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Why Can't DirecTV Make a DVR that Will Record Sports?


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#21 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 11:00 PM

Were you using a DirecTIVO box (not a TIVO standalone unit)? I have no idea how the guide data differs, but my DirecTIVO box was absolutely flawless in picking up Islander games. In the three or four years that I had it, I don't think it missed a single game.

In fact, the only problem I had was that it kept recording "classic" games that I really wasn't all that interested in.


I never had any of my tivos record more than 50% correctly on whish lists for sports for all my teams.. I haven;t missed a game in years with my hrs using ARSLs.... Its all in the set up of the ARSL..

With that said, I do NOT have any sports packs, so that might be a little different animal, but I need more info before I can start suggesting things to try.

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#22 OFFLINE   E91

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 11:15 PM

5 different DirecTivo's dating from 2001 thru 2007. None would ever record a sports wishlist correctly. It was a common complaint on the Tivo forums. Obviously doesn't mean everyone had the problem.

Thus why I and many others went with the "run search every 10 days and record games from results" method which was fool proof. This method was ever better on the HR2x's due to one touch record.
However when the HR2x introduced the boolean search terms the autorecord search for sports finally did something it never did on any DirecTivo of mine...it worked.

Perhaps the guide data the Islanders provide isn't liked by the HR2x. Most likely generic first, then more details. I don't know. The common theme here with both of you is the Islanders and not able to get all the games to record on the HR2x. If you both provide exact details to Satracer they may be able to get to the bottom of it.


You and I are going back and forth on this and it seems clear our experiences with DirecTIVO were different. For me, it was flawless. For you it wasn't. So, I think we've established that and can move on.

As for the situation with my HR24, let me be clear, I really have no investment in figuring this out. I was just echoing the OP's complaints. I not found a reliable way of getting the HR24 to record all Islander games. I wasn't asking for help as much as I was just trying to document that the OP is not the only one having an issue.

At the end of the day though, I honestly don't care all that much. I just do it manually - as I did with my VIP 722. Its a minor annoyance, and I liked the way my TIVO handled things better, but really not a big deal at all.

In the meantime, I'm extremely satisfied with just about everything else about the HR24, have been really happy with D* in general, and LOVE the PQ. So, for me at least, this is a pretty minor concern.

#23 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:49 AM

You and I are going back and forth on this and it seems clear our experiences with DirecTIVO were different. For me, it was flawless. For you it wasn't. So, I think we've established that and can move on.

As for the situation with my HR24, let me be clear, I really have no investment in figuring this out. I was just echoing the OP's complaints. I not found a reliable way of getting the HR24 to record all Islander games. I wasn't asking for help as much as I was just trying to document that the OP is not the only one having an issue.


No problem. But why wouldn't you want to try to help get this fixed (not only for you but others)? You may not know but Satelliteracer is a DirecTV employee with direct line to engineers and others that can actually get things fixed. That's why I've encouraged that perhaps between the two of you working with him since it's both an Islanders issues, he may be able to find a commonality that the engineers can work with. It's not often to get DirecTV's attention on something, so it's an opportunity. Just my suggestion.

#24 OFFLINE   E91

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:08 AM

No problem. But why wouldn't you want to try to help get this fixed (not only for you but others)? You may not know but Satelliteracer is a DirecTV employee with direct line to engineers and others that can actually get things fixed. That's why I've encouraged that perhaps between the two of you working with him since it's both an Islanders issues, he may be able to find a commonality that the engineers can work with. It's not often to get DirecTV's attention on something, so it's an opportunity. Just my suggestion.


I think it is pretty obvious that you are going out of your way to be helpful, which I very much appreciate. Its just not an issue that concerns me much, partially because my experience is that this sort of situation requires some detailed observation to resolve. That is, you can't help programmers track down bugs by just saying that something doesn't work - you have to record the very specific circumstances under which there is a problem and which there isn't a problem. And, I would be lying if I said I had the energy for that.

Incidentally, last night I was doing my search to set up the games for the week and I simply could not get Smartsearch to list the Center Ice occurrence of the HD version of the Leafs game tonight. It listed the games on the Sportspak, as well as the SD games, but not the HD version. Yet, when I checked in the "To Do" list - the game was there. In other words, Autorecord gets it while "smartsearch" couldn't find it.

And, once final comment is that for this feature to really work, Smartsearch is going to have to be even smarter. Some nights, I get two HD versions of the games and two SD versions.

