DIRECTV Users: How can you check your software version… and why should you care?

Most people don’t know that DIRECTV has a large staff of full-time programming engineers who are actively working to squash bugs and add new features to DIRECTV products. I’ve been lucky enough to be inside their sanctum sanctorum and I’ll tell you that they are a smart, hardworking bunch. Their role has changed greatly since the mid-2000s when DIRECTV first started developing their own software instead of relying on manufacturers or outside companies like NDS.

There was a time when DIRECTV receivers got software downloads every month or even more frequently, but these days it’s more likely to be about once a quarter unless there’s a “showstopper” bug. And while it used to be advantageous to force your receiver to download the latest stuff if you had a problem, the process is largely automatic these days. Software downloads happen in the middle of the night and you’re likely to notice them only if you’re headed out to the fridge for a snack at “just the right time” to hear the receiver’s fan cycle on loudly or see the power button flash.

If you’re curious about what version of the DIRECTV software you have, press and hold the {INFO} button on your DIRECTV remote, or press {MENU}, then go to Settings&Help then Settings. You’ll see a screen telling you the software version and when it was last updated. For reasons known only to the geekiest of geeks, it’s a base-16 signed integer, meaning that it will be a combination of the numbers 0-9, the letters A-F, and start with “0x” meaning it’s a positive number. (Why wouldn’t it be?) We’re expecting some users to start getting version 0x097F, which if you’re curious translates out to version 2431.