DECA, the cheap alternative to MoCA for HTPCs and Extenders - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to user Dave Harper, I discovered a great solution for ethernet over coax which is much cheaper than MoCA. It does have caveats, but is a great fit for HTPC and extender systems.

DECA is DirecTV's version of MoCA. But DirecTV DECA hardware is much cheaper than MoCA hardware, especially if you buy on ebay. MoCA is designed to work on the same wires as cable TV signals without interference. But DECA is right in the middle of cable TV frequencies, at 450-650mhz, which makes it impossible to run cable TV and DECA on the same wires. However, since HTPC users typically don't need cable TV signals anywhere except at their tuners and cable modems, the rest of the coax network can be disconnected from the cable TV network and be dedicated to DECA only. DECA bandwidth is 100Mbps full duplex, so should be sufficient for most video streaming needs.

Essentially, all you need to do is connect a powered DECA adapter at a router or switch and another powered DECA adapter at every extender. DirecTV makes several DECA devices to do this, including older DECA I receivers and the Cinema Connection Kit, or the newer DECA II devices. I used the latest DECA II devices because it was easy to find kits that included a power supply, and very inexpensive. So just buy one of THESE DCA2PR0-01 kits for each node in your network. Older DECA devices and power supplies will also work fine.

Here is the DECA II kit needed for each node. At your switch or router, simply plug in the power, connect the DC/RF adapter then connect to the short cable attached to the DECA device, then connect an ethernet cable from the DECA device to a port on your switch or router. At each extender, connect power in the same manner, connect the other coax port to your coax network, and connect ethernet from the DECA device to your extender. 2 solid green lights on all DECA devices mean you have a good connection. Amber means you have a bad connection, so check your wiring.



If you are interest in power usage, my Kill-A-Watt says each of these uses 3W.

These adapters use Entropic MoCA chips shared by many MoCA devices like Actiontec, ChannelMaster, Hirschmann and Wi3. The main difference is the different frequencies used by DECA.

I bought mine from both of these vendors on ebay whom I can recommend highly. Both provided brand new units and shipped quickly. They seem to have a pretty healthy supply of them at the moment. And no, neither of the vendors is me or Dave tongue.gif

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DIRECTV-broadband-deca-Connection-Kit-for-on-demand-LOT-OF-2-/141012599262? ($18 for 2 modules shipped from the west coast)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-DirecTV-Broadband-DECA-CINEMA-Connection-ON-Demand-NEW-model-DCA2PR0-01-/151083955527? ($12.50 each shipped from the mid-west)

There are many others about the same price, but those are the ones I have positive first hand experience with.
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post #2 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 09:54 AM
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Now everybody will be bidding them up on eBay!

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post #3 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 10:16 AM
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Now everybody will be bidding them up on eBay!
Shhh. That's mdavej's plan.
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post #4 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 10:26 AM
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I take that the other end of the adapter just gets capped off and not connected to anything at all?

Also, what is the DC to RF adapter for?

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post #5 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 10:47 AM
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Uhhhh, DC to RF! wink.gif No, one end is power (the DC to RF adapter plugged into the power supply) and the other is to the coax network as mdavej mentioned.

PS - There's a DC to rf adapter because as I said in the original post, DECA is usually powered by the DTV receiver itself, but when they use it separately to inject ethernet in a location that may not have a receiver present, they use the power supply and those DC to rf adapters to get the deca some juice.

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post #6 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by cdru View Post

Shhh. That's mdavej's plan.
Actually at was MY plan from the beginning. I bought out all the DECA equipment and am hoarding it in hopes of high demand since these threads are going viral. Why do you think I dropped that little "hint" about using DECA in the first place!?!?!? tongue.gif

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post #7 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Shhh. That's mdavej's plan.
Mwahahaha... all the pieces are falling into place (rubs hands) wink.gif

But seriously, I figured this would have very limited appeal anyway. Only uber-cheapskates like me would be interested in such an approach. Either that, or Dave is actually giving me a commission on all his ebay sales biggrin.gif
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post #8 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 03:12 PM
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What is wrong with good old fashioned CAT6 cable from monoprice?

It works wonderfully and costs almost nothing.

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post #9 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 03:17 PM
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Nothing is wrong with it but if you have installation issues it can be easier to utilize cabling that is already in place.

