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Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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4,107 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over 170 Undocumented HD DVR PLUS Tips & Tricks

(Click the link below that says HR20-Tips-Tricks.pdf.)

Latest Additions include:
+ Remote Booking
+ DIRECTV on Demand
+ Suggestions
+ 5-Minute Quick Start
+ The new DLB Workaround

and so much more...

Look at everything that your HD DVR PLUS can do. You just need to know the secrets...

Print all six pages or just the ones you need:
Page 1: Remote Control Shortcuts
Page 2: Setup tricks for a healthy HD DVR PLUS
Page 3: Recording tips
Page 4: Power User Tricks
Page 5: More Power Tricks
Page 6: Workarounds

Undocumented! Tips & Tricks:
● Fix your Guide button to actually bring up your Guide!
● Turn off the slow motion scrolling in the Guide and in your menus.
● Skip Special Characters for Keyword search. For instance use "CSI NY" for "CSI: NY"
● Group Play and Group Delete everything in a folder in your Playlist
Display Setup Tricks: HDMI, Native Mode, Closed Captioning, and more
● Multi-room viewing: Watch 1 HD DVR PLUS in multiple rooms!
Network non-Viiv PCs to see your JPGs and hear your MPG3's through your HD DVR PLUS
● Search Tricks
● Manual Record
● My Playlist and To Do List Tricks
● Record to DVD or VCR
● New Interactive Content
Bookmarks - Jump back to a great play or scene!
● Slingbox to Watch & Control an HD DVR PLUS over the Internet
Over the Air Local HD Setup, Editing, and tips
● eSATA - adding significantly larger hard drives.
Automatic Tuning (automatically tune to a channel at a certain time)
Padding: Extend or Shorten a Recording Time, Soft Padding, & Negative Padding
Bug Workarounds

Previous Versions: Total Previous Downloads: 60,662 (Keywords: HR20 HR21 DVR+ hacks shortcuts digital video recorder PVR personal)

This is one of the HD DVR FAQ's. Please see the companion HD Receiver Installation Tips and TiVo to HD DVR PLUS Survival Guide

Thank you all, especially to Earl for moderating and to Chris Blount for founding DBSTalk.

- Craig

The two documents below are identical. Choose Word Doc file or Adobe pdf format. Right click and choose "Save as..."
 

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Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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4,107 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
NEW!Undocumented! YOU ALREADY HAVE AN RF REMOTE CONTROL!
Why do you want an RF (Radio Frequency) Remote control you might ask?
- Because the normal IR (infrared) mode does not work through a cabinet door, sofa, or chair.
- If you have friends over for a football playoff game, someone is always blocking the receiver.
- If you want to watch your HR20 in others rooms (more on that tomorrow.)

Here are the steps:
Press MENU , then click Help & Settings à Settings à Remote. Follow the onscreen instructions.
Your DirecTV remote can also control your TV, Stereo, & DVD player.
- Your HR20 remote should be able to be RF! RF works behind a wall or cabinet door.
- Follow the steps above and click IR/RF Setup and follow the onscreen prompts.

Bamm! It's in there!

Let us know if you liked this tip or if you have new ones to add.

- Craig

While all RC24 remote controls should be able to do RF, a few have reported their's cannot.
 

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928 Posts
Wow! Thanks for the tip! Im really enjoying this feature!
 

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AllStar
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81 Posts
This is great..thanks for putting this together!!!:hurah:
 

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Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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4,107 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
NEW! Undocumented! MULTI-ROOM VIEWING!
View One HR20 in More Than One Room!
Say your HR20 is in the family room.

Would you like to be able to watch recordings in your bedroom, basement, or kitchen?

While the HR20 does not allow multi-room viewing through an Ethernet connection, users have had great success other ways.

The key to your success is in the fact that your HR20 uses all of it's outputs at once:
:) Comonent
:) HDMI
:) S-Video
:) Composit

You can use one output in your main room and another for distribution.

Component video or S-Video can go up to 25 feet or more.

Over 25', use a Modulator to transmit over RG6 (antenna) coax to every TV in your house! See monoprice.com and radioshack.com.

Bamm! It's in there!

Let us know if you liked this tip or if you have new ones to add. Thank you to everyone who sends shares these great tips.

- Craig
 

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Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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4,107 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
NEW! Undocumented! AUTOMATIC TUNING!
Back in the bad old days, not changing the channel at the right time meant missing at least part of the game or show. Before TiVo and DVR's many of us had Satellite receivers that had Automatic Tuning.

At your scheduled time, Automatic Tuning would first warn you and then at the right moment change the channel for you! The downside was that even with Automatic Tuning, you had to be there at your scheduled time as well. You could not skip commercials or watch the show later. But it was better than nothing.

Still, Automatic Tuning was a nice reminder.

Your HR20 has Automatic Tuning! It is just not documented.

Here is how to use Automatic Tuning:
+ In the Guide, highlighted an upcoming program you don't want to miss then press ® RECORD.
+ Two minutes before your show comes up the HR20 asks if you want to change channels.
+ When the program is over, you will be asked if you want to Delete or keep it!

How does this work for you? Do you have other tips to share?

- Craig

Thank you to a number of dsbtalk users who have shared this tip and explained it's importance over the past few months.

