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WHDVR over Ethernet

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Connected Home' started by mbreuker, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Dec 1, 2011 #1 of 18
    mbreuker

    mbreuker New Member

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    Dec 1, 2011
    My apologies if this was posted elsewhere, but most of the threads on this subject are circa 2007 and may have out of date information. I would like to try to run Whole-Home DVR for multi-room viewing on my wired Ethernet network without a DECA/SWiM install. Many say they have done it, even though it isn't supported by DirecTV. That's fine with me, but I can't seem to get DirecTV to turn on the service. Here is the information I posted in another (older) thread:


    I have eight (8) DirecTV receivers in my house. Yes, one in just about every single room. They are:

    2 Standard:
    R16-500
    D12-300

    6 HD:
    HR22-100 (2)
    HR20-700
    HR21-100
    HR23-700
    H21-200

    These are all connected to a Zinwell 6x16 multi-switch

    Four of the five HD-DVRs have a hard-wired Ethernet connection via CAT6 cable to a gigabit router. They all see the Internet fine, see each other fine and the computer see them fine. What they can't do is share DVR content because the Whole-Home DVR (WHDVR) service is not enabled. I tried once last year to get it enabled and can't do it online so I had to call. I was told I had to upgrade one of my boxes (a standard DVR - since upgraded to an HDDVR) and get an installer to install a DECA/SWiM kit to run Ethernet over coax to all of the receivers for $200 (plus the hassle of a install). I declined.

    After reading this and other forums on the subject, I am seeing a lot of evidence of people running WHDVR over Ethernet just fine, without the DECA/SWiM setup. Many people suggested calling or e-mailing DirecTV and just tell them to enable the service anyway. So I did. And failed miserably. I was told by the CSR that they can't even turn on the service without placing the $200 installation order for the DECA/SWiM setup, which I am still not entirely sure I need. I only want to share the DVR with three of the HDDVR receivers that happen to already be connected to the network. Why all the additional crap? Does someone here have a good answer or suggestion?
     
  2. Dec 1, 2011 #2 of 18
    MizzouTiger

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    One of the stickies above has the recommended procedure for enabling MRV using the unsupported ethernet connection method here. It worked for me and many others who had been using the ethernet connected system during the Beta Testing period and before.
     
  3. Dec 1, 2011 #3 of 18
    mbreuker

    mbreuker New Member

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    Dec 1, 2011
    Thanks for the response. I had read the sticky thread but thought the information in it was outdated because I have tried those suggestions and failed. I just tried again sending a very straightforward e-mail to DirecTV asking them to enable WHDVR in unsupported mode. If successful, I will post an update here.
     
  4. Dec 1, 2011 #4 of 18
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Unfortunately it's going to get harder and harder to get in on the "unsupported" whole-home. In the last several years, almost every installation is SWiM now.
     
  5. Dec 1, 2011 #5 of 18
    mbreuker

    mbreuker New Member

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    Dec 1, 2011
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Response Via Email [Redacted] - 12/01/2011 12:36 PM
    Dear Mr. Breuker,

    Thanks for writing. I can see that you are one of our loyal customers and we want to let you know we value your business.

    I understand your concern adding the Whole Home DVR Service to your account using your existing equipment. Your feedback is of great value to DIRECTV and the services we offer. Let me further clarify the situation for you.

    After a careful review, I found that you currently have several advanced equipment. As you know, to start recording and watching your favorite programs in any room, one of your networked TVs needs to be connected to a Whole-Home capable HD DVR and your other TVs will need to be connected to Whole-Home capable HD receivers. HD Access, DVR Service and Whole-Home DVR service are also required.

    DIRECTV Whole Home DVR Service gives you the power to share all of your recorded programs with any TV in your house. You can also:

    -Record, delete, pause and rewind your favorite shows no matter where you are
    -Manage your DVR playlist from any room
    -Record two shows while watching two others
    -Set separate parental controls for each TV
    -Watch your recorded shows in HD in any room

    For more information on Whole Home DVR please visit
    www directv com/wholehome

    Our records indicate that you do not have all the necessary equipment (SWiM, DECA, and Band Stop Filter) for Whole-Home DVR service and an upgrade is needed. To enjoy the very best experience with our Whole-Home DVR Service, customers must make use of our SWiM network. Our proven technology creates a connection (network) with coaxial cables and eliminates issues that exist with an Ethernet connection (network) such as Freeze Frame and Pixelation. Upgrading to Whole-Home DVR Service requires the use of a connection (network) created with coaxial cable, DECAs, potential Band-Stop Filters, potential receiver swaps, and a SWiM install, which may include an entirely new dish. A professional installation is required to ensure that you have a connection (network) that performs optimally with
    all the correct equipment.

    So to learn about special upgrade offers, we advise you to call us at 1-800-531-5000.

