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Thread: Directv serial channel changer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2

    Directv serial channel changer

    I just found out about GB-PVR and so far I'm thoroughly impressed. I was able to configure gbpvr to change channels on my rca directv receiver via a serial cable link and just wanted to share my solution.

    First obtain a serial cable. You can build or buy one. see http://www.dtvcontrol.com/

    Next install Cygwin (http://www.cygwin.com/). You'll need bash and perl at a minimum - I did a full install.

    Then get David Gesswein's Perl Directv serial script at http://www.pdp8.net/directv/directv.shtml (hint: this is the script http://www.pdp8.net/directv/directv.pl)

    Create a simple bash script that will call directv.pl Name this script something like dtv.sh:

    #!/bin/bash
    /cygdrive/c/gbpvr/scripts/directv.pl $1 $2

    Goto gvpvr config->capture sources->channel changer Select "exe Changer Plugin" then goto Settings

    Select bash.exe for the executable. For my installation this was C:\cygwin\bin\bash.exe

    For parameters, enter the following:
    "c:\gbpvr\scripts\dtv.sh setup_channel {channel}"
    Of course substitute c:\gbpvr\scripts for the path to your script.

    That's it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    144
    I've just completed testing of basically a conversion of that script to a windows executable. Channel changing is so fast now that I can no longer tell the difference between what it was like with just the directv receiver and gbpvr controlling the directv receiver.

    There is one thing that you could help me with. I'm currently having a problem changing channels using the remote key sequences. For example, if you do a "directv.pl key 296" does the perl script change the channel properly?

    Like I said the conversion is working and is ready for beta release today.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2
    That's a great idea to create a executable. I've never used the "key" arg, only "setup_channel". I'd try emailing the script maintainer - email address on http://www.pdp8.net/directv/directv.pl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    144
    The problem seems to be related to the type of RCA box you are trying to control. As for me, I'm not concerned about the bug other than I would like to see all the functionality working.

    I will be posting the the executable once I get home. Sorry for not getting it out yesterday.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    144
    Just released the utility on the new wiki page. See my post here: DirecTV Channel Control Utility

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2
    Cheval - thanks for posting your DirecTV Windows .exe. Any chance you'll add support for other receivers other than RCA? Mine is a DirecTV brand called the D10-200, and have been searching for this kind of utility everywhere. I tried using your utlity but I suspect the reason it doesn't work is because of the RCA-only restriction.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    144
    Certainly I would love to add (test) the support for these receivers. The problem is that I don't have access to that hardware. If people are willing to test changes for me I will provide you (or anyone else with special builds).

    There may be one other reason its not working. The reason relates to the type of serial port you are using. It seems that normal PC ports are fine and do not require flow control (which the receivers do not supply). If you use a USB -> serial adapter or other serial port (not sure which) that require flow control then it may actually be the cable. I had this happen on a USB -> serial adapter. I figured out how to fix the cable by soldering a few more pins together to simulate the flow control.

    I will update the link in the wiki pages with my new cable modifications later today.

    Please message me if you are willing to try out some betas.

    Sincerely,
    cheval

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2
    So I'm using the 9-pin serial port that's built into my mobo, and is not a USB-Serial component. It's connected to COM1.

    As for testing some betas, no problem. I got my box 7 months ago when the I moved and the DirecTV installation guy delivered it as the "standard" equipment. I'm sure there are at least a handful of people out there who received the same receiver.

    My specs:
    1 - WinXP SP2
    2 - Hauppauge WinTV-250 with 45 button remote
    3 - trying to control a DirecTV D10-200 receiver using the serial cable purchased from David Gesswein (with whom I'm trying to get my system to work using ActivePerl and his new 1.3 perl script).
    4 - GB-PVR software (obviously)

    Z

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14
    For my receiver to work with the directv.pl script I just issue

    bash.exe directv.pl {channel}

    example: bash.exe directv.pl 244 would change the channel to SCIFI

    My receiver is a RCA DRD430RGA.

    I've communicated this info to the author of the script.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14
    I can't seem to get the directv.exe to work at all with my receiver.

    Any ideas?

    Oh and neither the key <ch #> and setup_channel worked for my receiver when using the directv.pl script.

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