NICE AND EASY: Explain what a DECA is?

It’s confusing. You hear this all the time with DIRECTV folks, “DECA this, DECA that, DECA DECA DECA.” We’ve tried to make it easy with our Guide to Coax Networking, and a few years ago I made a YouTube video to show how silly things had gotten. For once, though, let’s cut through the long stories and fancy productions and get down to the basics… so nice and easy, let’s explain what a DECA is.

DECA stands for DIRECTV Ethernet Coaxial Adapter. It’s a solution to a problem: how to you get internet access to every room without expensive wiring?

The DECA is a real thing. It’s a real adapter that connects to the end of a coax line and then splits out an ethernet cable from it. It’s not the tech that makes it work — that’s called MoCA. It’s not the chip inside the DVR that does the same thing. The only thing that you ought to call a DECA is the little box you see above you.

A DECA can be used one of two ways. If you connect it to a power supply, it’s called a Broadband DECA or Cinema Connection Kit. If you don’t, it’s just referred to as a “receiver” DECA. You use a DECA to connect to older receivers — HR20, HR21, HR22, HR23, H21, and H23 — because they don’t have that tech built in.

There just aren’t a lot of those older receivers out there so it’s rare to see a DECA used behind a DIRECTV receiver. There are two common uses for a DECA today: You use connect to your router so all your receivers can share that internet signal, or you use it to connect a DIRECTV Ready smart TV. The same device is used for both purposes since it’s just an adapter – it can be used to convert coax to Ethernet (and Ethernet to coax) in almost any situation.

There’s a lot more to learn but the basics are…

  • A Receiver DECA is a little box that puts older receivers on the internet.
  • A Broadband DECA connects to your router and supplies internet to all your receivers.
  • A Broadband DECA is also used to convert the coaxial cable to ethernet for use in a Smart TV.

Nice and easy!

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 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.