my DirecTV installation, tips, & discoveries

This page is definitely under construction


I talk about my experience starting in 1996, then my 2023 upgrade to the new client-server architecture.

I won't spend a lot of time on the older hardware, as the 1996 system evolved. Below are some hardware model numbers and descriptions:

  • Genies are a traditional receiver and server in one, while the most recent doesn't go on a TV itself and only supports clients.
    • Genie: HR34, HR44, HR54 / HR54R1
    • Genie Lite: H44
    • Genie-2: HS17
    • HR = HDDVR
    • HS = Headless Server
    • H = HD receiver (but Lite has optional DVR upgrade kit to function similar to HR44)

Overview & my introduction to DTV story

I have been a DirecTV customer since about 1996 or so. In about 1986 or so, I decided my TV was really shot and I wanted a high definition TV. I went to the TV store, and wow! what a difference. Bought a TV, brought it home and what??!!! it looked terrible. We often had outages so I suspected the cable. As a ham radio operator, I had a bit of understanding and a fellow ham had just purchased a small cable TV company. I told him what I suspected, and he loaned me a cable signal meter, that measured the signal strength on various channels. Of course they were almost all below the FCC requirements. I called the cable TV company and they told me it was my wire from the street (the pedestal near the curb) to my house. In those days the cable was just direct buried in dirt.

So I dug a trench from my house the required depth, with the required gravel, and then added a conduit. The city had to come and inspect, then I filled it in and had it connected. Well, the signal was still lower than the federally-mandated levels, and of course the cable tv people did not want to do anything, but they knew they had to, now I was quoting the FCC and federal requirements. Well, wouldn't you know it they were renovating all the cable all up and down the street, so I had to wait again and everything was torn up, new main cable laid, new (and bigger and ulgier) pedestals. In the process they chopped my cable by dropping a pedestal on it, but I could re-run a new wire via my new conduit.

The finally button everything up and.... the picture was just as bad!!! They did indeed replace the main cable, all new taps, but what happened is they added so many new users, the signal levels wound up being the same!

I went back to the TV store, like a mile away and asked them how they had such good pictures since they must have been using the same idiot cable tv company, and they said, "oh no, we use DirecTV, comes from a satellite, can't get messed up" (except heavy rain).

OK, I'm on a mission now... in those days, DirecTV did not have any local channels, and in San Diego, before digital over the air they were hard to get. So I go to the cable tv office (lines 10 people deep) with my cable receiver and try to get the service as cheaply as possible. "All I want is channels 6, 8 & 10". Well they still wanted a lot of money per month. I don't want the box or anything, your service is terrible, but it's the only way to get local channels. Finally they agreed to like $9 a month (realize that is about $25 in today's money). I caved in, but then the person said "and we need to charge you a $20 fee". Why? "We need to put a filter in the line so you cannot watch other channels".

Now I am getting agitated.. and my voice is getting louder. The people in the line were following this and they likewise hated the cable company. I said "hey, your signal is so bad I bought DirecTV, it is way better and I have all the pay channels. There is no way I would watch anything on your crappy cable unless I had no choice, like these 3 local channels. She would not budge. So I said "cancel everything, I don't need your damn cable, I'll put up an antenna for my local channels. She took my set top box, and as I was walking away, she said "there's a 21 dollar disconnection fee". I was incredulous... They were going to charge me to disconnect the cable.

I turned around and said, I'm not paying that, and you better disconnect for free. I'm going home and getting a hatchet and chopping the cable off myself. There's your disconnection.

(there was a cable TV guy at my house within 10 minutes of me arriving home, disconnecting the cable)

So this is how I came to be a DirectTV customer and hate cable television!

My first "tricky" installation

I have what most people would consider an unusual installation. There are only 2 people in the household (the cat has to watch what we watch), but our home has multiple "working areas"

When we first moved here, I had been a customer for a while already, and the HD stuff was early. I had 2 receivers, both wired directly to the antenna.