#25 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:38 AM

Incidentally, last night I was doing my search to set up the games for the week and I simply could not get Smartsearch to list the Center Ice occurrence of the HD version of the Leafs game tonight. It listed the games on the Sportspak, as well as the SD games, but not the HD version. Yet, when I checked in the "To Do" list - the game was there. In other words, Autorecord gets it while "smartsearch" couldn't find it.


Make sure you do a keyword search by hitting the red button. Autorecord relies on the latter algorithm, not the quick data populated by the initial smart search.
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#26 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:49 AM

Thus why I and many others went with the "run search every 10 days and record games from results" method which was fool proof. This method was ever better on the HR2x's due to one touch record.
However when the HR2x introduced the boolean search terms the autorecord search for sports finally did something it never did on any DirecTivo of mine...it worked.


This is exactly what I do and I also Record my FSU Seminoles on 2 different DVRs in case of a Conflict I don't catch or a Power Outage (even though I have them on APC Battery Backups with Automatic Voltage Regulation to prevent Reboots).

I have 7 DVRs and I don't have any problems recording anything but I do Record Programs I definitely want (and want to keep forever) on 2 different DVRs in case one craps out.

However, I do believe in doing the Smart Search for those Events and then Selecting them to Record and this always seems to work flawlessly.

I have seen on several occasions when Autorecord did not seem to have enough time to properly Lock onto the Channel's Signal so it Recorded an Empty Recording Shell with Zero Audio and Video Packets in it. On one occasion I went into the room 5 minutes after it was supposed to be Recording and I turned on the Video Monitor and I had a Black or Blank Screen. The Red Light was on so I Channelled Up one channel and then Back Down and it Locked onto the channel's signal perfectly.

After it finished recording I went back into it and it had about 8 minutes of blank recording and then I got the Live Recording.

Edited by Richierich, 18 October 2010 - 11:00 AM.

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#27 OFFLINE   E91

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:29 AM

Make sure you do a keyword search by hitting the red button. Autorecord relies on the latter algorithm, not the quick data populated by the initial smart search.


Thanks! That is exactly what I did wrong.

#28 OFFLINE   RoyGBiv

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:15 PM

I think the problem is in D* updating the guide data. So far I have tried to record all 3 Rangers games that have been on NHL CI. They are in the guide, and I record them from the guide (not a manual recording). Every one of them has disappeared from the to do list 24-36 hours prior to the game, and I have had to re set the recording, again from the guide list. This has happened with both HR20-700's and one HR22. It also happened at the beginning of last season, and it was finally fixed a few weeks in.

If I go into "history" it doesn't even show that they were ever there or canceled. There is just no record of them.

I am not certain this is what the OP is seeing, but it's been a PITA for me. I have to work late on Monday nights. Luckily, the Rangers are on Versus tonight as if the recording was canceled on CI I wouldn't know about it until after it was over.

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#29 OFFLINE   islesfan

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:19 PM

Can you illustrate exactly how you are doing this?

Does it happen on every DVR in your home? What model? What channel? NHL CI or via a RSN?

Etc, etc. Has it always been on the same DVR you are having this issue with?


This happens on the HR21, but it happened in the past with the HR20 as well. I just use the HR21 for Islanders games, and the HR20 for everything else, that way I have no conflicts. I use an autorecord of ISLANDERS-SPORTS-HOCKEY and record First Run only, ALL, and KEEP UNTIL I DELETE, with a 1hr pad at the end. Then I babysit the ToDo list to see what it will do. This is the habit I have gotten into since I moved off TiVo to HR's in 2006. I never had to babysit the TiVo, but that's another argument. Sometimes, when I see that it is planning to record an SD away feed and there is an HD home feed, I'll manually switch the recordings.

I have had it just skip recordings in the past many times, but this time the behavior was new. As I mentioned, when I turned the DVR on at about 7:40 (so the game was already over) the orange light had been off, but it popped on when I turned on the DVR. The screen was gray, but after 30 sec or so, it popped on to MSG+. I thought all was well until I actually tried to watch the recording, only to find that the recording actually only started at 7:40 when I turned the DVR on. In other words, this doesn't seem to be the typical Autorecord bail out. In this case, I think the DVR just didn't start recording at 4:30 like it was supposed to. The next day, it recorded the Isles v. Avs no problem.

As for boolean searching, I gave up on that because it can be too narrow. For example, I lost a couple of Isles games last year because they moved the game to NHL Network at the last minute. If I had not been using the boolean search limiting it to the NHLCI channels, I probably would have gotten those.

This is a big deal to me because, being in the West, I don't get home until after the games are over, so watching live isn't an option. I usually don't find out that I don't have a game to watch until it is way too late. The last minute channel shifting is OK for people who can just change the channel, but I need the DVR to do that. That's what they were for anyway, not just to be a glorified VCR. So while I am ranting a bit here, I also really want a DVR that doesn't need babysitting anymore. That's it.

