2 DVRs, can't watch/record more than two shows at a time (2 Viewers)

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rugbyqueen

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Aug 25, 2007
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Okay, something seems to be wrong. I just got my system installed today. I've got 2 DVRs going into my one TV. That means I should be able to watch/record two shows per each for a total of four at a time, right?

So I'm working on programming my remotes and am switching back and forth between both DVRs. I had one channel on one DVR, another one on the other one, and a program set to start at the top of the hour. A notification from DirecTV popped up that said I was watching two shows, with a third one about to start and I had to cancel one of the shows or cancel the recording!

Isn't that wrong? I should be able to watch four shows at once. That's why I paid for this extra DVR. Did the guy set it up wrong? Is it not true that I can watch four at once?
 

Mr Tony

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Nov 17, 2003
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check your timers. WIth the fact you are trying to program 2 remotes in the same area from your previous posts some of the timers maybe were duplicated on both units

You can watch a program and record one or record two programs at the same time. I know this for a fact as I am recording one show and watching Pawn Stars at the same time

If you have both units recording at the same time, yes you can toggle between the 4 shows (on the 2 DVR's)
 

Mr Tony

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Now if you have 2 shows set to record at the top of the hour and you are watching a channel that isnt on one of the two channels going to be recorded, yes you'll get that message

I know at 7:57 while watching Pawn Stars or the Twins game my receiver will tell me it needs to record "Lizard Lick Towing" and rasslin at 8:00 and I can either record both or cancel one.
 

rugbyqueen

Thread Starter
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Aug 25, 2007
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Houston, TX
By "timers" do you mean the programs I've scheduled to record? Or is "timers" something else?

Maybe I'm recording the shows on both DVRs since the remote thing is still a mess. I'm not sure how to tell. If I change something on one DVR it seems to change the other one. I think that's how this one show decided to record.
 

JerseyMatt

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Sep 17, 2010
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Ooo.. Did the installer go through and set the remotes to RF? If he didn't, then yes, both DVRs are responding to each button press simultaneously. The DVRs don't control or send commands to each other as far as recording timers (although that's a feature high on the wishlist). When the remotes are set to RF each one has a unique radio code to its receiver so they don't interfere with others in the house.

Another thing is if you have one thing set to record on DVR-A and it says you're already watching two channels, you might have activated DoublePlay. DoublePlay is activated by pressing the down button twice, and it buffers two live channels at the same time so you can flip between them (by pressing the down button). This occupies both tuners, and in order for a timer to activate on a third channel it will have to drop one of the buffered channels.

By default, the DVR will assign the first upcoming timer to the tuner you are NOT watching (unless you happen to be watching the channel being recorded). Aside from the yellow light on the front panel coming on, you won't even know about it. You can change the channel freely and not interfere with the recording.

If one recording is in progress and a second timer is about to activate, one of two things will happen. If you are watching either channel that is to be recorded, it will activate silently (no message besides the yellow light). If you then try to change the channel, it will warn you that you can't change it without stopping one of the recordings.

OR, if you are NOT watching one of the recording channels (or if a DoublePlay is in progress), you will get the warning that it needs to change the channel or cancel one of the recordings, 3 minutes before the timer goes off. If you ignore (or miss) the warning it'll change the channel automatically.



The best thing to do in your setup is use one of the DVRs as the "Series slave", where it has all of your recurring recordings, and use the other one as your main "live tv" unit, and for 'impulse' recordings.. That way most of your '2 in use' conflicts happen 'in the background' on the slave and don't interfere with your live viewing.
 
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rugbyqueen

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Aug 25, 2007
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Houston, TX
Ooo.. Did the installer go through and set the remotes to RF? If he didn't, then yes, both DVRs are responding to each button press simultaneously. The DVRs don't control or send commands to each other as far as recording timers (although that's a feature high on the wishlist). When the remotes are set to RF each one has a unique radio code to its receiver so they don't interfere with others in the house.
I don't know what he did about setting up the remotes, except I watched him set them to my TV type so they run the volume, etc. He didn't explain anything to me, really. Just told me it was "easy" and left.

Another thing is if you have one thing set to record on DVR-A and it says you're already watching two channels, you might have activated DoublePlay. DoublePlay is activated by pressing the down button twice, and it buffers two live channels at the same time so you can flip between them (by pressing the down button). This occupies both tuners, and in order for a timer to activate on a third channel it will have to drop one of the buffered channels.
THANK YOU! This is exactly what happened. I saw it say something about Double Play, but I didn't even know what that was. The channel was on some DirecTV movie promo thing, so I thought it was related to that. I didn't even pay attention to it because I was just trying to set up the remotes. Gosh, that's crazy! It does sound like a good feature, but the installer didn't show me anything about the features. He tossed the manuals at me and said it was easy and I would figure it out. I didn't even think to look up Double Play in the manuals because I didn't guess it was a feature. I just thought it was a notice from the movie promo channel or something. (I wasn't watching the movie promos - it's just the channel that came up when I was trying to program the remotes.)

