Have you confirmed that the DirecTV receiver is not in "RF" mode. Sometimes at bandcamp....LOL I mean sometimes after a firmware update, direcTV has reset receivers back to RF mode by default which would cause an issue like this.
You can check by pressing menu/parental and favorites/setup/remote/"IR/RF" and making sure it's set to IR from the actual DirecTV remote......
You can use any other Direct TV model. Just make sure to select it on the drop down menu and test it out. If it does not work, we recommend you to verify if the IR Blasters are working fine.
The following links will provide you with the steps to follow.