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post #10 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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What is wrong with good old fashioned CAT6 cable from monoprice?

It works wonderfully and costs almost nothing.
The timing belt for my car costs almost nothing as well, but the installation is a bitch.
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post #11 of 31 Old 05-20-2013, 07:12 PM
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The timing belt for my car costs almost nothing as well, but the installation is a bitch.

LoL. So true.
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post #12 of 31 Old 05-21-2013, 09:04 AM
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MoCA 1.0 goes up to 130 Mbps, MoCA 1.1 goes to 300 Mbps, MoCA 2.0 supposed to go past Gigabit.

100 Mbps is fine for individual extenders, but HTPC will have to be on a faster connection, since it will serve all those extenders, and can easily max out 100 Mbps with 4-5 streams. IF you have network tuners, double the needed bandwidth coming in and out of the HTPC.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #13 of 31 Old 05-22-2013, 10:13 AM
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I like the the look of the DIRECTV Cinema Connection Kit (DECABB1R0) box better than the dongle device. Any reason I can't use two of these (at the router and remote TV end points)?

I was briefly tempted to go with the MoCA 2.0 option, since that supports 1.4 gigabit bandwidth, however it operates at coax frequencies higher than the el-cheapo splitters used by
cable installers, and finding a replacing them all would be more work than pulling dedicated CAT6 to my problem location.

I suspect DirecTV chose the DECA frequency in the 450-650Mhz range, precisely because they wanted to piggy-back on already installed coax done by Cable providers.
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post #14 of 31 Old 05-22-2013, 11:26 AM
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MoCA 2.0 was ratified almost three years ago. And yet, the only thing I can find is MoCA 1.0/1.1 adapters.
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post #15 of 31 Old 05-22-2013, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aufVidyZen View Post

I like the the look of the DIRECTV Cinema Connection Kit (DECABB1R0) box better than the dongle device. Any reason I can't use two of these (at the router and remote TV end points)?

I was briefly tempted to go with the MoCA 2.0 option, since that supports 1.4 gigabit bandwidth, however it operates at coax frequencies higher than the el-cheapo splitters used by
cable installers, and finding a replacing them all would be more work than pulling dedicated CAT6 to my problem location.

I suspect DirecTV chose the DECA frequency in the 450-650Mhz range, precisely because they wanted to piggy-back on already installed coax done by Cable providers.
Should work, as these all the DECA devices are supposed to be interchangeable, but I don't know for sure.

FWIW, all mine are completely hidden from view, so it doesn't really matter what they look like. I don't use the tiny patch cables that come with this things. I use normal 3-4 ft cables so the device can be placed anywhere I like.

Let us know how it works out.
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post #16 of 31 Old 10-08-2013, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by aufVidyZen View Post

...I suspect DirecTV chose the DECA frequency in the 450-650Mhz range, precisely because they wanted to piggy-back on already installed coax done by Cable providers.

They chose those frequencies because they don't interfere with their satellite's frequencies running down the same coax. It's for the same reason cable does it, just the inverse.

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post #17 of 31 Old 10-27-2013, 07:56 AM
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It is important to understand that DECA is NOT full duplex. MoCA, like most other RF-based systems, is half-duplex. One node in the system (typically the one with the best signal measurements) decides which node can be talking at any one time.

MoCA 2.0 is supposed to improve the bitrate by a factor of four (400Mbps), not a factor of 10 but as pointed out, MoCA 2.0 devices have yet to be approved (low or high carrier frequency).
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post #18 of 31 Old 08-03-2014, 01:55 AM
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Not sure about bumping rules, so let me know if I shouldn't have here.

My plan is to use our existing Coax to run a connection to two rooms that will have Xbox 360s running as WMC extenders.
Will these adapters allow for simultaneous connection to both extenders? (Both watching TV at the same time) There will be one adapter behind the main WMC PC, and one more in each room behind the extenders, for a total of three.

Also not sure if our setup will even allow any of this. We don't have internal wiring, it's all connected to a hub (?) mounted on the side of the house. We're currently using DirecTV whole home dvr service, and plan to switch everything to FiOS (Not sure if that's relevant) This is what it looks like. The white cable leads to the satellite, cable labelled 1 leads to the main Genie receiver, 2 and 3 lead to two Genie Minis.