For more tips, see the Tips & Tricks link below.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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1,060 Posts
Milominderbinder2 said:
This document summarizes dozens of great tips and tricks that have been included in thousands of posts.

The new version 2.9 of the Unofficial HR20 Tips and Tricks is listed below as an Attached File....
Wow! Thank you! I finally had a chance to read the 2.9 version this morning -- I truly can't believe how much you added. Even having tried to follow so many posts for the past weeks, I didn't pick up much of the info you've provided.

A couple of items from the Workarounds page that have come up recently in the forums but I don't see addressed in the T&T. I can't fully verify these, but they have worked for me.

HDMI Output: I posted elsewhere that my installer told me that the initial setup should be completed using Component input (HDMI cable not connected). Once everythink is set under Component, turn off HR20 and TV and connect the HDMI cable. Then HDMI will work. It works for me. Both Component and HDMI remain connected on mine, but I don't see that as a problem. Worst case if HDMI "needs" component connected (excuse me while I laugh :hurah: ), use the cheap component wire D* provides. If you want good Component output, buy new cables (man, what a difference!). There is not a whole lot of difference between Component and HDMI, but it does show up with some sources (maybe only at 1080i?)

Native Mode: I didn't come up with this but found it posted yesterday. Native Mode has been a problem for me because it caused my Sony to got through fits and was very slow. I also wouldn't use Format because of the screen problem. Still won't use Format because it's cumbersome, but Native is now much better. The suggestion was that, even though I can output all HD modes, limit my TV Type choices to 480p and 1080i. Once implemented, the screen problems under Native went away. Changing channels is also much faster even with Native set. It takes about 2 seconds between one HD channel and another, about 6 seconds going from HD to SD or back. Since I now seem to watch almost exclusively HD, the slow channel change is basically gone except on my locals (the only real reason I want OTA).
 

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Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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4,107 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
richlife said:
HDMI Output: I posted elsewhere that my installer told me that the initial setup should be completed using Component input (HDMI cable not connected). Once everythink is set under Component, turn off HR20 and TV and connect the HDMI cable....

If you want good Component output, buy new cables (man, what a difference!).

Native Mode: The suggestion was that, even though I can output all HD modes, limit my TV Type choices to 480p and 1080i. Once implemented, the screen problems under Native went away.
These are great ones! I can't wait to try these out!

- Craig
 

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1,364 Posts
Craig

great job!!! its sits by my remote. Ihave a universal, so i dont use the direct remote much.

funny the installer said with my hr20 he couldnt run another cable to my bedroom upsairs like he did with mydirecttivo box, but based on your booklet i bet he was wrong!!!!
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Milominderbinder2 said:
These are great ones! I can't wait to try these out!

- Craig
Craig, I posted this elsewhere and didn't get much encouragement, but I think it's also worth others checking. I decided to change my TV Type Resolution to 1080i only. It seems to be working just fine and has definitely improved the speed of channel surfing. This leads me to suspect that the instructions should say to select only the resolution that your tv outputs. That will allow Native to deal with just that one resolution. Using Format, I also select the one 1080i format that I want lower resolutions to display in -- pillarbox. All this allows my HR20 to properly manage my Sony tv with minimum handshaking needed.

Be aware that I received feedback saying that I should select ALL resolutions my tv is capable of displaying. I don't agree. You just confuse the HR20.
 

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richlife said:
Be aware that I received feedback saying that I should select ALL resolutions my tv is capable of displaying. I don't agree. You just confuse the HR20.
It depends on how you watch TV. Frequently sports look better in 720p, while movies may look better in 1080i. From that angle, it makes sense to have multiple resolutions available and active. Otherwise, I agree: disable the resolutions you do not use. I mean, why would anyone care to view anything in 480i or 480p when the picture can be upscaled?
 

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jpn said:
It depends on how you watch TV. Frequently sports look better in 720p, while movies may look better in 1080i. From that angle, it makes sense to have multiple resolutions available and active. Otherwise, I agree: disable the resolutions you do not use. I mean, why would anyone care to view anything in 480i or 480p when the picture can be upscaled?
I agree with this. In fact, I have moved to Native On now. I used to have my set turned to 1080i full time but not any more. While Native On does add some time to the changing channels or starting programs, I found that it results in the best picture all of the time without me have to mess around with it.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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I have Native on and have from the very begining. The 0b software has made channel changing with native on even faster. when I was on the last software release I checked between off and on and came to the conclusiuon that there wasnt enough of a difference to make me have it off.

brott said:
I agree with this. In fact, I have moved to Native On now. I used to have my set turned to 1080i full time but not any more. While Native On does add some time to the changing channels or starting programs, I found that it results in the best picture all of the time without me have to mess around with it.
 

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Is there a way to change the record defaults. I tried to follow the instructions in the Tips and Tricks Document but I guess I didn't understand. At least it did not work. I would like to change the default to First Run.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Craig, I'm trying to get to the 2.9a T&T but just get sent back to this thread.
 

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Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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Craig,

I skimmed the tips thread and didn't see this. Plus, I'm around most days and I don't think anyone's said this yet (at least I didn't see it if they did).

When in the To Do List, you can quickly delete a show by pressing the STOP button once.

Note that the double dash does not delete a show as you'd expect. Not sure why the change in convention, but there you go.

Again, sorry if it's in there and I missed it.
 
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