OUR NETWORK: TiVo Community TechLore Explore3DTV MediaSmart Home MyOpenRouter Dijit Community See all... About UsAdvertiseContact Us

Learn about scoring Forum's Raw Score: 1760380.0
August 14, 2006 08:32 AM

Categories: Upgrading

Rating (0 votes)
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rate This!

Member Avatar


Joined: 08/14/2006

I want to buy an "eBay" DirecTivo DVR that comes with an Access Card. Knowing that it is very possible for the Access Card to have $100.00 plus of PPV on it, in Direct TV's eyes, is this PPV bill connected to the Access Card and the DVR box or just the Access Card? As in, can I just throw this Access Card in the trash and buy another Access Card from Direct TV for $20.00 to use? Better yet, I will be replacing a Direct TV receiver with this new hacked DirecTivo box. Can I use the Access Card out of the receiver? If I can use the receiver's Access Card, what are the steps , if any, do I need to take to use it?

It Is What It Is

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-21 of 21 | Latest Comment

August 14, 2006 12:40 PM


I just want to know how to get a DVR bought off of eBay working correctly through Direct TV.  Since more than likely the Access Card that comes with the eBay unit will be useless.

Can I use the Access Card I currently have from the receiver I will be replacing with this new eBay DVR?  I currently have regular receivers and an R10.  I plan on replacing everything with hackable DVRs.  Which is what I am sure most of you are doing or have done. 

So what have most of you done about the Access Card for your new DVRs?

It Is What It Is

August 14, 2006 1:36 PM

You won't be able to use the access card that came with the ebay unit as whoever is selling it technically doesn't own it, directv does.  If there is a balance on the tivo unit itself, then you'll have to pay it in order to be able to activate it and use it on your account.  You shouldn't have any trouble moving an active access card over to the ebay unit.  Just give directv a call when you get it and it can be done when you want to activate the ebay unit.  Worst case is yes, you'll have to get a new card from directv.

August 14, 2006 3:15 PM

stivovance said:

"If there is a balance on the tivo unit itself, then you'll have to pay it in order to be able to activate it and use it on your account."

What kind of a balance could be on it?

It Is What It Is

August 14, 2006 3:20 PM

If someone didn't pay their bill and cancelled directv or went delinquent, that sort of thing.

August 14, 2006 3:28 PM

OK, so directv keeps track of the serial numbers for the units.  And when I call up and say, "I need to move an existing access card over to this unit, they will ask me for the serial number of the unit and thats when I find out if this thing has a balance.

So, legally is there a problem with buying these older units (HR10-250, Samsung SIR-S4120R, SIR-S4080R, 2 Philips DSR704s and the like) off of eBay?

 If so, how does everyone find the older units to hack and build a real DVR home network?


It Is What It Is

August 14, 2006 3:35 PM

Yep, pretty much. 


It's all legal.  We also sell them as well, www.ptvupgrade.com we have refurbished dsr704s and new HR10-250s.

August 14, 2006 4:03 PM

Lets say I buy an eBay unit, and it has a balance of $100.00, is Direct TV now going to come after me for the balance?

 Or will they just tell me, "Sorry, but we are not going to allow this unit to be added to your account until the balance is paid on it."?

Does directv need the serial number to add it, or will the access card in my older unit just move right over without me contacting directv?  I would think a box is a box is a box to them, as long as I'm still paying the $4.99 for a box connected to my system.  The receiver is going up in the closet, or I'm going to sell it.  After replacing it with a DVR it will be pretty much useless to me.

But the main question now is, will I be able to just pop the access card out of the old receiver and stick it into the eBay unit without contacting directv?  If I have to contact directv what is it that they have to do to the card to get it working?  They can't change the card, I would not think the units have writers in them, just readers.

I'm trying to figure out how to get around the risk of buying an eBay unit with a balance attached to it.  Since there is no way to know until you receive it from the seller.