    I understand this is important to you. Rest assured that if we are able to accommodate you in any way that is within our guidelines, we will be most happy to do so. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

    Thanks again for writing and we look forward to hearing from you!

    Sincerely,

    [Redacted]
    DIRECTV Customer Service
     
  6. Dec 2, 2011 #6 of 18
    MizzouTiger

    MizzouTiger Icon

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    You could always try calling again and see if you can get a good deal on the SWiM/DECA installation. I couldn't hurt to try. Sometimes you have to play CSR roulette to get one who will work with you.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2011 #7 of 18
    mbreuker

    mbreuker New Member

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    Dec 1, 2011
    As I said in a previous post, its not really the cost (though that is not a small concern). Its that I have already invested in installing wired, gigabit Ethernet throughout my house because I know that the future of media is digital and I want to have the right infrastructure to support HD streaming to all rooms - whether that be DirecTV, mediaserver, or other system. I already have an infrastructure that I KNOW will work, and am not ready to have an installer come in and mess with the installation I already have, for something that isn't necessary, nor am I willing to take a day off work to schedule it. The $200 is just the straw that broke the camels back in this case.

    I've also been posting about this in the official DirecTV forums and the feedback I am getting there is that they just aren't turning on the service for people without DECA/SWiM anymore. I've tried the CSR roulette thing, and I have also e-mailed them twice. I'm getting very consistent responses. They aren't going to turn it on without a DECA/SWiM installation.

    I'm sure most people need it. I know I don't. I'm not able to convince them otherwise. I guess the $3/month isn't worth it to them. Honestly, if the wife and kids didn't want TV, I would drop DirecTV and go 100% online content.
     
  8. Dec 2, 2011 #8 of 18
    CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Jackson
  9. Dec 2, 2011 #9 of 18
    jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    I'd go over the heads of customer service and send that email to the Office of the President of DirecTV.

    It seems to me that DirecTV just wants to sell DECA equipment. If a customer is more knowledgeable about networking and already has the infrastructure, then let him pay the $3 and be done with it. I decided against DECA, once MRV came out of beta, as my simple network works very well.
     
  10. mbreuker

    mbreuker New Member

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    Dec 1, 2011
    I just sent my third e-mail, using the exact wording from the sticky thread link you provided above. Previous language in the e-mails was very similar, not exact.

    What's interesting is that I never got a response at all from my second attempt, only a big fact NO from the first attempt. Its like they know me now, and aren't going to respond anymore. I'll let everyone know here if I get a result.
     
  11. mbreuker

    mbreuker New Member

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    Dec 1, 2011
    Subject
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please enable Whole Home DVR Service for public beta customer


    Discussion Thread
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Response Via Email(redacted) - 12/03/2011 12:52 PM
    Dear Mr. Breuker,

    Thanks for writing. I see that you have been a loyal DIRECTV customer for many years. We truly appreciate your business.

    I completely understand your concern about adding Whole Home DVR Service using your existing equipment. We know how important it is for you add this service to fully enjoy the ultimate TV entertainment experience every day, with the best programming and technology. We would be glad to be of assistance to you.

    I just wanted to let you know that we received your email and I have forwarded it for special handling. Our highly trained specialist will respond as soon as an agent is available (likely within 24 hours). For immediate assistance, please call us at 1-800-531-5000.

    Thank you again for writing us, Mr. Breuker.

    Sincerely,

    [redacted]
    DIRECTV Customer Service
     
  12. mbreuker

    mbreuker New Member

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    Dec 1, 2011
    After the first two requests had been flat-out rejected, the third request was forwarded to a "DirecTV Resolution Specialist" who enabled the service. I should point out that it works fabulously on my existing home network.

    Subject
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please enable Whole Home DVR Service for public beta customer


    Discussion Thread
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Response Via Email(redacted) - 12/05/2011 04:04 PM
    Dear Mr. Breuker,

    Thanks for writing. I see that you are a loyal customer and want to say thanks for your business. We will be happy to assist you with adding the Whole-Home DVR service. Please keep in mind DIRECTV has not supported and does not have plans to support network based Whole-Home DVR. As such, we will be unable to provide support (troubleshooting) specific to the network based Whole-Home DVR service. For questions about this set up, please seek assistance in our technical forum at http://forums.directv.com/pe/index.jsp.

    Per your request, I have added Whole-Home DVR service to your account. The service changes to your account will be reflected on your next DIRECTV bill, or you can see them immediately by signing into your DIRECTV account online at directv.com/mydirectv and clicking on "Activity Since Last Bill" in the My Account column.

    Because DIRECTV bills you for service at the start of your billing period, any changes that are made mid month, such as adding or removing a service, will show as charges or credits from the day the change occurred to the end of that 30 day period. Your next bill will reflect a partial charge and a full 30 day charge of $3.00 for the Whole-Home DVR service.

