I can't believe I missed this thread and it's been here for three days already!
OK, so I'm posting this without reading any previous responses, just so it's "real" ...
My Setup and Why I Use To Do:
I have 7 DVRs: 4 record daily, 2 record weekly, and 1 is full (my "movie" DVR).
I check the "daily" DVRs almost every day, and the others at least once a week. One thing I look for is conflicts, for results from Auto Record Series Links, and also for general planning purposes.
With this many DVRs and tuners, it's not often I have conflicts, but I have at least 25 to 25 series links on each DVR, so it happens. If I happen to remember what day of the week it is, I also look for what I *expect* to record, to confirm it's there. This actually was an issue last week when baseball on Fox ran long and bumped X-Factor, pushing it to the next night. The guide showed the bumped program that next night, but the DVR was not marking it as scheduled to record. If I didn't review the To Do List, I would have missed it. If you don't check the DVRs To Do List, you also won't know that a conflict was detected and will be skipped.
Auto Record Series Links:
I have some auto-record series links on a few DVRs. Some of these are for channel ranges, some are wide open. I like to check the To Do List to see what matches are found, to reschedule them if they bump something else, and to also see if there's a match that I *don't* want to record, so I can cancel that match. ARSLs are not 100% reliable, in that often I can have the ARSL set for "New", but often repeats will be scheduled to record.
Another thing I've noted with ARSLs is that you can check the To Do List on Monday and there's nothing set to record. Then you can check it on Tuesday and suddenly there's a recording set for today and the next three days. You can't just check once a week for the ARSL because it's never set in stone that the To Do List will not be updated in the next day.
One of the primary reasons I use the To Do List is to plan my viewing for hte night. There are certain programs I like to watch "near live", but I often *do* forget what day of the week it is and the To Do List reminds me. After looking at the To Do List in the DVRs set to record daily I know how I'll be watching TV that night.
So that's why I use the To Do List. You really can't have or want to use ARSL's without going into the To Do List.
To Do List Access:
Since I use the To Do List every day, I had at one time set up macros on my Harmony remotes to get me there with one Harmony button click. However, this is an unstable solution as when DIRECTV modifies the interface, as has happened three times now, the macros break. In addition, Harmony supports only 5 key-presses in a macro, and in the current HD GUI it takes more than 5 key-presses to get to the actual To Do List.
Since the DIRECTV remotes have a dedicated button for "List", to me the first step to making the To Do List easier to access is to swap "Playlist" and "Manage Recordings" in the main menu.
Better still, would be a shortcut from the Playlist, such as GREEN that goes directly into the To Do List, making it only two key-presses to get there: LIST > GREEN.
Another option, which would serve and satisfy multiple users would be to enable a new "shortcut" grid similar to Quick Tune, that permits users to specify their favorite "activities" or "settings" screens in the interface. Since the "Enter" key has no function until you enter a channel number, this key would be a perfect candidate for calling up the user's favorites.
The primary reason most folks get a DVR is to "record". Getting to the recordings occurs in two ways: (1) what was recorded, and (2) what is scheduled to record. DIRECTV has made it easy to see what was recorded, but with multiple revisions to the interface has made it more difficult to see what is scheduled to record.
I'm hoping this thread is a sign that DIRECTV is willing to level it out and make it easier to get to the To Do List to see those scheduled recordings...