Edited by islesfan, 18 October 2010 - 12:20 PM.

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#30 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:25 PM

Why would anyone want to Turn Off their DVR?

It should still record but that may be the Glitch that is causing your problem so leave it on as it only turns off the lights and the outputs. Leave It On !!! :)
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#31 OFFLINE   islesfan

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:34 PM

Why would anyone want to Turn Off their DVR?

It should still record but that may be the Glitch that is causing your problem so leave it on as it only turns off the lights and the outputs. Leave It On !!! :)


Basically because it is tied to the TV power button on the remote. Sure, I can slide the switch back and forth every time I want to turn off the TV or change the channel, but I have a Wife and kids too. That would drive my Wife nuts, and my boys are 8 and 10, so they're just starting to be able to use the DVR themselves. Leaving it out of standby 24/7 is not practical for me.

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#32 OFFLINE   RyanX

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 06:59 PM

I get home last night to see no orange light for the Isles v. Pens game. I turn on the DVR, and after 30 sec of gray screen, the orange light comes on andthe game appears in the list. Today I try to watch and all I have is the "partial" recording from when I got home from work.


My HR22/100 just dit the same thing when it was supposed to be recording Chuck and How I Met Your Mother. I get home and turn the tv and box on at 25 after 7. It has a black screen and a caller ID list from a 7:07, I hit EXIT and then the message that it is about to record two shows. I hit EXIT a couple of times and then the shows come on. It started the recording from here and both show as a partial on the list.

It had been in standby and I don't remember ever having this problem before. I am hoping this was a one time glitch...

#33 OFFLINE   wallybarthman

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:02 PM

My method is to do Boolean searches with auto record. Here's what I do:

Go to smart search (insert appropriate teams, channels and numbers)

Aall sabers cchan 638. At the next screen I select high-def and live
Aall sabres cchan 603. Same next screen - high def and live
Aall sabres cchan 215
Aall sabres cchan 11 (local NBC)
Aall sabres cchan 659 (local Pittsburgh broadcast for when the sabres and pens play and I have to watch the Pens feed)

The high def and live options eliminate the SD recording AND replays.

For the Islanders you'd need something like this

Aall islanders cchan 635 high def and live
Aall islanders cchan 636 637 and live

This would also catch the games bumped to the overflow. It will double record though if the Islanders and playing either the rangers or the devils

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#34 OFFLINE   TBlazer07

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:55 PM

Basically because it is tied to the TV power button on the remote. Sure, I can slide the switch back and forth every time I want to turn off the TV or change the channel, but I have a Wife and kids too. That would drive my Wife nuts, and my boys are 8 and 10, so they're just starting to be able to use the DVR themselves. Leaving it out of standby 24/7 is not practical for me.

Can't you turn that feature off with a mute/select + code on the remote? None of my 4 remotes turn off the DVR, just the TV. I use the left/right arrow to turn of the "circle of lights" so the only thing lit (unless I get a reboot) is the power, record & res lights.

#35 OFFLINE   E91

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:34 PM

This happens on the HR21, but it happened in the past with the HR20 as well. I just use the HR21 for Islanders games, and the HR20 for everything else, that way I have no conflicts. I use an autorecord of ISLANDERS-SPORTS-HOCKEY and record First Run only, ALL, and KEEP UNTIL I DELETE, with a 1hr pad at the end. Then I babysit the ToDo list to see what it will do. This is the habit I have gotten into since I moved off TiVo to HR's in 2006. I never had to babysit the TiVo, but that's another argument. Sometimes, when I see that it is planning to record an SD away feed and there is an HD home feed, I'll manually switch the recordings.

I have had it just skip recordings in the past many times, but this time the behavior was new. As I mentioned, when I turned the DVR on at about 7:40 (so the game was already over) the orange light had been off, but it popped on when I turned on the DVR. The screen was gray, but after 30 sec or so, it popped on to MSG+. I thought all was well until I actually tried to watch the recording, only to find that the recording actually only started at 7:40 when I turned the DVR on. In other words, this doesn't seem to be the typical Autorecord bail out. In this case, I think the DVR just didn't start recording at 4:30 like it was supposed to. The next day, it recorded the Isles v. Avs no problem.

As for boolean searching, I gave up on that because it can be too narrow. For example, I lost a couple of Isles games last year because they moved the game to NHL Network at the last minute. If I had not been using the boolean search limiting it to the NHLCI channels, I probably would have gotten those.

