There was a feature on DISH that would auto-tune to a program yet not record it. It probably disappeared because it was not really a popular concept. Also, it made less sense once multiple tuners arrived, because a single tuner always showed the single channel the tuner was tuned to, while multiple tuners do not.
A workaround is to set a 1-minute manual recording of a show prior to the one you want in the buffer (for DVRs that can select among the buffers of channels that they are "tuned" to on the tuner side but not otherwise visible on the output side). There is probably a way to make that work for conventional 2-tuner DVRs as well, but you would probably have to set two concurrent recordings, or set one for 2 minutes and another for 1 minute ( and 1 minute later) to make the second one select that tuner and route it to the output.
But that's a lot of work.
If you regularly wish you had a one-off of the latest ep of a show but don't want to pile up a lot of old eps, I like dpeter's idea. Set a SL and set it to keep one ep.
I've been using that technique for a similar reason, which is that I lost most of the final season of Smallville. TNT or someone is running Smallville in sequential order 5 or 6 nights a week at about 3 AM, and I don't want to record all of the previous shows in the series, so having it keep one ep means that it will constantly be in the To Do List, and if I check that regularly I will know when to record the missing eps. I can also delete the eps scheduled that I don't want ahead of time and it will not take any HDD space at all for them, but even if I don't check in more than once every 9 or 10 days it is unlikely that I will miss the ones I want.
Edited by TomCat, 11 June 2013 - 07:57 PM.