Living Room

One in our main viewing room and one in the garage. I had a run of coax from the main viewing room out to our patio, and used the coax output of the receiver (HR24) to go to the back yard so I could watch out there. (I hate cable TV, bad experiences here with the local companies)


Over the years, I was able to put a better signal over the coax from the house to the patio, and now have an HDMI extender that works over coax, so the back yard has a small HD TV and I have high-def in my patio.

Remotes slowly improved such that an aftermarket remote could be used outside (had Logitech Harmony for a long while, and now use a Sofabaton, so the wireless remote could work from the patio)

Garage "hub"

I have a second receiver in the garage. I have a direct cable from the antenna to the garage. Originally it was an early model, ending with an H23. My idea was to backfeed my home coax cable plant from the channel 3/4 output on the receiver. Over the years, as I went to a high def receiver I needed to modulate the output from the receiver as the output changed, going to a modulator, so it went from straight coax from the receiver to a composite video modulator, to a component video modulator to the final which is HDMI to channel 3.

Home coax outlets:

With a modulator hanging off the garage receiver, all rooms in the house could now get directv, since there was a coax port in every room. Remote was by IR repeaters from some rooms to the garage, but this was pretty range limited.

Internal home streaming:

I also wanted to stream DTV to my various computers (each room has either a computer or TV or both). I initially had SlingBoxes. These are streamers (only one stream per box), and you get a program on the computer that not only is a video player, but an on-screen remote control, a perfect picture of the real remote and you clicked the buttons. It was very nice. As whole-house streaming progressed, these became cheap, and I had 3 of these, so 3 computers could stream. Eventually I had these all running component video, so the picture was pretty good, and the remote on the screen was very easy for people to understand and use.

Unfortunately, Sling finally took their servers offline, which were necessary to authorize the units. I switched to an inexpensive HDMI streamer, that would stream to up to 4 computers, and you can run (free) VLC player. Now the picture is even better, but remote control became a problem, again various types of wireless IR extenders, and a phone app that would change channels.

2023 installation upgrade

So I was using really old equipment, and only had one DVR receiver and the garage one could play the recordings by accessing the family room one, but it was clunky. No 4k and could only record 2 shows. I tried upgrading several years ago, but I had one satellite cable lying on 6 foot of roof before going into a vent and they would not upgrade.

Then in 2023 I was at our county fair, and DTV was there with a "fair special". I had to open a new account but stood to save $100 a month and get the upgraded DVR. I was running into issues being able to record my NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula 1 races, too many conflicts.

The install

So I signed up, put in my wife's name for the account and got an installation date. Mixup on the date a few times but they eventually got to my place. The first thing they did is check my signal strength on the old system, and it was great. They were surprised when I told them I had mounted and aligned the dish myself. (there are actually pretty simple intructions to do this). Whew! So no hassles about my wiring! Problem avoided. I explained how my setup was, and they were pretty sharp, and put in a Geni 2 "hub" and a Gemini in the family room, and a Geni "mini" in the garage. Apparently the Geni 2 needs to stream to the "clients" and the one in the garage was too far away so they also installed a DTV "Wireless Video Bridge" which connected to the old coax feed from the antenna. I assumed it was MoCA over the coax from the Geni 2 to the Geni Mini in the garage.

The system appeared to work, although I was getting video "stalls" quite frequently, but they said this was normal for up to 24 hours.

Account issues

OK, so I figured that it was time to make sure the account was working, no issues on access, payment, etc. I told my wife to NOT reply to the AT&T emails about the account, I would set it up. So, armed with her cell phone, her computer/email, I went on to verify the account through the welcome emails.

First thing, supposedly there was a PIN on the account already, and I went to change it. I know from bitter experience, you lose the AT&T pin, and your life becomes hell. Well, I could not change it. I also noticed that the home address was wrong, off by 1, hmm. OK time to get on the phone.

