DISH Network™ DISH Player-DVR 942 Review, page 8 By Mark Lamutt, DBSTalk Administrator All text and images ©2005 DBSTalk.Com and Mark Lamutt No other use is allowed without prior written permission from www.DBSTalk.Com and Mark Lamutt Permission is not granted to distribute, republish or post this review’s text or images in part or in entirety at any other internet site or location, other than www.DBSTalk.Com 3.2 Digital Video Recording Alright, so the basics aren’t why you will want to get this receiver. Let’s dive into the good stuff: recording and managing programs, timers, and schedules. 3.2.1 The DVR Events Screen The DVR Events screen is displayed when you press the DVR button on the remote control, or when you enter Menu-8-1. The screen is shown below: Your recorded events are shown in the list. You can navigate up and down through the list with the Arrow Up/Down and Page Up/Down remote buttons. Your recorded events are listed by program name and recording duration. The approximate remaining HD and SD record times are shown at the top of the list. When the list is empty, you will have approximately 25 hours of HD recording time available, and 180 hours of SD recording time available. As you scroll up and down the list, for each highlighted event you will see that event’s program information listed at the top of the screen. For more detailed information for that event, press the Info remote button. Here’s what the DVR Events screen looks like when you have events currently being recorded: Notice the 3 events being recorded at the same time… When you Select an event from the list, the DVR Events screen will be displayed: The program information for the selected event is displayed, along with options to Start playback of the event, Delete the event, and Protect the event. When you fill up your recording space, the DVR-942 will delete your oldest unprotected event(s) to make room for new recordings. Protected events are shown with the keyhole graphic to the right of the recording duration on the DVR event list. When you Select to Delete an event, you will be presented with a warning box asking you to confirm that you really do want to delete the event. When you answer YES to this box, an attention box will be displayed telling you that your DVR event is being deleted. DVR-921 users please take note – the DVR-942 deletes events about 10 times faster than the DVR-921. When you initially bring up the DVR Events screen, your events are sorted in the order in which the events were recorded. By selecting the Sort option, you can sort your event list by the options shown in the following picture: Alpha/Numeric sorts your list alphabetically. Movies sorts your list by grouping all recorded movies at the top of the list. Series/Specials groups all of your recorded series and specials at the top of the list. Sports groups all of your recorded sporting events at the top of the list. DVR Date sorts your list by recorded date, with the most recent at the top (default setting), DVR Length sorts your list by the recording duration, with the smallest events listed first. Protected groups all of your protected recordings at the top of the list. The Edit option displays the DVR Edit screen, shown here: On this page, you can Select multiple events from your list to delete, protect or unprotect at the same time. The History option displays the DVR History screen, shown here: From what I can tell, from this screen you can determine which user (TV1 or TV2) deleted a DVR event, and when it was deleted. I have seen three different descriptions in the right corner of the list – Single, Multiple and Disk Full. Single indicates that the DVR event was deleted by itself. Multiple indicates that a group of DVR events were deleted together from the DVR edit screen. Disk Full indicates that the DVR event was deleted in order to make space available for a new recording. So, if an event that you had recorded ever disappears, you can now access when the event was deleted. I’ll cover the Schedule option a little later in the review. 3.2.2 Name-based Recording vs. Time-based Recording Before I can cover all of the timer options that the DVR-942 offers, it’s important to understand the fundamental difference between name-based recording and time-based recording. Time-based recording is what every DISH Network™ DVR receiver (other than the DVR-522, 7100 and 7200) uses (at the time this review was written). You set a timer by defining a block of time to record – Thursday nights from 8pm to 9pm. The timer fires at 8pm, and records until 9pm. Period. End of story. If the program that falls in that timeslot moves, or is “super-sized,” you miss your program, or you miss the end of your program because the time-based timer is static. Name-based recording is different in that you set a timer by defining a program to be recorded, not a block of time. Using the above example, you define a timer for “Survivor: Palau” to record. The receiver searches the guide, finds when “Survivor: Palau” is scheduled to air, and records it. If it falls in its standard Thursday night time slot, it gets recorded. If it airs on Wednesday night one week, it gets recorded. If one week it’s two hours long instead of the standard one hour, both hours get recorded. Name-based timers are dynamic. 3.2.3 Standard Timers Let’s take a look at the Create Timer screen: The three types of timers available: DVR – a DVR timer records the event so you can watch it later Auto – an Auto timer tunes to the defined channel at the defined time so you can watch the event “live” Reminder – a Reminder timer displays a popup box on screen to remind you that a program is about to start The timer frequencies (how often a timer will be created): All Episodes – A timer will be created for the selected program on the selected channel every time that program shows up in the guide on that channel, including all new episodes and repeat episodes. New – A timer will be created for the selected program on the selected channel every time an episode from the current season (currently defined as the current year, but will be changing to the current television season in a later release) shows up in the guide. This means that both new episodes and repeat episodes from the current year will be recorded. Once – A timer will be created one time for the selected program on the selected channel. If the guide data changes before the timer fires, the one-time timer will be changed to match the new guide information. Weekly – A timer will be created for the selected program on the selected channel on the selected day of the week. If new guide data indicates that the start time for the program changes to fall within a window of one hour earlier and 4 hours later than originally defined, the start time of the timer created that week will be changed to match the new guide data. If the guide data indicates a change of start time outside of that window, then the timer will be created as a Skipped timer, and will record nothing. If the new guide data indicates that only the duration of the program has changed, the timer will be created to match the new program duration. Daily – A timer will be created for the selected program on the selected channel once per day. If new guide data indicates that the start time for the program changes to fall within a window of one hour earlier and 4 hours later than originally defined, the start time of the timer created that day will be changed to match the new guide data. If the guide data indicates a change of start time outside of that window, then the timer will be created as a Skipped timer, and will record nothing. If the new guide data indicates that only the duration of the program has changed, the timer will be created to match the new program duration. Mon-Fri – A timer will be created for the selected program on the selected channel once per day on Mondays through Fridays only. If new guide data indicates that the start time for the program changes to fall within a window of one hour earlier and 4 hours later than originally defined, the start time of the timer created that day will be changed to match the new guide data. If the guide data indicates a change of start time outside of that window, then the timer will be created as a Skipped timer, and will record nothing. If the new guide data indicates that only the duration of the program has changed, the timer will be created to match the new program duration. The Set Priority option is used to define the importance of this program in relation to other programs you want to record. If multiple programs are defined to record at the same time, the timers with higher priorities will take precedence over the timers with lower priorities. Here’s what the screen looks like: Note: New timers are always given the lowest priority by default when they are created so that previously created timers don’t get skipped. If you do end up with a timer conflict, the timer with the lower priority will be skipped. A skipped timer will not fire. We’ll talk more about Skipped timers a little later on in the Daily Schedule section. Changing the priority of a timer is a very fast and easy process (all of you Tivo users take note). All you have to do is highlight the timer in the list, and use the Move Up, Move Down, Move to Top or Move to Last options to position the timer in the order of priority you desire. The list is ordered with the timers that have the highest priority at the top of the list, and the timers with the lowest priority at the bottom of the list. The Options screen is where you define the start and end pad times for the timer, and whether or not the recorded event will be protected or not. Here’s what the Options screen looks like: Select the DISH Pass™ option to define a DISH Pass™ rule. More on this in the next section. Once you have your timer defined, Select the Create Timer button. 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