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Why Didn't My DIRECTV HD DVR Record My Show?!
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (October 1, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I set my DIRECTV HD DVR to record the season finale of Ray Donovan on Showtime, but it didn't record! Any ideas as to why it didn't record? And, is there any way to check to see if I set it right? -- Candy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Candy, there's nothing more frustrating than to sit down to watch a favorite show on your DVR o
nly to suddenly discover that it's not there! In your case, there could be a few reasons why your HD DVR didn't record Ray Donovan.

First, it's possible the show aired at a time when your DIRECTV system was shut down by a storm or some electrical malfunction in your home. I'm not saying that's likely, but it is possible.

Second, you may have set your HD DVR to record some other shows at the same time that Ray Donovan was airing on Showtime. If your DVR is able to only record two shows at the same time, it will record the two shows that have the highest priority ranking in your recording list. In this case, Ray Donovan may have been ranked behind two other shows. (You can set a show to record at the highest priority in the Menu selections when you set it to record.)

If you have the DIRECTV Genie HD DVR, you can record five shows at the same time. But even then, if your set-top is set to record six shows at the same time, it will choose the five with the highest priority.

So, in the future, if you want to ensure that a certain show is recorded, it would be wise to give it the highest priority ranking

Now, you asked if there is a way to check to see if you set the HD DVR to record the show. Well, not really. But you can look at the history of your recordings by pressing Menu on your remote control, then select Recording, then Manage Recordings and then History.

The History list will give you a run-down of every show you've recorded over the last few weeks. Or, at least, the ones you tried to record. In some cases, there may be a 'Failure' designation next to the title. If there is, you'll know that you correctly set the DVR to record, but something happened that prevented it from recording. Click on the title in the History section and you'll likely get an explanation as to why it didn't record.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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