It Is What It Is

August 14, 2006 4:16 PM

They'll make you pay before the unit is activated.  Yes, they need the s/n of the box and your access card # to move it over.  They authorize the card to work in the new unit. 

August 14, 2006 4:35 PM

What do you think the percentage is of buying an eBay box only to find out it has a huge balance on it?  I understand you are not a profesional buyer of these boxes.  But if you were to guess, using your experience of reading these posts and other methods you use for knowledge of hacking these boxes.  Just trying to figure out if it is worth the trouble of taking the risk.

It Is What It Is

August 14, 2006 4:38 PM

Sorry, can't even think of a #.  I can't speak for everyone who's ever bought a used unit on ebay.  I guess the good news is that you have ebay and paypal to back you up if there's a problem. Just ask the seller if there's a balance prior to purchase and that should keep you covered.

August 14, 2006 4:51 PM

Yeah, thats a good idea to ask the seller.  I just didn't know how bad it might be buying off of eBay, since to the people trying to work society over can come out pretty easy on that type of scam.

I'll try at least once or twice and hopefully pick some good ones, then if things turn out bad I'll take my losses and belly up to the bar.

Thanks for the conversation.  I am sure I'll have more questions later, when I dig further into this hobby.


It Is What It Is

August 14, 2006 6:27 PM

In my experiences with DirecTV, they have never been consistent. With my first used unit, they wouldn't let me recycle an access card I already had, so I had to pay $20, but they gave me 6 months credit and two months of free Showtime for my trouble. With a DSR704 I received from PTVupgrade, the lady I spoke with let me use an access card from another unit I had, though I believe she was an actual tech person and not a CSR.

Getting my HR10-250 activated and not show up as a leased unit was a real PITA. 

My advice? Just keep calling and speaking to different people until you get the answer you want, provided it is within reason.  

TechLore Blog

HR10-250, Samsung SIR-S4120R, SIR-S4080R, 2 Philips DSR704s (one connected to a Slingbox A/V). One box used the "Zipper"; rest used PTVnet to enable networking features.

August 15, 2006 8:33 AM


After reading many of your other posts, and learning much, which units in your signature have you found to be better than the rest?  Your detailed comments would be great, or stories of your experiences even better.  I guess this can be looked at as an informal rating of the units you prefer, which I am learning are probably some of the best to hack right now.

Ease of Hacking:

1.  Adding Bigger Hard Drive

2.  Using the hacked features (networking, block call, ect..)

3.  Ease of adding a second Hard Drive

4.  Excepts the new hacked Hard Drive better with little or no problems.

Construction & Durability: (type of enclosure...)

Activating through Direct TV: (if applicable)

Cosmetic Appeal (how the unit looks, colors, angles, little rubber boots so it doesn't slide around, ect...)

Any other characteristics you would like to Add:

It Is What It Is

August 15, 2006 7:43 PM

I prefer the Samsung units over the Philips units, but only for the reason they use Phillips screws instead of Torx ones, though I replaced the screws on one of my Philips units. I prefer the looks of the Samsung units, but my wife prefers the Philips ones. The hardware inside is pretty much the same, so that shouldn't be a consideration.

Adding a bigger hard drive is easy, if you are just replacing the old one.

As far as the hacked features, I haven't noticed any problems.

Second hard drive, I can't answer, as all of mine have only one.

With most of my units, I hacked them right out of the box, either with a replacement or hard drive or by overwriting the existing one. Doing it that way, there was nothing to lose, such as old recorded programs.


stories of your experiences even better


You can read the "PTVnet Success Stories" thread and one of the early entries in my blog for that.


TechLore Blog

HR10-250, Samsung SIR-S4120R, SIR-S4080R, 2 Philips DSR704s (one connected to a Slingbox A/V). One box used the "Zipper"; rest used PTVnet to enable networking features.

