TIP: Use advanced searching tools on DIRECTV receivers

Smart Search on DIRECTV receivers is pretty smart. It can predict what you want as you’re typing and even suggest likely matches. Did you know it’s even smarter than that?

What if you could use Smart Search to create complex conditions like, “Show me all programs that contain the word HOUSE in the title on channel 229.” You can!

The key is using search keywords. These are hidden parts of the smart search system and although they’re hard to use, they are very powerful. The search keywords are:

  • AALL (boolean AND operator) all the following words must be contained within search results
  • AANY (boolean OR operator) at least one of the following words must be contained within results
  • NNOT (boolean NOT operator) exclude programs that contain any of the following words in results
  • TTITLE Limits the search to the Title field of the Programs
  • NNAME Limits the search to the Name field (e.g. Actors, Director) of the programs
  • CCAT Limits the search to programs in the specified category
  • AABOUT Limits the search to the Info/description text of programs
  • CCHANS Limits the search to programs on specified channel (one number) or range (two numbers)

These words are intentionally spelled with extra letters so that they don’t interfere with ordinary searches. Putting them in a search adds power to that search.

Start with AANY and AALL. Putting these words first will either give you a result that matches any of the words that come after it or all of the words that come after it. Here are some examples:

  • AANY TREK WARS SEARCH will give you results like Star TrekStar Wars and Star Search because each of these has at least one of those words.
  • AALL TREK WARS SEARCH will probably not return anything unless there is a show like Trek to Search for the Wars because all of the words must be there.

You can then add NNOT to limit what you find. For example:

  • AALL LAW ORDER will find all Law and Order shows.
  • AALL LAW ORDER NNOT INTENT will find all [i]Law and Order[i] shows except Criminal Intent because it has INTENT in the name.

If you want to limit things further, use TTITLE, NNAME, CCAT and AABOUT. Here are some examples.

  • AALL LAW ORDER TTITLE would work better because it won’t look through the program descriptions, just the title.
  • KING NNAME will find Larry King but won’t find The King of Queens because it’s looking only at names.
  • AANY LIONS TIGERS CCAT SPORTS will find Detroit sports teams but won’t find shows about animals, because only sports are searched.
  • BATTERIES AABOUT will find shows about making batteries but not the movie Batteries Not Included because only descriptions are searched.

Finally, you can search only by a single channel or a range of channels. For example:

  • AALL CSI CCHANS 2 will only find CSI shows on channel 2.
  • AALL BEARS CCHANS 206 210 will find shows about the Bears on the ESPN channels

As you can see it can be very powerful and you can use this sort of search to combine series links. Looking at the example above, if you CBS channel is 2, AALL CSI CCHANS 2 will find all the CSIs on the network without the ones on other channels, and do it all on one series link.

To look at the example at the beginning… it’s easy! AALL HOUSE TTITLE CCHANS 229 will do the trick!

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.