NICE AND EASY: Tuners, splitters, MoCA

The Solid Signal Blog is your home for all sorts of DIRECTV tutorials. You can get the most comprehensive downloadable PDF ever written on DIRECTV upgrading here. Our Ultimate Guide to Upgrading Your DIRECTV System has become “required reading” for technicians and DIYers alike. But, sometimes, you just need a quick and easy guide. Here’s one you can bookmark to help you get through those thorny system design decisions.

Tuners

Think of a tuner as something you can watch or record. So a regular receiver has 1, a regular DVR has 2. An HR54 Genie has 5, while a Genie 2 has 7. A client has zero, because it gets its TV signal from the Genie DVR.

You can have an unlimited number of tuners, if you follow simple rules:

With a SWM-30 multiswitch, you can have two banks of 13 tuners each. You can easily combine four SWM-30s using a SWM Expander for 104 tuner capacity from a single unit.

Splitters

Splitters are used to make sure everything gets its own line. Don’t confuse tuners with splitters. Each port on a splitter can feed as many tuners as it needs. For example, you can hook up a Genie DVR, three clients, and 5 H25s to one 8-port splitter. That’s perfectly within the capability of a SWM-30 multiswitch or even the SWM-Enabled LNB.

You can connect one splitter to another if you want, but remember each time you split a signal it gets weaker. A weak signal doesn’t travel as far. In general, each 1×2 splitter cuts down the range by 30 feet, each 1×4 cuts it down by 60, and each 1×8 cuts the signal range by 120 feet. (that’s kind of oversimplifying but it’s good for quick calculations.)

MoCA

MoCA is the technology that lets you share programs between DVRs and makes the Genie Clients work. It’s been variously referred to as DIRECTV Whole-Home, Multi-Room Viewing, and program sharing. The most important thing you need to know is that there’s a hard limit of 16 devices for one MoCA “cloud” and that includes whatever device you’re using to connect to the internet. Each thing counts as one… a DVR, receiver, client, DECA, and Wireless Video Bridge all count as one. If you get above 10 DVRs there might be some problems sharing.

It’s worth noting that even if you’re using equipment that does more than one thing, it still counts. For example, a Genie 2 counts as up to three devices on the MoCA cloud. The video server counts as one, the built in Ethernet adapter counts as one, and the built-in Wireless Video Bridge counts as a third, if they are all in use. Generally the Ethernet adapter and Video Bridge are either/or, so for the most part a Genie 2 will count as no more than 2 devices. Each client, of course, counts as a single device.

So, armed with that information, you can start to plan your next big DIRECTV project! When you’re ready, shop at Solid Signal for everything you’ll need.

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.