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If you go to Directv.com and go to the remote control programming section you can put in the make and model of the tv and it will usually come up with a specific code that may work. I hope this helps a little bit. :)
The Direct TV remote has to be programmed properly. See the user manual for the process. The problem is, the user manual tells you to enter a code for the TV, but gives you a long list of codes that may work. So it's simply a problem of trial and error. For me, the first code in the list gave me the same results that you got (having to press volume repeatedly). But when I programmed the 2nd code in the list, pressing and holding the volume worked!.
I can't guarantee it, but I suspect you'll have the same result.
this remote will not work with the directv receivers. the best thing you can do is get an actual directv remote... $15 from the directv website and program that to the other electronics you want to use it with