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DTV DVR and Battery Backup

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by mikemyers, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. mikemyers

    mikemyers Legend

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    May 19, 2010
    Two years ago I put my DirecTV on "vacation hold", and while I was gone, I left it unplugged from the AC outlet. Because of construction problems on my balcony, it took quite a while to get DTV hooked up again. Until then, my DTV DVR would not play any of my pre-recorded shows - it first needed to get re-connected to my satellite dish.

    (Everything went fine thanks to a LOT of help from people here in this forum - when I finally got DTV hooked up again, with the satellite dish mounted on a "sled mount" on my balcony, the DVR and all my shows came back perfectly.)


    I learned in this forum that if a DVR loses power, and has been disconnected from the satellite dish for a certain amount of time, this is the result -- but if the DVR never loses A/C power, it won't lose the ability to play recorded programs.

    Bottom line, if instead of unplugging my DVR, I plug it into a UPS, will it still be able to play recorded shows if I return in a few months, or will it first need me to call DTV and get my programming turned back on?
     
  2. peds48

    peds48 Genius. DBSTalk Club

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    if your place the receiver on "hold", it does not matter what you do.
     
  3. mikemyers

    mikemyers Legend

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    May 19, 2010
    'peds48', I don't understand. If I'm leaving on a long trip, and if the DVR is isolated, why won't it just sit there in the same state as when I left on my trip?
    • There is no phone connection, as all I have is mobile phone service.
    • There is no satellite connection, as the oval dish is brought in to avoid possible hurricane damage.
    • There is no internet connection, as I disconnect everything when I'm away.
    • There is no power loss, as the DVR is plugged into a UPS

    I'm fully aware that my DTV service is turned off, until I return and re-schedule everything to be switched back on. What I don't get, is how or why the DVR would decide that it is no longer able to play previously recorded shows. The last time I asked, I think I was told that this was due to my power being turned off for such a long period.
     
  4. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    No UPS is going to be able to power the DVR for "a few months" so it doesn't matter.
     
  5. mikemyers

    mikemyers Legend

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    May 19, 2010
    Hi - the UPS will be plugged into the wall, meaning there will always be power available to the DVR.

    The reason for the UPS is that I was told that if the DVR loses power, that is what will trigger the inability to play previously recorded programs.
     
  6. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    Loss of power over an extended period of time should have nothing do with a DVR's inability to play back recorded shows. That would likely be caused by DIRECTV simply deactivating it when you placed your account on vacation hold.

    A UPS is mainly used to prevent brief power outages from causing the DVR/receiver to enter a time consuming reboot cycle and possibly interrupting any recordings in progress.
     
  7. mikemyers

    mikemyers Legend

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    May 19, 2010
    Thanks, that makes more sense to me, although it's not what I was told a few years ago. Assuming what you just wrote is correct, if I bring in my satellite dish a week before my actual departure date, and call DTV a day or two later suspending my service, what happens with the (now disconnected) DVR?

    • Will it play back pre-recorded shows for the rest of that week?
    • If a relative checks in at my place a week, a month, or several months later, will it still play back pre-recorded shows?
    • If I return five months later, will it still be playing back pre-recorded shows?

    For various reasons, unlikely to happen again, hooking up my service again ended up taking a couple of weeks last time. It would be nice to know that all my pre-recorded shows could still be played.

    It would be even nicer if DTV allowed people to purchase their DVR like they used to, so recorded shows could be played back any time, even if by then I had replaced DTV with some other service..... but unless things have changed, that's not possible.
     
  8. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Even with a new owned DVR, access to recorded programming is the same as on a leased box.
     
  9. mikemyers

    mikemyers Legend

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    May 19, 2010
    Wow.... things have changed.

    I have my five or six year old DVR in my kitchen, and it still plays back the shows I recorded on it. It's not HD, but back when I bought it, I don't think I had a choice. My even earlier Sony DVR still worked, until the hard disk failed. Are you suggesting that I can call DTV and purchase the DVR I'm now using? I think it's an HR24. If I purchase it, will the shows recorded on it remain forever, as with my older DVR's?

    I'd still like an answer to the original question, if I have the DVR plugged into a UPS, and disconnected from the outside world, will the pre-recorded material still be playable, and if so, for how long?
     
  10. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Until the unit reboots because it can't detect a signal.
     
  11. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    On older receivers, yes, it was possible to play back recorded shows indefinitely as long as you disconnected the receiver from the satellite dish before calling DIRECTV and having it deactivated.

    However, the modern ones today are apparently on some sort of timer when powered up and require regular refreshment of the conditional access signal from the satellite to authorize live viewing or the playback of pre-recorded content.

    See ThomasM's post in a thread on this issue here for instance.

    http://www.dbstalk.com/topic/206476-can-i-watch-recordings-on-a-deactiated-r16-500/?p=3159276
     
  12. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    If you are trying to find a way to watch recordings on your dvr when your acct is suspended, good luck. They have pretty much thought of that. You wouldnt be the 1st subscriber that thought "I can record oodles of programming, suspend my acct for 6th months until I watch it all, then reactivate my acct and repeat."

    Not that you're trying to do this on purpose, but it is clear that you want to be able to use your dvr when your acct is suspended. Maybe its just a few days layover, or something like that.

    Technically you are renting the content as well, you dont "own" what is recorded on your dvr, and if you turn off your service, what is on the dvr should not be playable while your acct is suspended.
     
  13. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Wait you are worried about shows being recorded now still playing when you reactivate your service in five months? That should always be ok and play fine except vod. I'd leave it unplugged while your gone as leaving it plugged in dies nothing but waste electricity during that time if you have your service disconnected.

    As others said playback right after you are is connected is hit and miss.

    Personally I'd wait to vacation your equipment and pull the dish in till the morning you left, or the night before at least.
     
  14. mikemyers

    mikemyers Legend

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    May 19, 2010
    Thanks for all the information. I didn't properly understand this before, but now it all makes sense (at least how things work).


    One thing still puzzles me.
    If i have cable, and subscribe to HBO, or Cinemax or Showtime, as far as I remember, I am legally allowed to save these on a VCR for viewing later.
    If I have DTV and a DVR, and subscribe to HBO or Cinemax or showtime, who "owns" that content? Is it DTV, or the subscription service?


    As far as I know, if I suspend my cable service, nothing happens to the recordings that are/were saved on MY VCR.
    So, if I suspend my DTV service, and should i save any of the shows on MY VCR, is it still legal for me to watch them?

    Life was simpler and nicer back when we paid some service to provide content, and we could save it on our own device. If that device was only used for the stated purpose, time shifting, this satisfied everyone (I think.....).
     
  15. peds48

    peds48 Genius. DBSTalk Club

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    I think it was never legal to make copies that some else had the rights to, but back then it was too "hard" to prevent it. now with all the content going digital, it is a lot easier to prevent folks from copy copyrighted material. so to answer your question, is it legal to make a copy for yourself of a show from HBO, no. are you going to get caught and prosecuted? most likely no.
     
  16. mikemyers

    mikemyers Legend

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    May 19, 2010
    I just double checked - lots of websites, but I'll just copy from Wikipedia:

    "One other major consequence of the Betamax technology's introduction to the U.S. was the lawsuit Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios (1984, the "Betamax case"), with the U.S. Supreme Court determining home videotaping to be legal in the United States, wherein home videotape cassette recorders were a legal technology since they had substantial noninfringing uses. "


    It's very difficult to purchase a "home DVR" instead of a "home VCR", but for home use, I believe copying shows to view later is still completely legal.

    I've had DTV for around 15 years now, and have no plans to change to something else (but U-verse sure was tempting). I expect to stay with DTV for a long time to come. I guess I'm just old fashioned though - I don't consider anything "mine" unless it's on my own computer or DVD or external hard drive. I know things that work with "the cloud" are the coming thing, but I don't trust them to e available when I want them. I'm getting way off topic though - you guys have already answered my main question here. Thanks!
     

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