[mythtv-users] Changing channels on a new D11 directv receiver

Jeff Simpson jeffsimpson at alum.wpi.edu
Fri Dec 30 10:09:03 EST 2005

On 12/30/05, Brian Wallen <brian_wallen at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Yesterday I just got directv in my house.  I have a couple of d11
> receivers
> with usb ports in the back.  The usb port is the regular rectangular type
> like the ones in the back of a computer.  Is it possible to have a cable
> that has two rectangular ends and use that to control the receiver?  I saw
> one guy say he got it working with a usb->serial converter, but I wanted
> to
> see if that was my only choice or not.

It is possible to have a cable that has USB on both ends....but that cable
will be made up of a USB->Serial, a Null-Modem adapter, and a Serial->USB
again, all connected together with electrical tape :-P

The issue is that the USB port on the computer and the one on the STB are
both host usb - and just like with two PCs, you can't just plug a USB
male->male cable in and connect them. With serial you could do that, because
serial is a "dumb" technology - it knows nothing about how it is to be used,
and expects the computer to know it's there and connect to it. USB, on the
other hand, requires that devices have circuitry in them so that they are
detected by the host computer as a particular type of device so that the
host knows what driver to use and how to access it. Since both ends are USB,
they both need to be able to find that kind of circuitry, so there needs to
be two USB->serial adapters.

If the cable company decided to redesign the STB, it would make sense for
them to make it so that the USB->serial conversion is done inside the box,
so that you can just plug in a USB extension cable to use it. Problem there
is that you wouldn't be able to use it with a standard serial port anymore,
so a lot of their test equipment wouldn't be usable.
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