September 3, 2006 8:37 PM

I have purchsed several Phillips units off ebay with no problem.  I do also insure that the seller doesn't have an outstanding balance and get it in writing (e-mail) that I can return the unit if there is a balance.

 I have transferred existing access cards I have from other units in all of the directivos.  I just tell Directv that my previous unit (non-dvr) died and that I bought a used unit to replace it.  The last time I did it, they tried to tell me that I needed to use their DVR, but I mentioned several features that I have read that people don't like, and the person dropped the pressure.




5 Phillips DSR-704s and counting
All Directivos hacked and HMO enabled

November 2, 2006 5:17 PM

When a DTV card (P2, P3, P4, etc) is inserted to a receiver it marries that reciever.

The only way to move that card to a new reciever is to unmarry the card (not going into the process here) or to have DTV unmarry the card for you, and then remary it to the new reciever.

 As long as the card you intend to use is a newer (P4) card (not the one with the satellite pic (P2 or h) or the football pic (P3 or HU) ) they will allow you to use it with the replacement receiver.

November 3, 2006 8:38 AM


I do not think your explanation is 100% correct, I bought two DVRs from ebay, both came with old cards, older than the ones I owned.  In fact one box came ready for use, as in I plugged it in and was watching Dtv instantly.  It suprised me.  I called DTV and they let me use the cards that I got with the boxes from eBay.  One of the boxes still had an account open and had a bill due on it from the previous owner.  Dtv told me not to worry, they zeroed out the card or whatever they do, I gave them the DVR info, and they got both working within 10-20 minutes.  I have no idea what they plan to do about the oustanding balance from the previous owner, they just told me not to worry about it.  No problem.  So I do not think you need the newer cards to get a DVR working through Dtv, you just have to be a loyal customer, they were very helpful and even commented both times that I was doing exactly what most of their callers are doing right now.  Buying from eBay and switching all of their regular receivers over to DVRs.

It Is What It Is

November 3, 2006 9:38 AM

Had to do a little research.....we are both correct, sort of.  

(Sorry, it's been awhile since I had to worry about the streams....)

DirecTV is now utilizing the fourth generation of ISO7816 smart access cards.

P1, also known as F cards, were used until 1997. F cards have a picture of a satellite on the front.

P2, also known as H cards, were introduced in 1996 to replace F cards. H cards look the same as F cards. H cards are were in use until 2002.

P3, also known as HU cards were introduced in 1999 and are still supported. HU cards have a picture of a football player on the front. HU cards originally shipped with receivers with serial numbers above 0001 700 000.

P4 cards were introduced in 2002 and are the current standard. P4 cards are labelled "Access Card: 4."

They don't like to reactivate the HU cards b/c of the vunerability to be programmed.   Not saying that they don't, they just don't like to! :)

November 3, 2006 9:53 AM

I'm at work right now, but I am pretty sure the cards I own and the two that came with the eBay boxes were P4 cards. Probably why it was so easy to activate them under my account. Thanks for the expanation, I am sure many people will benefit from this discussion.

It Is What It Is

November 4, 2006 2:41 PM

I did just that and there were several unpaid PPV entries on it (which I didn't know.)  When I received my next bill the charges were there.  I called DTV, explained what I had done, told them the date I had activated the card (which was of course much later than when the charges were incurred) and DTV removed the charges.  It would probably be wise to inform DTV that you were activating a card and unit that you had purchased on Ebay to avoid any future "trouble."  If you get a good deal on a DTV unit on Ebay - go for it!

October 5, 2010 8:37 AM

My question is I have 1 DTV DVR receiver. If I buy and ebay DTV DVR can I receive programming without another access card?? And if not why?


Discussion:    Add a Comment | Back to Top | Comments 1-21 of 21 | Latest Comment

You must login to discuss this item.


Please log in or register to participate in this community!

Log In


Not a member? Sign up!

Did you forget your password?

You can also log in using OpenID.

close this window
close this window