This is a big deal to me because, being in the West, I don't get home until after the games are over, so watching live isn't an option. I usually don't find out that I don't have a game to watch until it is way too late. The last minute channel shifting is OK for people who can just change the channel, but I need the DVR to do that. That's what they were for anyway, not just to be a glorified VCR. So while I am ranting a bit here, I also really want a DVR that doesn't need babysitting anymore. That's it.


Dude, I wonder if you and I are the only two Islander fans on the westcoast. I have the exact same issue - I basically only own a TV because of the Isles and I'd be real annoyed if I missed a game because of a DVR snafu.

#36 OFFLINE   ddebrunner

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 08:25 AM

I seem to have similar problems recording the UEFA soccer games, always an adventure to come home and see what was recorded. Can be a couple of hours of the DTV logo, or a number of recordings of the same channel of various lengths. All this with a simple record from the guide, no searches etc.

#37 OFFLINE   Eben

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 10:09 AM

I seem to have similar problems recording the UEFA soccer games, always an adventure to come home and see what was recorded. Can be a couple of hours of the DTV logo, or a number of recordings of the same channel of various lengths. All this with a simple record from the guide, no searches etc.


I get those too. My solution: FSC has a UEFA highlights show each night of game days, so I stopped trying to record the games and just watch the highlight show.

#38 OFFLINE   bnwrx

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 10:18 AM

My method is to do Boolean searches with auto record. Here's what I do:

Go to smart search (insert appropriate teams, channels and numbers)

Aall sabers cchan 638. At the next screen I select high-def and live
Aall sabres cchan 603. Same next screen - high def and live
Aall sabres cchan 215
Aall sabres cchan 11 (local NBC)
Aall sabres cchan 659 (local Pittsburgh broadcast for when the sabres and pens play and I have to watch the Pens feed)

The high def and live options eliminate the SD recording AND replays.

For the Islanders you'd need something like this

Aall islanders cchan 635 high def and live
Aall islanders cchan 636 637 and live

This would also catch the games bumped to the overflow. It will double record though if the Islanders and playing either the rangers or the devils


Tried using this for the "Avalanche" games. Had 2 problems. I don't get a choice for "LIVE" option, none, just "ALL". 2nd problem,several other shows (Avalanche All Access, and Avalanche PreGame) also are included.
Any ideas?

#39 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 10:41 AM

My method is to do Boolean searches with auto record. Here's what I do:

Go to smart search (insert appropriate teams, channels and numbers)

Aall sabers cchan 638. At the next screen I select high-def and live [...]

Tried using this for the "Avalanche" games. Had 2 problems. I don't get a choice for "LIVE" option, none, just "ALL". 2nd problem,several other shows (Avalanche All Access, and Avalanche PreGame) also are included.
Any ideas?

You might try AALL avalanche events CCHAN XXX & High Def or AALL avalanche live CCHAN XXX & High Def.

I'm not sure you'll need the & High Def if you have your preferences set to hide SD duplicates. I believe the scheduler takes that into account when it decides which showing to record, but I'm not home to test. Others who do this a lot may know better.

Edited by Steve, 19 October 2010 - 10:44 AM.

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#40 OFFLINE   RACJ2

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 02:18 PM

Here we are, fourth game of the hockey season and already my HR21 is opting not to record hockey games. I get home last night to see no orange light for the Isles v. Pens game. I turn on the DVR, and after 30 sec of gray screen, the orange light comes on andthe game appears in the list. Today I try to watch and all I have is the "partial" recording from when I got home from work. I wish I could get a pro-rated NHLCI eefund from DirecTV for all the Islanders games I have missed since 2006 when they moved from TiVo to these crappy Random Video Recorders!

As others have mentioned, you can get this to work using the "Smart Search" feature to record. I use a variation of what wallybarthman shows below to record the Sabres and it hasn't failed. It gives priority to the first entry and works it way down the list. Live helps so you don't pick up repeats on RSN, VS or NHLN. Here is what I would have for the Islanders:

AALL HDTV ISLANDERS CCHAN 635 Press "red button" and select "Show Type" then "Live"
AALL HDTV ISLANDERS CCHAN 636 637 "Show Type" then "Live"
AALL HDTV ISLANDERS CCHAN 215 "Show Type" then "Live"
AALL HDTV ISLANDERS CCHAN 603 "Show Type" then "Live"

...For the Islanders you'd need something like this

Aall islanders cchan 635 high def and live
Aall islanders cchan 636 637 and live

This would also catch the games bumped to the overflow. It will double record though if the Islanders and playing either the rangers or the devils


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