How to Get the Most from Your DVR

DVR UsesThe DVR has changed the way people view television. Gone are the days of staying up late and missing sleep to watch a show, or missing important episodes of a program because of other responsibilities. Gone also are the days of clunky VHS recording devices and storing bulky cassette tapes. Although most people with cable or satellite service providers now use recording technology, not everybody takes full advantage of it. Here are some ways to make the most of your DVR system.

  • Use “Smart” DVR Functions

With a little bit of effort to study the directions, you can learn how to have your DVR memorize what shows to record and when. This is the most basic function of your machine, but some users still forget about the convenience of automating the recording versus doing it manually.

  • Install a Scheduler App

If your installation did not come with a scheduling app, talk to your service provider about having one installed. This syncs your DVR system to your smartphone or tablet, and you can browse and schedule the recordings of shows even while you’re away.

  • Keep Your DVR Prioritized

Unfortunately a DVR has limited space, and when your hard-drive becomes full you cannot record further shows. However, most DVR systems include the function of de-prioritizing certain shows, so that old episodes of things you’ve already watched are naturally recorded over as new programs enter your system.

  • Keep Your DVR Clean

If you don’t want old shows to be recorded over or new shows to be missed, then regularly delete whatever is taking up space. Every couple of months spend ten minutes reviewing what’s on your hard drive and chunking stuff you’ve already seen.

  • Install an External Hard Drive

If you like hording TV shows – and who doesn’t – talk to your service provider about helping you setup an external drive to your machine. This will greatly increase your storage space and provide you the ability to store whole seasons of different shows for as long as you want them.

  • Use “Brain” Technology

Most modern DVR systems come with a very unique feature where it monitors what you watch, and then recommends new TV shows and movies based on your habits. For instance, your DVR may recommend a show that contains a similar cast or the same director as another movie you recently watched. If you watch a lot of a specific channel – for instance a horror movie channel – it may suggest another similar channel, and it will also pick out movies for you based on what genres you tend to favor. Although your DVR might not know you as well as you do, this can be an exciting way to discover new programming.

At the end of the day, your DVR system is designed to help you save time versus waste it. In the old days, TV viewers would flip through channels, waste hours trying to find something to watch, and then go to bed unsatisfied. But now even people with busy schedules can tune in at the exact times that are most convenient for them. Hopefully DVR technology will help you get the most from your satellite technology.

Aaron Read is a professional in the home entertainment industry and contributes regularly to leading websites including

The following two tabs change content below.


Digital Poet at BurnWorld Inc.

I am the Team Leader here at BurnWorld. I am an audio/video enthusiast and have been in this industry for over 10 years. I love testing DVD/Blu-Ray and Video software.

Free PC Matic Scan

One Comment

  • steve says:

    You say DVR, does this include cable supplied DVR? TWC is horrible and the DVR is absolutely 1000% crap. Slow as molasses, and unreliable, with 30 minutes or worse for a reboot.
    I really don’t want satellite due to contracts and the packages they offer. To get the 30 channels we currently watch regularly, we would have to have the largest package.

    I’d like to have a PVR that can tune and record cable/satellite/FO.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *