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DIRECTV Off Air Tuner AM21 User Guide

DIRECTV Off Air Tuner AM21 User Guide Image

AM21 OFF AIR TUNER User Guide 

Safety and Care

Your DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER has been designed and manufactured to stringent quality and safety standards. You should, however, be aware of the following important precautions for safe and optimal use of the equipment.

Meaning of symbols printed on the rear panel of the product:

This symbol indicates that dangerous voltage consisting a risk of electric shock is present within this unit.

This symbol indicates that there are important operating and maintenance instructions in the literature accompanying this unit.

Important Safety Instructions

  1. Read these instructions.
  2. Keep these instructions.
  3. Heed all warnings.
  4. Follow all instructions.
  5. Do not use this apparatus near water.
  6. Clean only with dry cloth.
  7. Do not block any ventilation openings. Install in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Do not install near any heat sources such as radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other apparatus (including amplifiers) that produce heat.
  9. Do not defeat the safety purpose of the polarized or grounding-type plug. A polarized plug has two blades with one wider than the other. A grounding type plug has two blades and a third grounding prong. The wide blade or the third prong are provided for your safety. If the provided plug does not fit into your outlet, consult an electrician for replacement of the obsolete outlet.
  10. Protect the power cord from being walked on or pinched particularly at plugs, convenience receptacles, and the point where they exit from the apparatus.
  11. Only use attachments/accessories specified by the manufacturer.
  12. Use only with the cart, stand, tripod, bracket, or table specified by the manufacturer, or sold with the apparatus. When a cart is used, use caution when moving the cart/apparatus combination to avoid injury from tip-over.
  13. Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or when unused for long periods of time.
  14. Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel. Servicing is required when the apparatus has been damaged in any way, such as power-supply cord or plug is damaged, liquid has been spilled or objects have fallen into the apparatus, the apparatus has been exposed to rain or moisture, does not operate normally, or has been dropped.

WARNING: To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not expose this product to rain or moisture. The apparatus shall not be exposed to dripping or splashing and no objects filled with liquids, such as vases, shall be placed on the apparatus.


CAUTION: To reduce the risk of electric shock, do not remove cover (or back). No user-serviceable parts inside. Refer servicing to qualified service personnel.

IMPORTANT: Be sure not to place your DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER near anything WET or HOT! If this product is rated at 240VAC, a suitable attachment plug should be used.

CAUTION: Avoid moisture to reduce the risk of fire or electric shock. The DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER should not be used near water (for example, kitchen sink, bathtub, pool, damp basement). Also, never spill liquid on the receiver, and do not place vases or other vessels containing liquid on top of it.

TIP: We highly recommend plugging the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER into a surge protector to prevent damage from fluctuations in your power supply.

  • Ensure proper ventilation — the vent slots on the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER must be left uncovered to allow proper airflow to the unit. Blocking the airflow to the unit could impair performance or damage your receiver and other components.
  • Do not stack electronic components or other objects on top of the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER. Also, do not stack the receiver on top of a “hot component” such as an audio power amplifier.
  • Protect your components from power surges by connecting all the components  before plugging any power cords into the wall outlet. Use of a surge protector is also recommended.
  • Don’t overload power outlets or extension cords, which can result in the risk of fire or shock. It’s also important to use only the type of power source indicated on the marking label or in this manual.
  • Avoid audio hum or interference by inserting all cable plugs firmly into their  jacks. Also, place Audio/Video (A/V) cables to the sides of the TV back panel rather than down the middle once connected. Try not to coil any twin-lead cables and keep them away from A/V cables as much as possible.
  • Never insert objects of any kind into any openings in the DIRECTV USB OFF AIR TUNER.
  • Place it on a flat, hard surface — do not operate the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER on a carpet or other padded surface.
  • Always unplug your DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER before moving it.
  • Always unplug the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER, DIRECTV® Receiver, TV and other equipment before you connect or disconnect any cables.
  • The only way to disconnect the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER from the power supply is to remove the power cord. The DIRECTV USB OFFAIR TUNER unit must therefore be installed next to the power point which must be easily accessible.
  • CAUTION: Electric Shock — never attempt to disassemble the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER yourself; always take it to a qualified service person when repair is required. Opening or removing covers may expose dangerous voltage or other risks, and incorrect reassembly can cause shock when receiver is subsequently used. Attempted self-repair may also void your warranty. Changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party responsible for compliance (by the warranty or by the manufacturer) could void the user’s authority to operate the equipment.
  • Do not drop your DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER and always move it with care.
  • Have your DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER professionally serviced (do not attempt to service it yourself).
  • Any changes or modifications in construction of this device which are not expressly approved by the party responsible for compliance could void the user’s authority to operate the equipment.
  • If you move your DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER between locations at different temperatures, allow it to reach room temperature before you apply power to it.
  • Do not pick up or otherwise move your DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER while it is connected to the AC power supply. If you want to move your set-top box, first disconnect it, then wait at least 30 seconds before continuing
  • CAUTION: To reduce the risk of fire, use only No. 26 AWG or better telecommunications line cord.
  • CAUTION: Replace remote control batteries with same or equivalent type. There is danger of explosion if batteries are incorrectly replaced.
  • For your information: The identification sticker can be located underneath or on the back of your receiver.
  • The telecommunication network voltage used is the category number 3.
    Note to Satellite Dish Installer: This reminder is provided to call your attention to articles 810 and 820 of the 2005 National Electrical Code.Refer to article 810, in particular 810-1 and 810-15, for required grounding of the metal structure of the dish antenna. Refer also to the 810-2 which, by reference to article 820, requires that the satellite dish coaxial cable shield be connected to the grounding system of the building as close to the point of cable entry as practical.