The best thing to do in your setup is use one of the DVRs as the "Series slave", where it has all of your recurring recordings, and use the other one as your main "live tv" unit, and for 'impulse' recordings.. That way most of your '2 in use' conflicts happen 'in the background' on the slave and don't interfere with your live viewing.
Thank you for this suggestion! It definitely sounds like the way I want to set it up. I saw your other suggestions in the other thread and will comment on those there. Thanks for your help.
 

lparsons21

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I'd second that use of one as the series slave with the exception of the broadcast channels. Ideally you won't have to go to direct viewing of that one very often.

My recording setup is a bit different to satisfy my viewing habits :
Unit #1 - main - hi priority is ABC and CBS, then some of the cable channels and the occasional movie.
Unit #2 - secondary - hi priority is NBC and FOX, then some cable channels and then an auto record of Boxing stuff at lower priority

This way I can get all the new broadcast prime time shows and all the cable stuff I want. One of the problems with the broadcast channels is that they don't show a later showing so if you miss, you often just miss. By giving the cable channels just a little lower priority, then they will catch the later rerun of the show if there is a conflict.
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
When the remotes are set to RF each one has a unique radio code to its receiver so they don't interfere with others in the house.
It is customary to set both DVRs for different IR codes as it avoids the "slows" of RF remote usage.

Clearly, rugbyqueen got a incomplete install if it didn't come with any instruction.
 

JerseyMatt

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Sep 17, 2010
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Midwest
What are these 'slows' you speak of? Three of my four receivers are set to RF and never had any response issues as far as the remotes are concerned as evidenced by the instant flashes of the power light. Any lag is in the box.
 

JerseyMatt

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 17, 2010
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Midwest
I don't know what he did about setting up the remotes, except I watched him set them to my TV type so they run the volume, etc. He didn't explain anything to me, really. Just told me it was "easy" and left.

Yeah that's not right.. You'll get a followup call from Directv in a couple days, make sure you address that.

THANK YOU! This is exactly what happened. I saw it say something about Double Play, but I didn't even know what that was. The channel was on some DirecTV movie promo thing, so I thought it was related to that. I didn't even pay attention to it because I was just trying to set up the remotes. Gosh, that's crazy! It does sound like a good feature, but the installer didn't show me anything about the features. He tossed the manuals at me and said it was easy and I would figure it out. I didn't even think to look up Double Play in the manuals because I didn't guess it was a feature. I just thought it was a notice from the movie promo channel or something. (I wasn't watching the movie promos - it's just the channel that came up when I was trying to program the remotes.)

When you said you only had one recording and it wanted you to change channels that's what I figured. It's easy to activate accidentally, and even when you do it on purpose it can't be turned off manually (afaik), it just stops after you haven't used it for 2 hours, or you get that warning when a timer is about to go off.. :)


Thank you for this suggestion! It definitely sounds like the way I want to set it up. I saw your other suggestions in the other thread and will comment on those there. Thanks for your help.
No problem!
I'd second that use of one as the series slave with the exception of the broadcast channels. Ideally you won't have to go to direct viewing of that one very often.

My recording setup is a bit different to satisfy my viewing habits :
Unit #1 - main - hi priority is ABC and CBS, then some of the cable channels and the occasional movie.
Unit #2 - secondary - hi priority is NBC and FOX, then some cable channels and then an auto record of Boxing stuff at lower priority

This way I can get all the new broadcast prime time shows and all the cable stuff I want. One of the problems with the broadcast channels is that they don't show a later showing so if you miss, you often just miss. By giving the cable channels just a little lower priority, then they will catch the later rerun of the show if there is a conflict.

Every situation is different, so she'll have to evaluate her series wants and program accordingly. My DVRs are in two separate rooms, so what I did was I wrote down a list of what series I need to record and when they're on (There are few things I watch on network TV) so any conflicts are visible right there on paper. Then I programmed the recordings so that conflicts always wind up on different DVRs (so a conflict doesn't tie up both tuners on a TV). If I decide to do a new series, I add it to the list and program it to whichever DVR wouldn't have a conflict.

This way each DVR only ties up one tuner, and live TV (with an impulse recording option) is still available at both TVs. If they had COLLABORATIVE SCHEDULING (HINT HINT DIRECTV!!) the paper planning wouldn't be necessary.
 

raoul5788

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It is customary to set both DVRs for different IR codes as it avoids the "slows" of RF remote usage.

Clearly, rugbyqueen got a incomplete install if it didn't come with any instruction.

I have both of my dvrs set to rf. There may be a slight delay compared to ir, but it's less than a second if that. It's a non issue. As to the installer and lack of instructions, no doubt he ducked out of there in a hurry! He was probably late for his next appointment. The lack of proper instructions is one of many problems when the installers are overbooked.
 
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