Thanks for the help!
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post #19 of 31 Old 08-03-2014, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okcool View Post
Not sure about bumping rules, so let me know if I shouldn't have here.

My plan is to use our existing Coax to run a connection to two rooms that will have Xbox 360s running as WMC extenders.
Will these adapters allow for simultaneous connection to both extenders? (Both watching TV at the same time) There will be one adapter behind the main WMC PC, and one more in each room behind the extenders, for a total of three.

Also not sure if our setup will even allow any of this. We don't have internal wiring, it's all connected to a hub (?) mounted on the side of the house. We're currently using DirecTV whole home dvr service, and plan to switch everything to FiOS (Not sure if that's relevant) This is what it looks like. The white cable leads to the satellite, cable labelled 1 leads to the main Genie receiver, 2 and 3 lead to two Genie Minis.

Thanks for the help!
I'm about 99% sure that MoCa is compatible with cable/fios but incompatible with DirecTV, whereas Deca is compatible with DirecTV but incompatible with cable/fios.

If you won't be using the existing coax for either (as in your coax will come in and connect directly to your modem/and or tuner) then you can just keep the coax used by your extender network separate from the coax used for the actual cable signal and it won't matter which one (MoCa or Deca) that you use.

But as you've described it, you should be able to run two extenders off of MoCa bridges without any trouble. (the quality and condition of your coax can effect that among other things)
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post #20 of 31 Old 08-03-2014, 04:08 AM
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I'm about 99% sure that MoCa is compatible with cable/fios but incompatible with DirecTV, whereas Deca is compatible with DirecTV but incompatible with cable/fios.

If you won't be using the existing coax for either (as in your coax will come in and connect directly to your modem/and or tuner) then you can just keep the coax used by your extender network separate from the coax used for the actual cable signal and it won't matter which one (MoCa or Deca) that you use.

But as you've described it, you should be able to run two extenders off of MoCa bridges without any trouble. (the quality and condition of your coax can effect that among other things)
My hope is that the line to the tuner will be direct from the Fios ONT and won't touch the existing cables. I've read a lot of threads and everyone has been very vague as to whether they've been able to use more than two DECAs to connect multiple rooms, or if they put a switch on the far end then routed to other rooms.
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post #21 of 31 Old 08-03-2014, 04:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I use 5 DECAs on 4 extenders and a couple of PCs and smart TVs with no problems. As long as DECA network is isolated from CATV, you'll be fine. It will start to get saturated running more than 4 simultaneously, which I rarely do.
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post #22 of 31 Old 08-03-2014, 05:58 AM
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Very cool. Thanks!
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post #23 of 31 Old 08-05-2014, 09:18 AM
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Okay. So what about frequency overlap with U-verse?

We're moving tomorrow and since the COAX is already in the house we're moving my fiance's U-verse for TV until I get the network issues figured out and my CableCARD tuner is up and running for a whole house solution. Right now in our new home we have COAX to almost every room but Ethernet is non-existent. If I can use MoCA or DeCA that would be fine but I'm thinking that I want to have a Gig network rather than 100Mbps as there will be 4 or 5 extenders and/or Rokus going and probably up to three at a time with additional network traffic too, although my main PC and HTPC will be connected directly to a Gig Ethernet switch that will be connected directly to my Gig Router which will in turn be connected to my Cable Modem.

I want to ditch the U-verse ASAP for several reasons like cost and pixelization but she needs TV right NOW. I'd be willing to wait a month to have it all hooked up correctly but you know the old adage.. Happy wife; Happy life.

Our other option is to pull Ethernet and I'll be checking out the possiblity of doing that this weekend. Upstairs should be no problem as we can access the top plates of the walls, drill and fish it in but on the ground floor it is a whole other animal. Plus, the internet/CATV point of demarcation is either in the garage on the ground floor or in the guest room / office on the ground floor so getting the network run UP from there to the second floor is an issue.

So.. All that said, DeCA, MoCA or good old fashioned Cat6?

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post #24 of 31 Old 08-05-2014, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^
Sounds like you already answered you own question. Three extenders at once is getting close to 100MB, IIRC. If you need gigabit, Cat5/6 is your only option.

I've read that Uverse is incompatible with Moca anyway, and by extension, probably Deca too.
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post #25 of 31 Old 08-05-2014, 12:23 PM
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Dammit!