1.Place your DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER on top of or underneath your DIRECTV® Receiver.

Note: The following DIRECTV® Receiver models are compatible with the USB Off-Air Tuner: DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR (models HR21 and above, DIRECTV Plus® DVR (R22 model only), DIRECTV® HD (models H21 and above) or DIRECTV® Home Media Center.

  • 2. Disconnect the power cable from the back of the DIRECTV® Receiver.
  • Connect the USB cable from the DIRECTV USB OFFAIR TUNER to the DIRECTV® Receiver.
  • Connect the off-air antenna to the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER.
  • Connect the power cable that comes with the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER to the DIRECTV® Receiver.
  • Connect the power cable that was removed from the DIRECTV® Receiver to the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER
  • An on-screen message will appear prompting you to go to the Initial Setup screen for the antenna. If you choose to go to the Initial Setup screen later, you can get there by pressing:
    Parental, Fav’s & Setup
    System Setup
    Sat & Antenna
    Antenna Setup
    Initial Setup

Your equipment may not look exactly like the model illustrated.

3. Select Initial Setup, add your ZIP when requested, select Done unless you live in a city that can receive locals from a secondary market (e.g. Baltimore can also receive off-air channels from Washington D.C.). If you live in a city that has secondary locals, follow the instructions to add those locals and at the end select Done. The receiver will gather the off-air program info and place it in the Program Guide. Select Done and press EXIT to return to live TV or check the signal level of your off-air channels in the next step


4. You can check your off-air signal level anytime by going to
Parental, Fav’s & Setup
System Setup
Sat & Antenna
Antenna Setup
Edit Off Air Channels
Signal Meter

You may have to adjust your off-air antenna to get the best signal. Note that it is possible to have a poor signal on your off-air channels, while having a perfect signal on your DIRECTV delivered satellite channels since these signals are coming from different sources. You may also edit your list of locals to eliminate undesired channels using the Edit Off-Air Channels screen.

5.When you are done with Setup, press GUIDE and go to channel 2 to see if your off-air locals are now in the guide. They will have channel numbers like 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, 4-1, 5-1, etc. The name and number box on the lefthand side of the guide will be darker than the satellite delivered channels. For a channel that has multiple versions (like channel 2-1, 2-2), the first is usually (but not always) HD and the second is SD. However, there is no hard and fast rule and often off-air HD channels carry mostly SD programs. In some markets, local broadcasters may provide more than two versions of a channel. You may want to edit your choices down by going to the Edit Off-Air Channels screen as explained above

6. If you are also receiving DIRECTV-delivered locals you will see those channels in the guide as well. We always order them with HD at the top, then SD. They will not have dashes in the channel numbers and the name and number box in the left-hand side of the guide will be the brighter DIRECTV blue.
The HD channel will have the 4-letter call sign of the station (KTLA in this example), while the SD channel will just have a two-letter city abbreviation and a one or two digit channel number (“LA5” in this example).

7. You are now ready to view your local off-air channels as you can with any of your DIRECTV-delivered satellite channels!
NOTE: You must subscribe to HD Access in order for the DIRECTV USB OFF-AIR TUNER to function.

©2010 DIRECTV, Inc. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc. AM21 OFF AIR TUNER User Guide Version 1.2 – 092110

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