How to tell where you are in a recording without annoying everyone (DIRECTV)

You’re watching the 17th straight episode of some show that your S.O. loves and you’re thinking, “seriously, how much more of this could there be?” I hear you pal, I’ve been there myself. The problem is that answering this question isn’t easy unless you’re willing to wait for a commercial or some other convenient way to pause. Here’s why

The Genie Remote is great but…

When DIRECTV redesigned its remote in 2014 to be easier to use, they combined the PLAY and PAUSE buttons. In most cases that works very well. The remote is simple and easy to use and you would hardly ever use the PLAY and PAUSE buttons in two different ways. Except when you do.

There used to be a nice trick where if you pressed the PLAY button it would bring up the progress bar. This would show you where you were in a recording without pausing it. Unless you did this ten times in a row it was not likely to bother anyone. Sadly, since PLAY and PAUSE are now the same button, that no longer works. Pressing PLAY/PAUSE will pause the program. Even if you have the most nimble fingers in the world, it’s impossible to press the button twice, fast enough that it doesn’t pause the program.

So what can you do?

The solution is old-school for sure, but it works great in most cases.

Remember this old remote? If you’ve been around DIRECTV a while you remember it was the standard remote for every receiver made after 2006. Believe it or not we thought it was simple-looking back then… look at all those buttons!

Yeah it has a lot of buttons. One of them is that big black PLAY button in the middle and it works like it always has. Even on the newest equipment, it will pop up the progress bar and keep the program going, just like it always did. It’s still available and you can buy one at a great price from Solid Signal.

Works almost all the time

This remote will work with any Genie DVR or client in infrared mode. As long as you haven’t hid your DVR or client behind the TV, all you have to do is point it. You don’t need to program the remote unless you’re serious about using it all the time. If you just want to take it out now and again to see how long it will be until Ariel and Ethan decide which house they’re buying, you can leave it just as you bought it and it will work great.

Is there a cheaper way?

There are apps for iOS and Android which will do the same thing, just make sure you’re buying one that apes the old-style remote not the new Genie remote. Also, I’ve used several of these apps over the years and they generally have a pretty steep setup curve. It’s also hard to take them from room to room without setting them up again. Personally, when you look at getting a real physical remote from Solid Signal, it seems like a much better deal than wasting a lot of time researching and installing apps.