    DIRECTV Whole Home DVR Service gives you the power to share all of your recorded programs with any TV in your house. You can also:

    Record, delete, pause and rewind your favorite shows no matter where you are
    Manage your DVR playlist from any room
    Record two shows while watching two others
    Set separate parental controls for each TV
    Watch your recorded shows in HD in any room
    For more information on Whole Home DVR please visit directv.com/wholehome.

    Thank you again for writing and participating in the Cutting Edge user group.account Mr. Breuker.

    Sincerely,

    [redacted]
    [redacted]
    DIRECTV Resolution Specialist
     
  13. MizzouTiger

    MizzouTiger Icon

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    Jan 9, 2007
    Congratulations!! Glad to hear that you finally succeeded. I too am using my home network and it has also worked flawlessly for me - especially since I added a switch to take the MRV traffic off of my router.
     
  14. mbreuker

    mbreuker New Member

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    Dec 1, 2011
    Yeah, I haven't tried the MRV while there was a lot of other network activity going on, like streaming media to my PC, for instance, but the Gigabit switch should handle that all pretty well. If I encounter problems, I can always configure a VLAN to isolate the MRV traffic on the switch, but I doubt that will be necessary.

    The only advantage I see to the DECA/SWiM setup, in addition to using existing infrastructure if you don't have a wired network in place already, is that the MRV traffic is isolated on its own LAN, but since the physical speed of Ethernet over coax is pretty limited (I don't know what the DECA is, but most Ethernet over coax I have seen top out at 270Mbit/s), so I know I have a faster network, the only issue is that if the DirecTV receiver only has a 100MBit connection (which is likely), and there is additional, non-MRV video traffic being broadcast on the network, that would be consuming some of the 100MBit connection. I just don't have anything on my network that would be generating that much network chatter and, if I did, like I said, I could just isolate the MRV devices.

    I realize most people don't have decent wired networks going to every room in the house, but modern homes are being built with coax and CAT5 by default in every room, and a patch panel in the basement. Anyone should be able to DIY, or pay someone to install a decent switch and a router and have an instant home network capable of doing MRV. It's a shame DirecTV doesn't just recognize that and say "okay, we will turn it on, but if you have any issues, we will need to send a technician out and you *might* need to buy equipment for a SWiM network." It's similar to crap I get from them every time I call to activate new or replacement equipment and they ask if the receiver is plugged into a phone line, and then tell me all of the reasons I need to plug it into the phone (which really just amounts to PPV). I have the receivers plugged into the network, and my PPV options work great. No phone line necessary!

    Oh well, I have what I want. Time to stop complaining :grin:
     
  15. unpluggedtech

    unpluggedtech Cool Member

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    Dec 8, 2011
    Glad to see you where able to get Whole Home enabled. Couple of things to keep you running. 1) You will not get any technical support, now this may not be an issue but be kind to any CSR who realistically cannot support this method. Why? The DECA/SWiM over coax system deployed runs around 250mbit, coax has no issue supporting this. Having a closed system allows DTV to run a network without disrupting home networks. A single channel of shared video consumes lets just call it 10-20, again nowhere near overwhelming things, and potentailly 5-8 sharings at once and we run up against the limits of the system. Nobody wants to run up against the speed limits of a network, too much bogs down. It is great that you have a Giga network but as you point out the ethernet on the back of the box is just fast ethernet (100) so really doesnt; do anything good for your DTV. The reason the Beta test were conducted was to see if they could relaibly deploy it this way. Sure glad they did not. The number of networked homes may be large if new but its small across the board. Satellite installers are not network installers and while you are obviously tech savy, the average consumer makes a pretty bad ethernet connection. Thats ll folks
     
  16. imjustdave

    imjustdave Cool Member

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    Dec 28, 2011
    I can totaly understand Directv point of this isn't supported but I agree if the customer wants to try it and do it why they would be a pain and stop you.

    Im sure the biggest issues they found in beta and ran up against is your average home hub and or switch couldn't handle the traffic well, especially when Little jonny upstairs is watching recorded TV from downstairs, and then starts downloading masive amounts of data from a bit tourent, maxing out the download pipe of his 50Gbit cable connection, oh and because its a cheap home router - cable internet device the video just brakes up and dies a horiable death on the TV. If Jonny looses 1/2 of his files they just get resent and he is good, but video is so right now kind of traffic.
     
  17. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    DIRECTV is not big on letting you do unsupported things in general. It seems that their research shows that even when people use things in a manner that is clearly unsupported, they still demand support and that raises prices for everyone. Dad may think it's cool to run all ethernet but when he's not home, Mom just wants to watch her show without any problem. Then it doesn't work and she calls DIRECTV. Apparently it happens all the time.
     
  18. bradpr

    bradpr Legend

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    Sep 8, 2007
    I just tried the email method defined by DB in the "Enabling MRV..." thread, and to my surprise, they activated me within an hour. Thanks, D*
     

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