NICE AND EASY: Fix DIRECTV recordings starting too late

Are all your recordings starting too late? I mean, not like 5 minutes too late, but just late enough that you miss the first joke or opening theme song of the show you just recorded. It can be a real pain. Luckily there are three ways you can deal with them and they are both very easy.

Option 1: rewind past the beginning.

A lot of people don’t know this but you can actually rewind before the beginning of most recordings. If possible, your DIRECTV DVR will automatically start recording 30 seconds before the beginning of every show. If you come in and you realize you missed something, try hitting the REWIND button on the remote. Chances are very good you’ll be able to get back to the beginning of the show.

This works with recordings you made in the past, too. So, if you have recordings where the time is off, you can use this method to deal with it.

Option 2: reboot the DVR.

Your DIRECTV equipment should synchronize its time over the internet several times a day. However sometimes that doesn’t happen. If you reboot the DVR, it will force a time sync and this will fix the problem with recordings starting late.

If you have older DIRECTV equipment, go to the receiver or DVR in front of you and press the red button. However, if you have a Genie system, you need to reboot the DVR not just the client boxes. This might be a tall tower like this one:

or a larger, wide box like this one:

If the box you go up to is about the size of a paperback book, that’s not the right one to reboot. A check of some other rooms may help you to find the right choice.

Option 3 “The Nuclear Option”: Set recordings to start earlier

You can set recordings to start earlier if you’re still having problems. This overrides the DVR’s automatic recording so your recording will always start a minute early.

For new recordings

Press LIST, then go up to Manage Recordings and press SELECT. Then scroll down, and you will eventually get to Typical Recording Preferences. Press SELECT again.

Then, arrow down and set recordings to start 1 minute earlier and press SELECT. When you are done, press EXIT to go back to live TV.

This works for new recordings that you set up in the future, but you will need additional steps to change the series you already have set to record.

For current ongoing recordings

press LIST then go to Manage Recordings and Series Manager. Go through every series you have recording and change the Series Options to start 1 minute earlier. You will have to do each one individually.

Why is that the nuclear option?

Well, it takes a lot more time to set up and it stops the DVR from auto-recording 30 seconds before start time. I would definitely try the first two steps before going into this one. This option is really just for channels that have problems starting on time, which is more of an issue with public television or low-power stations.

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.