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Network Requirements for Departmental Use of DirecTV

This article applies to: DirecTV

DirecTV, a network-based entertainment television service, is available in the residence halls and in many other locations on campus. Before placing an order for service, departments on campus should review the following network requirements with the local Network Administrator:

  • Existing infrastructure and equipment will determine if you can have High Definition service.
  • Both Standard and High Definition services require a full-duplex communication and will not work with hubs.
  • Determine if this will be on a dedicated or non-dedicated data port.

Standard Definition vs. High Definition Service

Standard Definition Service

  • Standard definition (SD) service runs at less than 10Mb/s (variable bit rate between 2Mb/s and 8Mb/s).
  • SD service can be supported just about any place there is a wired CIT network service.

High Definition Service

  • High definition (HD) service runs at higher speeds (up to 30+Mb/s).
  • A wired network with a speed of 100Mb/s or better is required.

Dedicated Data Port

Vlans/subnets set up to specifically support DirecTV Set-Top Boxes are available. They are access-limited to only run DirecTV set-top boxes. Dedicated data ports are primarily located in public spaces such as, lounges, lobbies, and waiting rooms. Departments interested in ordering DirecTV and looking for the same networking laminations can request a dedicated data port. To install a set-top box on a dedicated data port, submit a request to your local Network Administrator to activate a data jack specific for the use of DirecTV.

Standard data activation fees and monthly port charges are applicable. NUBB fees will not incur.

Non-dedicated Data Port

If you do not want to dedicate a port to the set-top box and/or would like to install a set-top box on an existing port, the vlan/subnet on that port needs to comply with the following requirements.

Standard data activation fees and monthly port charges are applicable with activating a port. Please note that NUBB fees may incur with a non-dedicated data port. 

  • DHCP is required. Set-top boxes have no mechanism for manually setting IP addresses. CIT’s central DHCP service is recommended because there are specific DHCP option requirements. If you choose to use your own DHCP service, vendor-encapsulated-options (option 43) must be set to return hex string “3c:04:6d:66:68:33” (without quotes).

Sample configuration using Internet Systems Consortium’s (ISC) DHCP server:

class "DirecTV_MFH3" {
match if option vendor-class-identifier = "mfh3";
option vendor-encapsulated-options = 3c:04:6d:66:68:33;

  • ACLs and Firewalls need to allow IP access (both TCP and UDP, unicast and multicast) between the set-top box and the DirecTv servers on the following subnets:
    • (video streams only)
    • IP Based Filters are the simplest and recommended method:
      • allow IP traffic to and from subnet
      • allow IP traffic to and from subnet

        Sample IOS ACL:
        permit ip any
        permit ip

        Note: Above examples are outbound from the router/firewall to the subnet (inbound to the subnet).
    • Port filters are not recommended because DirecTV may change ports without warning. The following ports are in use as of November 2008:
      • UDP src port 1024 (video streams)
      • UDP src port 1758 (multicast TFTP)
      • UDP src port 4999 (multicast TFTP)
      • UDP src port 9875 (SAP/SDP)
      • TCP dst port 554 (RTSP)
        Sample IOS ACL:
        (The text below shows FIVE commands, each beginning with the word "permit.")
        permit udp eq 1024
        permit udp eq 1758
        permit udp eq 9875
        permit udp eq 4999
        permit tcp eq 554 any

        Note: Above examples are outbound from the router/firewall to the subnet (inbound to the subnet).
    • Routers including routing firewalls, need to understand and run multicast routing protocols, specifically Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) running in pim-sparse mode.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Monday, July 6, 2020 - 4:48pm

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