SOUND OFF: Still rockin’ this receiver?

Friends, this is an easy one. How many of you out there still have a Hughes or RCA DIRECTV receiver? I don’t mean that you have it collecting dust in the garage. I mean how many people still use one.

Why do I ask?

I had been told a long time ago that this generation of receivers was totally unusable at this point. Essentially, everything before the D10 receiver of 2003-2004 used a guide technology called MPG which simply wasn’t supported anymore. Without the ability to use the guide, the receiver couldn’t work, and that was that.

You see, the guide in those receivers (and all receivers) is tied in with a stream of other data. It’s not just about telling you what’s on. The receiver has to know how to tune to different channels. That information is constantly changing, as satellites are reconfigured. The need for more movies or more sports or more 4K programs means that other channels are moved around from satellite to satellite or from transponder to transponder.

If your receiver doesn’t know how to tune to any channel, it just… won’t. At least that’s what I was told. When those receivers lost support for their specific data stream, it was all over.

Or so I thought.

I recently ran into someone online who claimed they were using this very receiver, the Hughes HIRD-E1. As far as my internet research tells me, this receiver was in use around 1999-2001. That jives with my recollection as well. It definitely shouldn’t work today from everything I’ve been told. I asked for some proof, and I’ve yet to get it. But hey, I think anything’s possible. Maybe they’ve had it powered up and tuned to the same channel for 10 years. Maybe DIRECTV has secretly supported MPG even though they say they haven’t. It could be anything.

So I’m reaching out to you, my Solid Signal Blog faithful. Is there anyone else out there using a DIRECTV receiver that’s branded with anything besides the DIRECTV logo? I’m talking about those RCA, Philips, Hughes, and other receivers that have earned a long rest. Are they still out there? You tell me.

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.