A quick guide to the DIRECTV Series Manager

Since the 5-tuner Genie came on the scene most of us really don’t have to worry about missed recordings due to conflicts. It’s pretty rare we’ll be recording five things at the same time. But it does happen, and DIRECTV has a menu called “Series Manager” which allows you to decide which things record if it turns out you’re trying to record six at the same time (or if you’re watching so much live TV that there’s a problem.)

To get to the Series Manager, press {MENU} then go to Recordings then Manage Recordings. Arrow down to Series Manager and press {SELECT}. Yes, DIRECTV’s menus can be pretty comprehensive, I can tell you’re thinking that right now.

Once you finally get there you’ll see a screen something like the one above that lists the shows you have set up for “series links.” This is DIRECTV’s term for shows that you want to record week after week. If you have a Genie, you can choose 100 series to record… this is pretty much enough for most people but if you need more than that you’ll need to go to this screen now and again to prune some of the old ones out.

When the Series name itself is highlighted like you see above, you can use the up and down arrows to scroll through the list. This is how you find the series you want to move. You can also use Channel Up and Channel Down to go down the list five items at a time.

When you find the series you want to move, press the right arrow and the little stub at the end of the thing will be highlighted as you see above. Now when you use the up and down arrows you will actually be changing the position of the item on the list. You can also use the Channel Up and Channel Down buttons to move something 5 positions at a time.

Why do you want to do this?

The point here is to tell your DVR what to record. Items that are higher on the list will record first and lower items will record if there is a free tuner to record on. In other words, if you have six shows that air Monday at 8:00pm, and they are in positions 1,3,6,9,12 and 19 on this list, it will not record the item in position 19.

A bit of strategy
If you’re a bit of an organizational freak, you might want to have a strategy for what records. Here’s a bit of the strategy I use.

  1. Top of the list is reserved for programs that would cause chaos in my house if they were missed.
  2. After that I choose local programs that aren’t available on demand.
  3. Then, items that air only once.
  4. After that… it’s basically stuff like HBO shows that air multiple times but I do want to see them within a day or two of air.
  5. Finally, the bottom of the list is stuff I really don’t care about, infotainment shows and stuff I’ll watch if nothing else is on.

You may think I’ve put way too much effort into thinking about this and you’re probably right. But maybe it’s just a way for you to help organize your thoughts so you can never miss a show you want to see!

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.