How can you hook an old DIRECTV receiver to your RV’s TV?

It might not be that surprising, but the RV market is hot right now. You may not feel comfortable going to a hotel or a restaurant quite yet, but if you want to vacation there’s nothing safer than being in your own vehicle, cooking your own food, and sleeping in the same bed every night while you travel the USA.

Interest in RVs is growing by leaps and bounds. Even used RVs are becoming very popular, and that’s led to a whole new market for satellite TV.

Satellite television in RVs

RVs started getting fitted with satellite television in the early 2000s. Modern systems were developed that tracked the satellites while you’re moving and delivered high-quality picture and sound (by the standards of the day) to the TV set in the RV. This was a common luxury upgrade then, and it still is today.

The rise in interest in RVs has led to new life for older RVs, including many that have perfectly good satellite systems. The problem is that while the RV and the satellite system are still very good, the old 13″ tube TV mounted in the cabin isn’t going to be anyone’s idea of fun. Television technology has changed a lot since the early 2000s. It’s changed so much that it’s gotten hard to connect an old receiver to a new TV.

Today’s televisions mostly use HDMI

I’m sure you’re familiar with the HDMI connector. It’s pretty much how anything connects to a TV these days, and it’s been rising in popularity for about the last 15 years. Most satellite equipment made in the 2010s will have this connector, but what can you do if yours doesn’t?

Here’s how they did things back then

This is the back of a typical satellite receiver from the 2000s. As you see there is no HDMI connector. That was ok then, since the televisions of the day didn’t have them either. But it does create problems with new TVs that expect that HDMI cable.

Luckily there are several things you can do.

Step 1: Call Signal Connect to learn about your options.

Depending on what sort of system you have, you may not be able to reactivate it with the old receiver. Some very old systems with specific receivers can be reactivated, but most DIRECTV and DISH equipment from those days can’t be reused today. They technology has just progressed too far.

That’s not a bad thing, though. Solid Signal has one of the only remaining warehouses full of compatible DIRECTV H24 and DISH ViP211Z receivers. This hardware was designed about ten years ago and will work with most older RV setups. You can’t get these boxes anywhere else.

Call the experts at Signal Connect to find out your options. The call is free and there’s no obligation to buy. The number is 866-726-4182.

Step 2: Connect it properly

If you are connecting an older video source like a satellite TV receiver to a new TV, look for those yellow, red, and white plugs on the back. If the TV doesn’t have them, there are options.

Connect the red to the red, the yellow to the yellow, and the white to the white.

IMPORTANT: If you see red, green, and blue ports on the TV like this:

These are not the same as the red, yellow, and white ports. If you don’t have that yellow plug, you won’t get video.

Step 2a: What to do if you don’t have the right ports

Honestly there is a converter and we sell it at Solid Signal.  But it’s expensive, and it’s probably cheaper to either get a different TV or get a different satellite receiver.

If you have any questions…

Call for the best free tech support! Our number is 866-726-4182 and we support all US satellite systems. If it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below.

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 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.