Time for a new DECA?

Somewhere in your DIRECTV setup is a device that connects to the internet. If you have a Genie DVR, you might connect straight to that using a cable or using Wi-Fi. However, for many people, the internet connection comes from a separate box. That box is called a DECA.

What does a DECA do?

A DECA, or DIRECTV Ethernet Coaxial Adapter, is a simple device that lets your ethernet connection go to your coaxial cable. Once you have a network connection going over that coax, you can share internet connection with all your receivers, DVRs and clients. This makes searches faster and enables interactive features.

If you’ve had your DIRECTV system for a while you probably never thought about the DECA, because it just worked. But if you’ve found that searching is slower or you’re having problems with on-demand, it might be time to change the DECA. If you’ve ever gotten an on-screen warning saying that the receiver wasn’t connected to the internet, it might be time to change the DECA. This is especially true if the problem goes away on its own.

What does a DECA look like?

If you’re really old-school your DECA probably looks like this:

This was the first-generation DECA and it’s totally obsolete. Chances are you’ve already replaced it once. The power supplies for these were unreliable and didn’t last very long. Then, DIRECTV stopped making both these old white DECAs and the power supply so you really had no choice but to upgrade.

The most common DECA in the early ’10s for a lot of people was this little box:

Personally I always liked this design because it was simple and clean. However, the power supplies were once again the problem and for that reason they weren’t really good in a commercial environment.

Today’s DECA

Today’s DECA is a lot smaller than it’s ever been, and it uses the same EPS10 power supply that is used by Genie Clients and other hardware. While this isn’t as clean of an install it does mean that the power supply really isn’t a problem and in the extremely rare case it fails there is bound to be a good selection of spares out there.

Another nice thing about the new DECA is that you can power it with a MicroUSB cable (which you have plenty of, I guarantee) and pretty much any USB phone charger. Just flip the plastic gate so it covers up the round power connector and you’ll see the MicroUSB connector. The gate is there because you can’t use both at once.

With a USB connection this can end up being a lot cleaner install especially if you have an outlet with a USB connector to it.

Easy replacement

Generally, replacing a DECA means disconnecting the Ethernet cable from the old one, connecting it to the new one and plugging the DECA in. You don’t have to use the Ethernet cable that came with the DECA, you can use any good working cable. If you think the cable’s quit on your old DECA then replace it, otherwise just keep using it.

Cheap insurance

The thing about replacing a DECA is it’s not going to ever hurt things. If you think that your very old DECA is causing you some heartbreak, you should replace it. If you’re seeing any yellow lights on your old DECA, you should replace it to see if that solves things.

Of course the new Generation 3 DECA is available now at Solid Signal.

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.