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Thread: Hands on with DIRECTV/Samsung's RVU solution!

  1. #1

    Hands on with DIRECTV/Samsung's RVU solution!


    Screen image simulated

    RVU is here. At least for a few people. DIRECTV's HR34 is more than a 5-tuner DVR. It has a whole new technology called RVU that promises to revolutionize the way that TV is delivered in the home. With RVU, you don't need a receiver for every TV. With an internet-connected TV, the HR34 can provide programming without any external box at all. It uses one of its tuners to provide live TV and you can play anything that's recorded on the DVR.

    Interested in a little more about RVU? Read our article about RVU here.

    At the time of this writing, there is no adapter to turn any TV into an RVU TV. DIRECTV reps have said that this will probably happen this year. At this time, only three TVs are Samsung's 2011-model LED D6000, LED D6400 and LED D6420 smart televisions. The equivalent 2012-model TVs are due very soon and will also have RVU built-in.

    If you're lucky enough to have an HR34 and the right TV, the only way to get an RVU install right now is through DIRECTV. DIY installations are not available yet even if you have all the parts because DIRECTV will only activate RVU service through an installer. That may change soon, and all of the parts are available to DIY'-ers now.

    What you'll need
    You may also need a splitter because you'll need a satellite cable to the TV, and a Cinema Connection Kit if you don't already have internet service to your DVR.

    Basic Installation
    The Samsung Smart TV has ethernet in. This is the connection used by RVU. Plug the network cable supplied with the DECA into the TV. Or, you can substitute DIRECTV's 1-foot cable with any longer network cable you have laying around. This will make for a cleaner installation because the DECA would otherwise be visible hanging from under the TV.


    The back of the Samsung TV. The network cable is at the lower right.

    Connect the satellite line to one end of the DECA and the power supply to the other. The DECA must have a power supply. These devices were designed to work with DVRs and power comes from the coaxial cable that would lead to the DVR. The power supply is small and will plug in anywhere.

    Note: DIRECTV recommends using a coax line for best results. A regular ethernet cable connected to a high-quality router or switch will also work if you're confident of your networking skills. Don't bother with trying wireless or homeplug, it just doesn't work.


    The DECA power adapter. Just your basic wall wart, but the blue color is a nice touch.

    Once everything is connected, you should have three green lights on the DECA. They're hard to make out in this image, but they're all green.


    That's it!

    Getting Connected
    At this point, a DIRECTV service tech needs to get involved to add RVU service to your account. Let's say you were able to get RVU service turned on, and you were ready to get connected. RVU service costs $6/month per TV.

    Go to the HR34, and go into the System Setup menu. This is done differently with the old (blue) menu system than it is with the new (black) HD menus. The HR34 still uses the old menus but that's expected to change very soon.

    Once you're in the system setup, go to Whole-Home and select "Add a Client." The on-screen instructions will give you a PIN you need to enter on the client. So, head on back to your smart TV.


    Selecting the RVU client is done through the Source button on the remote.

    Before RVU came out, there was a lot of confusion as to how RVU would be selected on the TV. Would it be an app like Netflix? Samsung did the smart thing and made it one of the source choices. The same button that controls whether or not you're on HDMI1 or HDMI2 also puts you onto RVU. If you have RVU service enabled you should be able to select it from the menu you see on your TV.

    When you select RVU, you'll see a screen asking you for the PIN you got from the HR34. After you enter it in, you'll have the option to name the client and copy the settings from the HR34. This will save you from having to redo all your channel lists and can be a huge time-saver.

    The Remote
    RVU installations are supposed to come with the RC70X remote. This remote is in very short supply and you can't buy it separately. You can use the Samsung TV remote to control the RVU client but there are a few buttons that don't work, like the slip-forward and instant-replay buttons. The {YELLOW} button gets you to the Playlist. If the Samsung remote is all you have, it's good enough in most cases.


    Luckily an RC70 remote was supplied for testing. This one's a prototype.

    The RC70x remote, shown on the right in the picture above, will control the Samsung TV. It is a little smaller and a lot lighter than the RC65 (shown at left.) The {PLAY} and {PAUSE} buttons have been combined, and all the color buttons except the red one are missing. The Channel and Volume buttons are rockers, which is very satisfying, and the rest of the buttons are the same black rubber used in RC65 remotes. The Arrow/Select keys have morphed into one large piece of hard plastic that rocks as you push it.

    This remote isn't going to make the hard-core enthusiast very happy, as it doesn't control other devices very well. It can't be set to control an A/V receiver, either. However, if you want RVU you probably want the fewest possible components anyway so it's not a great loss. It's a great little remote for a bedroom or coffee-table drawer.

