jazz and conversation, from the foot of Mt Belzoni (ikkyu2) wrote,
jazz and conversation, from the foot of Mt Belzoni

Making my new DirecTV RC71 remote work with my Samsung TV and Onkyo Receiver

My regular readers will understand that this is really not aimed at them; it's reference for me when my devices get wiped by an EM pulse and I need to reconfigure them; and it may be helpful for some random schmo wandering around the web.

So recently I upgraded to the HR 44 Genie receiver. I had complained several times to DirecTV that the interface lag on my nearly 10 year old box was prohibitive, but they wanted me to buy one of these receivers for $300 in order to upgrade. Finally I told them to go fish and they "transferred me to their disconnect department."

I was chatting with the disconnect guy and asked him if his department was really "Customer retention" and he said it was, so I told him, "What really cheeses me off is I've been a great DirecTV customer for years and y'all want to reward me for that by making me use this really old box." Presto, we decided not to disconnect me, he shipped me out this new one and the interface lag is gone. Gave me a pretty solid discount, too. So maybe I can watch TV again!

Anyway, the device came with this new DIRECTV RC71 Remote Control and so I thought, maybe it will be an improvement over what I'm running.

I have an older Samsung TV - along the lines of this 8000-series model, which by the way I recommend as it is awesome - try the 3D remaster of Shadow of the Colossus on it if you don't believe me - and it's running via HDMI through an Onkyo receiver similar to this one, mine's a little older but same series.

I was a little surprised at how confusing and nonintuitive the process was to figure out - something that works this well and is so easy should be better publicized. Here's how it goes:

  1. Get everything wired up and installed.
  2. The door on the right of the receiver opens downward and to the front. Slide the card in.
  3. Don't throw away the sticker rattling around in the box; it has a bunch of serial numbers on it that you need to activate the receiver.
  4. Use the phone menus at 1-800-DIRECTV to activate your receiver. It's all automated. At one point you'll have to stop saying 'yes' and 'no'; she'll make you press '1' or '2' instead.
  5. Ignore the annoying prompts to configure your remote from the receiver menus; you'll never get it configured for RF. When it asks you to configure it for RF by pushing mute+SELECT and then entering 961/ChUp, ignore it as this does not work.
  6. Instead, while the receiver is on, hold MUTE and ENTER. After a few seconds your RC71 will pair with your HR44 and enter hybrid RF/IR mode.
  7. Enter the Samsung Menu. Go to System. Turn on Anynet (HDMI-CEC) control.
  8. Enter the Onkyo Setup menu. Go to Hardware Setup -> HDMI. Turn on RIHD which allows other devices to control your receiver.
  9. Only now, after that pairing is done, do you go to the DirecTV HR44 receiver's SETTINGS and HELP -> Settings -> Program Remote -> Program TV.
  10. This is the confusing part. I wanted to program my Onkyo first. But you can't. Don't bother. Program the Samsung first; it will be relaying commands to the Onkyo. Enter your TV's model number. Mine is a UN46D6000. It found it, but there's a serious delay before it recognizes that - like two minutes, during which time the receiver thinks it has failed. Keep trying. Eventually it'll prompt you to try the Volume +/- button; when it works, you can tell the receiver it works.
  11. OK. Now, go to the DirecTV HR44 receiver's SETTINGS and HELP -> Settings -> Program Remote again. This time, you'll see "Program Audio Device" as an option. Tell it about your receiver. Omit the dashes from the model name. It didn't have my TXNR1008, but it did have the TXNR1009, almost the identical device, so I told it so. Again, it initially thought it had failed, but eventually caught on. This time it prompted me to turn the device off to see if it worked.
  12. Yes, it turns off. Now what? Now turn it back on. Your receiver didn't turn itself off - it wasn't fooled! It's still waiting for you to confirm.
  13. Confirm and you're done! You are pretty much universal on the RC71 now, although I am not sure how clever the thing is about multi-zone - I have one TV, two audio zones, and I didn't try to configure the remote to deal with my second zone as I don't see what button would be doing that.

    If you give up, this Harmony universal remote can also solve all your problems, but I don't think it's much easier than the above - in fact I think it can be a little tricky to set up too. But it will control every device known to Logitech, which is most of them.
Tags: reference
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