OK, now the very nice representative is helpful, but she likewise cannot access the PIN and also could not change the address! I told her the story of opening a new account to save money, and gave her my old account number. She asked me why I went that way, and told her it was the cost savings, and also the hassle I had before trying to upgrade.

She told me that I was a 23 year customer, and was entitled to all kinds of "retention benefits" and I should keep my old account, and I was entitled to hardware upgrades every 2 years. Wished I had known that.

Anyway it took a solid 2 hours to cancel the new account, put the stuff on the old account, and get me the right financial deals. Wow, a lot of work, but apparently got it done. Thanked her and went back to TV.

OK, 10 minutes all TVs go offline, nothing works. Must have been de-authorized, and needs to be re-authorized for my existing account. OK, on the phone to support.

OH, they are going nuts! Told them the whole story, and the representative kept putting me on hold. They did not want to put my new equipment on my old account, and wanted to revive my new account. No real good explanation, but they were having issues.

I told them, just authorize the equipment, I had a person work on my account for 2 hours to keep my 23 year old account. Sticking to my guns, they finally came clean and indicated if they did this, I could be subject to about $600 in costs, since it looked like a brand new account and they could not control or override anything.

I told them, just authorize the equipment, "I know you cannot fix the money part, but I'm confident that I can work that out".... OK, back to the retention department (they really wanted not to screw things up).

Another smart, knowledgeable person in retention, she fixed everything, got my my cost-saving deals back, got everything running, etc. Another huge reason I stay with DirecTV.

Operational Issues

Now everything is authorized, account ok (although I need to check the first bill), and the system has been up 3 days and I still get the video stalling. Also the remote seems to act weird sometimes. (I have an IR repeater from outside the equipment cabinet to inside, and the installer taped an emitter to the Gemini).

On the phone to support and the first thing they wanted to do was mess with the unit in the garage. Well not only was it working OK, my wife was working out and watching TV. Being happily married, I'm smart enough not to mess with this. We went back to the Geni 2 and the Gemini. He was trying to tell me about weak signal. The 2 units are only 2 feet apart, so clearly that was not an issue. While he was fooling around, I started looking at the settings.

The Gemini has it's own setting page, and that was sometimes hard to get to, but I noticed that my new DTV remote was not always wireless, but sometimes transmitted IR also, at the same time. Looking at the top of the remote there are indicators, blue for bluetooth, and red for IR, sometimes BOTH flashed. I covered the top of the remote with my hand, blocking the IR and the remote went back to properly responsive. I did not mention this to the support guy, he was in over his head clearly.

Now looking at the settings, it became clear that the Gemini receiver was hooking up by Wi-Fi and the weird thing was that it was not connected to my home Wi-Fi, but a DTVxxxx SSID, and that seemed wrong. The support person indicated that this private network was used by the DTV Wireless Video Bridge, but it seemed stupid to me, especially in light of the fact that the streaming apps in the Gemini would want to be directly connected to the best Wi-Fi network. Also the Gemini will read the settings from the Geni 2 hub, and the hub indicated it's network connection was the Wireless Video Bridge in the garage, instead of my Wi-Fi access point 15 feet away. Trying to access the Geni 2 settings was hit or miss.

So I hooked the Geni 2 to my internal 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, and my Gemini to my 5 GHz Wi-Fi and all of a sudden my stalling went away, and everything worked better. Looking at the settings of the Geni Mini in the garage showed TWO connections to the network, one was via it's external WVB to the Geni 2, and the other was my internal Wi-Fi. Crazy, but works perfect now.

I'm doing more research to really sort this out, but it looks like the devices search out all possible network connections and hook up, and not necessarily picking the best ones.

Remote control options

Note: backlit remotes normally have a B in the model number... but not always

Remote for Genie Mini

The Geni Mini uses an RC73 remote which can do IR or RF. in the garage is set for RF, and the remote just barely reaches the main 3 rooms it is (usually) watched in. So, I purchased 2 more RC73 remotes and am using them. I also have a bluetooth unit with phone app that is an IR blaster in the garage to give another way to change channels. But wile the BT remote works great, it's a lot less confusing for more people to just use a remote.

