Does your DIRECTV receiver need a DECA?

It probably doesn’t. The neat thing about DIRECTV receivers is that the internet signal travels along the same coaxial cable as the TV signal. This means that if your Genie DVR is hooked to the internet, or if there’s a separate device that bridges your coax lines and your ethernet connection, you don’t need a separate internet connection at every receiver.

Unless, of course, your equipment is really old.

How old? You can’t take advantage of this one-cable solution unless you’re using DIRECTV’s SWM system. This system has been DIRECTV’s standard install since 2010 or so, and while it’s still possible to get equipment that works without it, all of the current DIRECTV Genie hardware requires it.

However, you could still need some sort of special dongle to connect your receiver to the internet. While all of today’s hardware does this trick magically, older DIRECTV equipment needed a special device to separate out the network signal from the TV signal. That piece of equipment, shown above, is called a DECA, short for DIRECTV Ethernet/Coaxial Adapter. It does just that. Coax goes in, coax and ethernet both go out. Both lines go into the receiver so that it can work as it should.

If you have an older receiver on this list, you should have a DECA if it’s installed in a SWM system.

H21 • H23 • HR20 • HR21 • HR22 • HR23 • THR22 (TiVo)

If you don’t know the model of your receiver, press the {MENU} button and go to Settings&Help and Settings. Then, press the {DASH} button to the left of the zero and you’ll see a graphic like this:

which will tell you if you are using the SWM system.

If you have an older receiver that isn’t on that list, you should use a band stop filter if you have any newer equipment. If any of the receivers in your system are connecting to the internet, the signal will be too strong for your older receivers. Adding the band stop filter stops that.

Of course, a lot of what we’re talking about is older technology and since it hasn’t been sold in about 7 years it’s getting to be less and less of a problem. However, the thing about DIRECTV equipment is it’s very reliable so you might still have some very old stuff out there. At Solid Signal we’re here to help you get your TV your way, which is why we still have a good selection of DECAs and band stop filters.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.