Now I need to plan out an installation!! Oh, and DO the installation!

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post #26 of 31 Old 08-05-2014, 09:28 PM
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Dammit!

Now I need to plan out an installation!! Oh, and DO the installation!
Sammy2, since you mentioned that you are going to get CableCard and Internet, the cheapest Moca devices I've found out there are these: http://www.meritline.com/mygica-coma...--p-68646.aspx (It's weird that they want to charge you more to buy 2 at a time, but I just added 1 to the cart and then increased the quantity to 2 and paid $73 each set)

I bought 2 pairs and have been running them flawlessly for nearly 2 months now. Similar to you I'm using a cablecard tuner (HDHomeRun Prime) and Win7 Media Center on my PC and I have 360 extenders at each of my TV's.

Also Motorola now has a Moca kit that you can catch on sale at NewEgg sometimes at $70 for the pair: http://slickdeals.net/f/7095126-netw...-fs-newegg-com

The only thing with the ones from Meritline you'll see that you have to set the switch back to position "1" as someone stated in the reviews. Luckily I saw that because at first it wasn't working for me, there wasn't anything in the "manual" referring to this either lol.
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post #27 of 31 Old 08-06-2014, 11:12 AM
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Okay. So what about frequency overlap with U-verse?

We're moving tomorrow and since the COAX is already in the house we're moving my fiance's U-verse for TV until I get the network issues figured out and my CableCARD tuner is up and running for a whole house solution. Right now in our new home we have COAX to almost every room but Ethernet is non-existent. If I can use MoCA or DeCA that would be fine but I'm thinking that I want to have a Gig network rather than 100Mbps as there will be 4 or 5 extenders and/or Rokus going and probably up to three at a time with additional network traffic too, although my main PC and HTPC will be connected directly to a Gig Ethernet switch that will be connected directly to my Gig Router which will in turn be connected to my Cable Modem.

I want to ditch the U-verse ASAP for several reasons like cost and pixelization but she needs TV right NOW. I'd be willing to wait a month to have it all hooked up correctly but you know the old adage.. Happy wife; Happy life.

Our other option is to pull Ethernet and I'll be checking out the possiblity of doing that this weekend. Upstairs should be no problem as we can access the top plates of the walls, drill and fish it in but on the ground floor it is a whole other animal. Plus, the internet/CATV point of demarcation is either in the garage on the ground floor or in the guest room / office on the ground floor so getting the network run UP from there to the second floor is an issue.

So.. All that said, DeCA, MoCA or good old fashioned Cat6?

Next-gen Powerline Ethernet is right around the corner. Gigabit speed with MIMO. I think the current limit is something like 15 endpoints + 1 connected to the router.
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post #28 of 31 Old 08-09-2014, 02:41 PM
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In a similar boat...moved to home that has cable outlets in the rooms, but only one ethernet outlet.

I'm planning to install an OTA Antenna in the attic. Questions:

1) Is there a compatibility issue with DECA?
2) How would I need to bring in that signal for distribution over the coax network?

NOTE: This will not carry satellite or cable TV signal. This will strictly be for OTA signal and internet (e.g. media stream) distribution to various devices.

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post #29 of 31 Old 08-09-2014, 02:42 PM
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Next-gen Powerline Ethernet is right around the corner. Gigabit speed with MIMO. I think the current limit is something like 15 endpoints + 1 connected to the router.
Read about installation and trouble shooting issues for powerline ethernet. Any word on if those are addressed / improved with this next generation?
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post #30 of 31 Old 08-09-2014, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Transplanted99 View Post
Read about installation and trouble shooting issues for powerline ethernet. Any word on if those are addressed / improved with this next generation?

The stuff you've read goes back several years ago to the first iteration of PE. Things have improved a lot on the stability front. Unless you have a very unstable home electrical system, you won't encounter any problems beyond the occasional "plug it back in" reset. That's as bad as it's ever been for me apart from an adapter getting fried by a nearby lightning strike. Even homes that are several decades old can use it without difficulty if the wiring is sound. The next generation launches in a few weeks and brings Gigabit speed with MIMO thanks to finally using the "ground" wiring. TrendNet launches their new products next month while Netgear and the other players will probably launch next year.
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