I tried setting the RC73 for my old Sharp TV could not make it go quite yet, but I will. That remote is in RF mode, so I cannot use the IR repeaters. The issue there is it is marginal reception, so programming that remote is almost impossible.

It appears to me that the RC73 in RF mode is "paired" with the Genie mini, so I did not try to pair my other remotes with the Genie mini, but run them on IR with a repeater.

Unfortunately, it seems when the remote is set for IR, you cannot set it for a TV. Weird. I tried to locally set it with old commands but it refused.

So, I can at least control the channels, etc from the 3 rooms that use the Genie mini. More work to be done, but operational.

reset with MUTE and ENTER

Remote for the Gemini

OK, this is a challenge, since the Gemini remote (RC81V, RC82V, RC83V (82 has voice recognition RC3773702/02BR) seems to transmit RF and IR for certain commands, even though it is set for RF right now. Definitely it transmits on both for power on/off. I will research the times it does both, it kind of messed stuff up.

But now I want to program my universal remote. The wireless part of the Gemini remote is Bluetooth, so as far as I know, you cannot have more than one paired.

Universal remotes usually do IR, and can learn, but how to learn RF (of course you cannot). But I did notice there was an IR window on the Gemini. OK, so does the RC73 (changed to IR mode) control the Gemini... looks like it does.

So, I'm programming a Sofabaton universal remote now, and have gotten pretty close. I'm using an RC73 to teach the Sofabaton commands, most everything is there.

The Gemini remote is also working fine on BT, so I have 2 remotes for the family room, which is good, because the Sofabaton has enough range to work from outside, where I have another HDTV connected to my Denon receiver.

here's some info on using the remote and differences from the Genie remote:

  • RC81v - no bt?
  • RC82V - voice and bt and ir R35602 
  • RC83V - model: R35602B - has bt I guess 2.402 to 2.48

RC8x modes

So the Gemini really wants you to use bluetooth, and normally this is superior, but if you are using a universal remote, or IR extenders, then you may want the remote in IR mode.

A simple way to tell is try the jump ahead buttor (right arrow), and watch the leds, if blue only, the BlueTooth mode, if you see red and blue, then it is in IR mode.


  • press and hold rewind and fast forward for 3 seconds, the LEDs should start flashing
  • enter 961 followed by ch up rocker
  • enter last 6 digits of the RID number ???
  • pres enter key (green light should flash twice

clear pairing:

  • press and hold dash and apps (old enter at bottom right) until LEDs flash

factory reset:

  • pres and hold mute and exit at same time, until red led turns on
  • enter 981 (should see 4 flashes)

Note: If this remote is in IR mode, the Gemini will "notice" and prompt you to pair it (switch to Bluetooth), just ignore. Eventually it seems to pair itself.

model: R35602

Use and fixes

There is a Mini in the garage with wireless bridge attached, and is also connected to my wi-fi network. The Genie 2 is about 50 feet away, and hooking the Mini to my wi-fi seems to have solved the issues with just the wireless bridge, and that makes sense, the 50 foot through several walls was no good. The Gemini is connected to my home wi-fi, and so is the Genie 2. All that solved all my stuttering issues on video at the Mini from first installation.

But the Gemini needs improvement. At the moment the biggest issue is pausing video that is through an app. (netflix, hulu, etc) When I pause a recording too long, I got the screensaver "ads", in about 30 seconds but pressing play resumed.

BUT! Longer on pause (like exactly 5 minutes) the paused app does NOT respond to the play button.  The ONLY button the system seems to respond to is the home button.... then I have to navigate all the way back to the program I was watching on Netflix/Hulu/etc.

But wait! It's worse!! While "stuck" if you hit jump forward, etc. when you get "back" to your show, Netflix acts as though it did indeed get the commands, it is "forwarded".

