DirecTV throughout the 3800 - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-11-2014, 10:04 PM   #1
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DirecTV throughout the 3800

OK, first real project on the 2014 Voltage 3800 Epic III...getting DirecTV to all four televisions.

Dealer installed "one drop" from the Winegard HD antenna to the cabinet below the TV in the living area.Adding another "drop" would be several hundred dollars and would require another DirecTV HD DVR receiver.We like the HD DVR receivers because we can record programs and fast forward through all the commercials!!

We used a "standard" DirecTV receiver in our first toyhauler.So its input was a coax cable and the output was a coax cable.The HD DVR receivers have a coax input and a single HDMI output.

How would that work?The other three TVs in the trailer are connected together using RG-6 coax cable.Is it possible to connect all four TVs to one DirecTV HD DVR receiver?

Yes, it is.And this is how I've done it:

First to the web, looking for information.I found HDMI-Component Matrix Switches-Adapters-Splitters-SDI-Cables and exchanged e-mails with Jim.One of their excellent technical experts. What I needed was an HDMI splitter, and a way to carry HDMI signal over an RG-6 coax cable.

Here's what I ordered from HDTV Supply:

1 - 1X4 HDMI SPLITTER.The HDMI output from the DirecTV HD DVR receiver goes to the Input of the HDMI splitter.The HDMI splitter has four outputs, one for each TV in our trailer.

3 - HDMI over COAX (RG-6U/SDI) EXTENDER.Each of these consists of a "transmitter" and a "receiver".An HDMI cable from the splitter goes to the HDMI input of the "transmitter".A coax from another TV, say the garage, connects to the output of the "transmitter".At the TV, the coax currently connected to the TV connects to the input of the "receiver".An HDMI cable connects to the output of the "receiver" and goes to the TV.

Each part of these components requires its own AC power supply.

Cost - $1052

So at my local Ace Hardware I purchased:

A black 7-port power strip.

A roll of 2" wide industrial Velcro.

A 1 3/8" hole saw - for cutting holes in the back of the cabinet to route cables
6 - 1" black plastic hole rings (to protect the cables and give the holes a finished look.)

Cost $64


The "extender" sets use BNC connectors for the coax.

So at my local Radio Shack I purchased:

6 - BNC Male to F-Connector (Coax) Female adapters.

Cost $46.94


For a total material cost of$1163


To get started, first thing I did was remove the trim and the four screws that hold the fire place in.Slide the fireplace out so there is room to work.Yup, had to vacuum up a bunch of construction debris.

image 100_3951.jpg goes here

First picture,

Shown is the cabinet above the fireplace and to the left of the control panel cabinet.The door has been removed temporarily.

The top shelf now holds only the DirecTV HD DVR receiver.I did two things here, I measured the cabinet an the receiver and the blue tape as a mark at the center of the cabinet, it aligns with the receiver circle which turns out to be center of the receiver.Two 5" long strips of the industrial Velcro hold the receiver in place.

The receiver is unfortunately deeper than the cabinet by about a half inch.So I measured and laid out where each cable or wire connects to the back of the receiver on the back of the cabinet.I then drilled that many holes with the hole saw and snapped in on of the plastic hole rings.

To the receiver are routed the coax from the satellite dish, the power cord, the output HDMI cable, and an Ethernet cable.The Ethernet cable connects the DirecTV WiFi Adapter to the receiver.With all the cables connected through the holes in the back of the cabinet, the receiver sits 1/8" back from the edge of the cabinet.The power cable I let drop and it hangs about 12" off the floor behind the fireplace.
The middle shelf holds the brains of this project.From left to right are:

The power supply for the Winegard HD antenna controller, Velcro holds it to the side of the cabinet.

Next, on the bottom the Winegard HD antenna controller, Velcro holds it to the bottom of the cabinet.Next up is the DirecTV WiFi Adapter, Velcro holds it to the antenna controller.On top is the HDMI Splitter.

Next is the stack of three HDMI over Coax "transmitters.Velcro between each layer.

On the right side there is an original "hole" where cables come into the shelf area.Forward of that is a coax outlet with a loop of coax, I still don't know what is purpose it.At the front is the Winegard controller for the "off air antenna" and campground "cable TV".There is a coax splitterconnected to this controller, an the coax the TVs are connected to it.I disconnected the three coax cables, routed them through a new hole I drilled, and they connect to the "transmitters".

At the back of the cabinet is the power strip for all the components on this shelf.The power strip cord is dropped behind the cabinet and hangs behind the fireplace.

The bottom shelf holds only the Sony Blu Ray/DVD player that came with the trailer.

The picture below gives a better view of all the "stuff" on the middle shelf.There are a lot of cables, and I have some more "arranging" to do to make it look better.

image 100_3953 goes here

The picture below is a better view of the DirecTV receiver.Note it is centered in the cabinet and none of the holes for the cables is visible.

image 100_3952 goes here

Behind the fireplace there is an outlet the supplies power for the subwoofer and the vacuum system.I added another power strip at this location to provide a place to plug in the DirecTV receiver and the middle shelf power strip.This second power strip is tied to the framing behind the fireplace to assure there is no interference when reinstalling the fireplace.

The DirecTV receiver on the top shelf, and the Blu Ray player on the bottom shelf use remotes for control.Everything on the middle shelf has either push buttons or is on all the time.For a better look, I have painted the inside of the cabinet door glass with satin black paint.Thus with the cabinet door closed, you have a more appealing look.

Switch all TVs to HDMI 1 and everything works.Get a DirecTV RF (Radio Frequency) remote, and you can control the DirecTV receiver from anywhere in the trailer.Kinda handy when watching TV in the bedroom or garage.

One other thing I have figured out, but not tested. The HDMI Splitter has one HDMI input.That input:

Is where the output HDMI from the DirecTV receiver plugs in.
But, I can pull the receiver HDMI and plug in the Sony Blu Ray player HDMI and the Blue Ray video plays on all four TVs.

I can pull the receiver HDMI and plug in one of the new ROKU "streaming" device HDMI and have all those channels on all four TVs.

There you go,

Never posted on this forum with pictures...does it make sense?

Pirate
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:05 PM   #2
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That's very interesting and I like that you can watch/control any TV using one remote using Rf. I had the Directv guy install the new Genie last week which uses the client/server setup and it sounds like it does the same thing except I can pick the programming on each TV separately if my wife wants to watch something else. I think long term you win out regarding cost as I'm paying like $6 a month for each of the extra clients. Nice setup!
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:03 PM   #3
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$1100 to get a satellite signal to all TV's?

I have a signal to all 4 of my TV's via existing RG6 coax and all it cost was $10 for a decent splitter to replace the one from the factory and $60 for the RF remote contraption that allows me to change channels on the satellite receiver while in front of any of the TV's.

Maybe I'm missing something in your post that required that type of an investment.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:37 AM   #4
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If you're using just the coax, then you're using a standard receiver and not an HD DVR.

We like to record programs and be able to skip the commercials.

DirecTV doesn't have a coax receiver that will do that.

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Old 06-17-2014, 01:15 AM   #5
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Actually, they do. With SWM, or single wire multiswitch, it's possible.

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Old 06-17-2014, 03:32 AM   #6
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$60?... Ouch. RF remotes identical to normal directv remote is only $25 from directv, just have to ask. Genie installer gave me mine free during the free upgrade, said no one ever asks for them.
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