Back up before the beginning of a recording (New Genie GUI)

We’ve all been there. You start playing a recording and it looks like it started too late. You miss the opening gag, the opening murder, whatever it is that sets up the whole program. And you’re cursing, because it’s pretty annoying and you feel like the whole show is ruined.

What if you never had to feel that way? What if there were a way to actually back up before the recording even started?

DIRECTV DVRs have a hidden feature that will stop your worries for good. Whenever possible, the DVR start recording up to 90 seconds early. As long as you aren’t recording and watching so many shows that this is impossible, you’ll always have this “autopad” built into every recording you have.

It’s so simple, too. Just start rewinding and watch the show go backwards past the point where you started watching. From there you can find the “real” beginning of the show and you won’t miss a single beat.

The progress bar doesn’t show anything while you’re doing it, it just shows 0:00 as the time, it’s not like you see negative numbers or anything.

By the way, this is different from the functionality where you tune into a show midway through and you can rewind to the beginning. That little trick is done by pairing live TV with the on-demand recording in progress, but this one’s all done by your DVR itself.

This is an easy tip that hasn’t changed in many years, but a lot of people still don’t know that it can be done. It was built into the DVR back when they were rolling out new features left and right to try to get people to forget TiVo. But, like many other features they rolled out in that timeframe, they really never promoted it and a lot of people don’t know about it. Then again, that’s why you have a blog like this one, to let you know about the hidden tips and tricks you can use to impress your friends and keep your significant other from tossing the DVR into the trashcan.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.