    So, how does it work?
    The truth about RVU service is it's not 100% there yet. Remote response is very slow and the picture from the RVU input is dimmer than the picture from a connected DIRECTV receiver. This can be adjusted easily since the Samsung TV allows for different video settings for every input. In a nice touch, going into the video setup menu within RVU will actually take you straight to the Samsung configuration menu.

    After watching a lot of RVU TV, there isn't any real difference in picture quality. There's no jerkiness and no dropped frames. The only complaint is the extremely slow remote response. I think that would be a dealbreaker if the TV were uses a lot. Going back to the blue menus is a little bit of a bummer but that's temporary. The video options are a little limited too... there is no way to eliminate overscan as the image is treated like a PC image on the TV but the HR34 builds in overscan.

    DIRECTV and Samsung announced RVU 2.0 at the CES show and hopefully that will deal with some of the issues. The 2012 TVs have faster processors and hopefully that will fix some of the lag. DIRECTV hasn't set a firm date for an adapter that will let any TV become an RVU TV, either, and it remains to be seen whether the adapter is smaller than a regular receiver. The cost per TV is the same as using a receiver, so if you get the receiver for free it's probably better to go that route for now.

    In six months, RVU will probably be a great option for people who want to cut the clutter. For now, the DIYer should probably wait.
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    SolidSignal.com // 25225 Regency Drive // Novi, MI 48375 // 1.877.312.4547

    Formerly known as SS@SolidSignal

  2. #2
    A quick note, since the original DECA has been discontinued, substitute this product instead: DIRECTV Cinema Connection Kit w/ Power Supply (DECA2PR) from Solid Signal
    SolidSignal.com // 25225 Regency Drive // Novi, MI 48375 // 1.877.312.4547

    Formerly known as SS@SolidSignal

  3. #3
    This guide is an excellent way to connect any DIRECTV Ready TV.
    SolidSignal.com // 25225 Regency Drive // Novi, MI 48375 // 1.877.312.4547

    Formerly known as SS@SolidSignal

  4. #4
    SS,

    Genie HR34/C31 user here. I may be wanting to give this a go in the next year for our kitchen TV. Currently we have a 19" Samsung wall mounted. I had power and RG6 installed at the location I wanted the TV. It's not too ugly, but the C31 and a conglomeration of cords are suspended with wire ties attached to the TV mount. Nothing too ugly, but I'd like to get to the thinnest mount possible.

    I'm considering one of the 32" RVU Samsungs, and if my understanding is correct, all of this hardware is needed convert the RG-6 to cat-5. It may be less than a C31, but it still a lot of stuff to affix or hang on the back. I'm a DIY'er, so I was thinking.... If I can get a Cat-5 drop to the TV, could the DECA unit conceivably some where else in the house as long as it was connected properly. I guess the question I really have, is there a maximum Cat-5 run on this type of setup? The pictures here show the DECA right at the TV, but it doesn't have to be does it? My wife is very accepting of the tech, I'd just like to get a 3-4 inch mount down to 1.5-2"

    Option that I've considered is putting the C31 in another room and running a long HDMI, but this gives me an excuse to get a 32" for the kitchen!!!!

  5. #5
    The folks at DIRECTV will tell you that wired ethernet just isn't supported. They can't control the other traffic in your network. But speaking very generally, if you have a decent gigabit router and a clean network that can handle the traffic... there's no reason you can't use category cable.

    The cable length isn't really going to be an issue within a home. What is going to be an issue is how clean the network connection is. Ideally if you can get the DIRECTV system's internet connection (either a DECA Broadband or category cable into the Genie DVR) on the same switch as your run to the kitchen, and have very few other things on that switch... it could very well work. I just can't make promises, we're kind of out in lawless territory when we try that stuff.
    SolidSignal.com // 25225 Regency Drive // Novi, MI 48375 // 1.877.312.4547

    Formerly known as SS@SolidSignal

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by SS@SolidSignal View Post
    The folks at DIRECTV will tell you that wired ethernet just isn't supported. They can't control the other traffic in your network. But speaking very generally, if you have a decent gigabit router and a clean network that can handle the traffic... there's no reason you can't use category cable.

    The cable length isn't really going to be an issue within a home. What is going to be an issue is how clean the network connection is. Ideally if you can get the DIRECTV system's internet connection (either a DECA Broadband or category cable into the Genie DVR) on the same switch as your run to the kitchen, and have very few other things on that switch... it could very well work. I just can't make promises, we're kind of out in lawless territory when we try that stuff.
    Maybe I didn't explain this correctly. I never intended to involve my home router or network at all. I was keeping the wiring exactly as pictured above, but wanting to run the Cat-5 from a DECA switch in another room. Until I saw this, and DirecTV's diagram, I thought it would work by simply plugging the the coax into the TV just like it was a Genie receiver. (But that would be too easy).

    What I'm considering it would still be:
    Sat ----> SWM ---> RG-6 outlet ----> DECA unit ---------------------------- dedicated new Cat-5 (up wall and down to) ------------------------------> RVU TV

    I guess if I'm going to that much trouble of fishing cables, it could just as easily be run an HDMI cable from the C31 up one wall and down the other.

  7. #7
    Yes, that would work just perfectly.
    SolidSignal.com // 25225 Regency Drive // Novi, MI 48375 // 1.877.312.4547

    Formerly known as SS@SolidSignal

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    2
    I just finished installing a Samsung TV with the internal RVU technology. When the guy from DirecTV came out to install it, he was here for 4 hours and still couldn't get it working correctly because, as he said to me, "I'd never seen a home with this many network devices, access points, routers, repeaters, power line adapters, switches, etc." He said he would need to come back with someone more knowledgeable. Now, the wireless mini Genie boxes are available in my city as of a week ago, so they're not totally familiar with everything. When he left, I hooked it up on my own. Now, if you have the advanced home networking in your house, it's simple. The only problem I have it hooking up a new Samsung HDTV using the coaxial cable and not an HDMI cable. The home networking setup by DirecTV has the Internet signal from your router combined with their satellite signal. With the main Genie DVR, it's hooked up only with the coax, or RJ6. If you have a place where you can hook up a splitter for their signal, then all you need to do is hook a line into a DECA, run the coax into where you would hook up rabbit ears, and run the CAT5 into the back of the TV. Now, you'll have to setup a client from the Genie DVR and then in the T'V's settings, run an auto program of channels, like we used to do before we had converter boxes, but the cable type is HRC, or something like that. After that's finished, my Samsung has every channel I subscribe to with no receiver. But like I said, it's hooked up via RJ6 which leads me to believe it's not HD.

    Now, I also took a DECA II and hooked it into my satellite coaxial cable coming from one end of a splitter I put on it, and then I ran the CAT5 into the Ethernet port of one of my routers, which is setup in bridge mode, and I was able to rebroadcast my Wifi without running additional CAT5 cables from my router. Only thing it, the speed of my Internet was cut in half when I split the Internet signal from their RJ6 cable as opposed to powerline adapters, like I'm currently using.

    Sent from my SM-P600 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SS@SolidSignal View Post
    The folks at DIRECTV will tell you that wired ethernet just isn't supported. They can't control the other traffic in your network. But speaking very generally, if you have a decent gigabit router and a clean network that can handle the traffic... there's no reason you can't use category cable.


    The cable length isn't really going to be an issue within a home. What is going to be an issue is how clean the network connection is. Ideally if you can get the DIRECTV system's internet connection (either a DECA Broadband or category cable into the Genie DVR) on the same switch as your run to the kitchen, and have very few other things on that switch... it could very well work. I just can't make promises, we're kind of out in lawless territory when we try that stuff.
    Does this mean it's at least possible I can do this?:


    - Cat 5e Ethernet cable from directv receiver to a switch


    - Cat 5e Ethernet cable from that switch to my router


    - Cat 6 Ethernet cable from that router to another switch (it's a several hundred feet run, hence cat 6)


    - Cat 5e Ethernet cable from that switch to a samsung rvu tv


    I realize this is not supported and may not work but is it plausible?


    thanks.

  10. #10
    - Cat 5e Ethernet cable from directv receiver to a switch
    - Cat 5e Ethernet cable from that switch to my router
    - Cat 6 Ethernet cable from that router to another switch (it's a several hundred feet run, hence cat 6)
    - Cat 5e Ethernet cable from that switch to a samsung rvu tv

    I realize this is not supported and may not work but is it plausible?


    This will probably not work satisfactorily, especially if there is a lot of other ethernet traffic on your local area network. Note that I'm not saying it won't work at all... but there's a reason that ethernet was not chosen as a transmission medium. It's best to keep the traffic on the coax network for as long as possible. If I were doing something like this I would at least run coax as far as I could, then use a DECA Broadband to go to ethernet, as late as possible. I would keep the run from the DECA Broadband isolated, in other words not run it through a switch or through the router, just a straight run from the DECA Broadband. If you connect your Genie to your router (through a switch is ok) via ethernet, it will allow all devices on the coax network to get ethernet, so there's no reason to wire the TV's ethernet cable to a switch.

    So, Coax >> DECA Broadband >> Long Ethernet Cable (no switch) >> TV. That's a much better deal, especially if you stay on coax as long as possible up to a limit of 150 feet.
    SolidSignal.com // 25225 Regency Drive // Novi, MI 48375 // 1.877.312.4547

    Formerly known as SS@SolidSignal

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