So clearly, the Gemini just does not dump the screensaver and give you the video back which it clearly has. Piece of junk.

So, this is poor programming/code, and I an very disappointed in the software quality in the Gemini. There are further issues, but this is the biggie so far. I've got to document this in my site, so people know it is NOT them, but the product.


I was having issues with extended pause on the Gemini.


Pausing Directv satellite channels went to streamed ads, but pressing play again went back to where I was, and play a second time resumed. OK, that is fine.


The next issue I had was extended pauses on Apps (netflix, hulu, etc). It appeared that a DTV streaming channel came up, looked like an over the air channel, and no audio.


But what was really happening was the screen would blank, and then my Samsung TV detected no signal, and the Samsung went to local channels from my OTA antenna. Since the TV took over, then no audio because the Denon receiver did not know to pick up the TV audio on the HDMI reverse audio channel.


When this happened, the only key that seemed to do anything was the Home button, and then I had to call up apps, and then go back into Netflix... what a pain.


What solved the issue, is enabling the DTV screensaver (nice pictures from Google), and then the TV never sensed a loss of video, and it minded it's own business.


So as much as I hate screensavers, this is the easy solution.



About those screensaver ads:

Wow, all of a sudden I get ads when I pause for any length. Many of these ads are streaming video,

I found a solution so far, by blocking certain URLs at my home firewall. These ads are location specific, so it makes sense they are downloaded from the Internet.

There were ads in 30 seconds, and those are gone now.

Alsom, when I block them this way, the 5 minute timeout "screensaver" gives me a generic screensaver, that does not change, and usually is just a screen about a DTV channel. Before, they were usually streaming video. Note many people who pay for Internet by the byte are paying for this streaming screensaver!

I'm refining the list of URLs to block, and you can find some of them with a Google search.

Update: I used the INFO screens to get the mac addresses of the units, started with the Genie 2. Then I put my router in a logging mode where it logs the web sites that are accessed by anything on my network (Asus Web Surfing logging in my case).

Then I could see the URLs that the Genie 2 accessed, and by catching the log file in my router when the screensavers came on. I found that my Asus router actually allowed me to filter the web site log file by MAC address, perfect!

I'm not publishing the list here, because we don't want DTV to play more games. If you email me, I'll give you my current list.


RC73 remote:

This section needs work, and not sure of the information I have here... so don't take anything for sure here

This unit can work in either IR or RF modes. It seems to be shipped in IR mode.

  • To change to RF mode, hold mute and select together, wait until green LED at top flashes twice
  • then press 9 - 6 - 1 - channel up - enter
  • now select menu, then settings, then


  • ?? how to change back to IR mode?
  • 9-6-1-channel up-enter - ??? programs to default?
  • Slide the slider to TV
  • Press and hold Mute and Select on remote
  • The green light with flash
  • Then press 9911 (for TV), again look for the flashing green light
  • Give a single press on Vol up
  • Then gradually, press channel up and wait for the TV volume to increase
  • If you notice that it goes up, then press Select button
  • Programming is complete. Now check by pressing the power off button of the remote.
  • Place slider back to initial position.


Need to program it to turn on Sharp Aquos in the bathroom: (power and volume)

codes for Sharp 12360, 10818, 10093, 11393, 11917, 12402, 13867

 to set code: press select and mute until green light flashes, enter code and then it should flash twice


All you have to do is press mute and the ENTER button at same time and a new menu will pop up where you can actually select your TV and model. If you don't know model press "you don't know model" and it will tell you that there is so many codes that will work and you have to try all. But it does the codes for you. All you do is press volume up if it doesn't work go to the option it didn't work it will try next code if it doesn't work you select it didn't work, and so on. Once your volume works the you select "It worked". So don't worry about the whole setup remote in the menu. It didn't work for me either lol. Also some TVs are under a different TV. For instance some Vizio TVs are under the insignia codes or Hitachi so try that TV brand when selecting if your actual brand does not work:) GoodLuck!


