the CCK-W into my router when properly connected to a SWM-powered splitter and install a DECA on the new receiver if it's under the HR24 model series?  Since the CCK-W would put any DECA-connected receiver on my network and the rest would already be on my network via ethernet cable, wouldn't they all be able to see each other?

      • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
        peds48
        No, you can't be because the HR34 is acting like the bridge.  installing another CCK will create IP conflicts
        • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
          peds48
          all you need to do is install a DECA of that receiver
        • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
          kazz

          I just had an outstanding call with a tech support (not customer service) rep at DTV.  She said what I'm looking for can be done with a CCK (I'd go CCK not CCK-W because I want the more dependable throughput of wired vs. wireless).  She said the HR44 has the built-in CCK not the HR34.  So I think, peds48, there would be no conflict with my HR34.  Do you agree?

           

          That brings up the whole question of what installers have to do to make multiple HR44s work as you'd have conflicts, but that's another thread entirely! LOL

           

          Thanks!

  • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
    peds48

    I disagree and it the same reason why DirecTV does not allow two Genies at this time (at least part of it).  CSR was confused. the HR44 was WiFI built in but both the HR34 and HR44 can be used in placed of a wired CCK, thus installing another CK will create IP conflicts

  • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
    peds48

    you can only prove it to yourself.  Instead of getting a CCK all you need is a DECA for the receiver and use the Genie as a CCK

    • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
      kazz

      And if it doesn't work you'll tell me I configured it wrong?  I have DECAs.  Do you have instructions?

      • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
        peds48

        kazz wrote:

         

        And if it doesn't work you'll tell me I configured it wrong? 

        Yup

      • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
        dcd

        The Directv Whole Home DVR system is slick as a bean and works reliably so long as it's configured properly.  What you propose to do (mixing BETA and supported) is asking for trouble.  A BETA system streams all of the programming in the Whole Home system through Ethernet cable via the router.  A DECA system streams all programming via a ninth channel in the coax and a router is not required.  In a supported system that has a Genie hard wired via Ethernet to the router, streaming of programming still uses the coax 9th channel, while Internet connection passes via the Genie to the Ethernet cable.

         

        As you can see, mixing the two technologies is a recipe for malfunction.  Rather that debate the issue, go ahead and hook it up.

        • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
          kazz

          dcd, some clarifications on what you replied:

           

          "A BETA system streams all of the programming in the Whole Home system through Ethernet cable via the router.  A DECA system streams all programming via a ninth channel in the coax and a router is not required."

           

          The 'beta' system uses an ethernet network to stream from receiver to receiver.  No 'router' is required.  A switch (or hub, old technology) however, is required.  That's why there's one built into most routers.  The router simply supplies access to an outside network, in most cases that is the internet.  The wireless access point of a router is also a separate function and does not include 'routing'.

           

          That said, the signal moving around on the coax can't possibly be moving as fast nor as efficiently as it does on a properly configured, switched ethernet network.  I'm certain it doesn't move at gigabit speeds and it has no layer 2 switching technology such as that built into the switch (often housed in a router but available standalone).

           

          What the CCK function does is enable the coax-connected, DECA-equipped receivers to send and retrieve information with devices not on the coax, e.g. the internet.  IP addresses will come from a DHCP server.  That DHCP server does NOT have to reside in the router and can be another device on the IP network.  All of this means that the coax is simply an extension of the ethernet network.  Anything on the ethernet can see any properly configured and connected DECA-equipped receiver and vice versa.

           

          "As you can see, mixing the two technologies is a recipe for malfunction."

           

          I strongly disagree.  While it's a more complicated configuration, perhaps, it has it's merits and should work flawlessly just like any other ethernet network configuration that uses any kind of bridge (e.g. wireless) to move the data to another medium (e.g. wireless or, in this case, coax).

           

          I'll be happy to post results here once I finally have any kind of DTV signal in my house again.  We're still waiting for a tech to arrive to fix the error 771.  I'm now considering purchasing a spare SWM16 and power inserter so I can further troubleshoot and repair my own DTV infrastructure.

           

          I thank you all very much for your input here.  Especially the information that the H34 has an internal CCK.  It would be nice if DTV tech support were as informed on their products as many here.

          • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
            dcd

            I'm curious as to why you posted the question if you already had a multi-paragraph answer prepared?  If you simply wanted to debate you should forewarn us so we don't waste our time.

            • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
              kazz

              I didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings.  If you'll read my post I had 3 valid questions.  Does anybody use just ethernet? Does DTV support just ethernet? What other equipment and configuration is required to get it all off of ethernet.  You folks helped.  Again, thanks.

               

              I don't want to debate any of it.  I just know the networking side and am trying to understand the DTV interpretation through hardware, etc.

  • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
    peds48

    A DECA network is as capable as a 100 Base T Ethernet network.  as a matter of fact, of NICs inside the DirecTV receivers are 100Base T.  so a "gigabit" network is no use for DirecTV

  • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
    peds48

    Yes I run all Ethernet, but I have personal reasons>  DirecTV will never support Ethernet networks but this does not mean they will shut you down if you are

  • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
    kazz

    An update here:

     

    Apparently the HR34 Genie *DOES* have a CCK coax in it (not wireless).  I unplugged one of my ethernet-connected HR23-700s from the ethernet cable and installed a DECA.  Voila, it worked!

     

    This receiver doesn't get used that much.  It's the one I'm going to retire as soon as all of the shows on it have been watched.  It used to be where the Genie is now.  The ethernet run to that location has been via a wireless bridge.  I have one other HR23-700 in the same boat but it gets used a lot.  I wanted to try it out on the less-used receiver for now.  I'll move the other to DECA-connected shortly and see how that goes.

     

    So, at the moment, I have 5 receivers all on Whole Home (or MRV, Multi-Room Viewing, as the tech called it).  One is DECA connected and the rest are ethernet.  With few demands on the DECA-connected receiver, all's working well so far.

     

    Thank you again for everyone's input here!

  • Re: From Beta to Live But Doing It Wrong?
    peds48

    because on size does NOT fits all.  While wireless might work for you (consider yourself lucky) is does not work for the majority of folks.  the DECA/SWM is a very reliable network configuration