UPDATED FOR 2018: Set record defaults for DIRECTV

There’s a neat feature on all DIRECTV DVRs that lets you record a series quickly and easily. You’ve probably heard about it. All you have to do is press the record button twice on a program in the guide, and that’s it.

The trick is making sure that the recording is set your way. You need to make sure that everything works the way you want. Luckily, this handy guide will help.

If you have a pre-Genie DVR

The feature you’re looking for is called “Record Defaults.” Here’s a step by step guide for finding it.

  1. Press MENU.
  2. Arrow down to Recordings. Press SELECT.
  3. Arrow down to Record Defaults. Press SELECT.

You’ll see a screen like this. It affects how all new series recordings act. In this case, I’m saying that I only want to record new programs, I only want to keep 10 of them, and I don’t want them auto-deleted unless I run out of hard drive space. I also don’t want any extra space before or after (more on that below.)

Set it the way you want then press EXIT to go back to live TV.

If you have a Genie with the new menus

The menus are a little different for Genie but it’s really the same idea.

  1. Press LIST.
  2. Arrow up to Manage Recordings and press SELECT.
  3. Arrow to Typical Recording Preferences and press SELECT.

You’ll see once you get there that the basic options are the same.

Set them the way you want then press EXIT to go back to live TV.

The “Start” and “Stop” dropdowns

You can manually add time before and after a recurring recording but I wouldn’t. If your DVR has enough open tuners, it will automatically record 30 seconds before and 90 seconds after each recording. This is enough to cover most minor clock problems. If you start watching a recording and you realize you’ve missed the first line or two, try rewinding and you’ll probably find that you can rewind before the beginning of the recording and catch it.