Things to research:

Then a Connected Home Adapter (DECA with no power supply as it is powered by the receiver) can get this data from the coax to an ethernet cable to be used by the receivers that don't have the DECA built in H/HR23 and lower models. 


  AFAIK the C71KW doesn't provide power so you have to use a DECABB.w

 Old white remote

With the slide switch at the top of the remote positioned all the way to the right, push and hold select and mute at the same time until the green led flashes twice.  Then push 10000.  Then push select.  Then push the slide switch all the way back to the left. 

 Firmware updates

How to download new software for Genie 2

  • Press the RED button on the side of the Genie 2.
  • At this point, as the box reboots you should see thet “STATUS” LED on the front turn solid white. When you see that, press and hold the Add Client button until the white light flashes and the download will commence. You won’t see a lot of feedback other than the flashing lights on the front. Important: If the light does not turn white do not push the button.


SWM= Single Wire Multiswitch   one "down" coax from the LNA can go to a SWM splitter to add other DTV receivers using only 1 coax.

DECA = DTV Ethernet over Coax Adapter AKA MoCA. Used in the Genie systems to get internet access and for video stream

DECABB (DECA with a power supply) that connected to the router to put the internet on the coax. 

Hidden Feature Codes in Genie 2

You can program

menu >> SmartSearch >> "search code" >> RED BUTTON >> CONTINUE

  • might take up to a minute to "search", may report "no results found", select done, there is no confirmation message
  •  30skip / 30 slip  :  changes the 30 second fast forward feature to skip or slip (see the fast forward)
  •  clearmybox - reboot receiver and flushes guide data (equal to a double reboot within 30 minutes)
  •  menusc - press menu followed by a number and you jump directly to these menus:

Menu 0 Settings
Menu 1 Movies
Menu 2 Sports
Menu 3 TV Shows
Menu 4 Smart Search
Menu 5 On Demand
Menu 6 Playlist
Menu 7 Manage Recordings
Menu 8 YouTube
Menu 9 Pandora



DirecTV has provided us with advanced recording features for setting up recordings.

Setup a recording using "keyword search" with the following codes:
[{AANY/AALL} <tokens>] [{NNOT} <tokens>] [TTITLE/NNAME] [{CCHANS} <number> [<number>]]


“AALL” => (this is the AND boolean operation) all the following words must be contained within the program (title, about, name, episode, category) in any order
“AANY” => (this is the OR boolean operation) at least one of the following words must be contained within the program (title, about, name, episode, category)
“NNOT” => (this is the NOT boolean operation) exclude any programs that contain any of the following words in that search string

The AANY and AALL keywords should appear as the first word in the search string in order to set the search mode.
The NNOT keyword may appear anywhere and all words following the NNOT keyword are considered words to exclude.


TTITLE => Limits the search to only the Title field of the Programs
NNAME => Limits the search to only the Name field (e.g. Actors, Director) of the Program
CCHANS => Limits the search to only the specified channel range (example CCHANS 500 510, or CCHANS 500 for a single channel)

Some sample queries:

AALL racing car NNOT nascar => finds all shows containing “car” and “racing” (any order/position), but excludes the show if “nascar” appears
AALL hanks tom NNOT vinci => finds all tom hanks movies/shows but excludes the movie if the word “vinci” appears (e.g. da vinci code)
AALL hanks tom NNAME => finds all tom hanks programs where he is an actor
AALL hdtv football => finds all high definition football programs (note you can include category labels in the search and “HDTV” is same as “High-Def”)
AANY usc ucla NNOT football => finds all usc and ucla events/shows, but excludes football events
oakland raiders NNOT miami => finds exact match for “oakland raiders” but excludes show if “miami” appears (e.g. excludes games with Miami Dolphins)
AANY lakers clippers CCHANS 700 730 => finds all games with the Lakers or Clippers on only channels 700 through 730
AANY lakers clippers CCHANS 710 => finds all games with the Lakers or Clippers on only channel 710






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