How a Remote DVR Service Works

by Aeyne Schriber on March 11, 2012 in Internet Access

If you have ever been disappointed because you forgot to record your favorite television show, now it is possible to have the best of both worlds by using a remote DVR service.  Many of the major cable providers such as DirecTV, DishNetwork, and Time Warner are implementing services you can use to control your DVR even when you are not at home.  All you need is a DVR and you can register for a remote DVR service.

How It Works

Once you have a DVR installed you can use your cable or satellite television service to establish a remote DVR account.  This is typically accomplished by logging on to your television provider’s website and filling out a registration form.  Once you are successfully registered with a username and password you will be provided with access to a DVR manager interface which is a web-based application.

To access the DVR manager you go to the web page where your login information can be entered.  Once you enter your login information you are granted access to the DVR Manager interface where you can choose the television programs you want to record.  Since the DVR Manager is web-based you can access it from any mobile device including your laptop PC by simply entering you login information on the appropriate access page online.

When you locate the shows you want to record you can schedule a recording by clicking the Record button.  You will then be presented with a window that allows you to choose recording options similar to the menu you see at home.  Choose the options you want to use and then click on Record to schedule the recording.  Following this step, your recording time should be confirmed or you will be requested to resolve any conflicts that may exist.  When the recording has been scheduled successfully you can choose another show to record.

Remote DVR Service Features

Depending upon your television service provider the features for remote DVR services may vary however, here is a general overview of some of services you typically receive:

  • Comprehensive Remote Recording Services:  You can use your mobile phone, portable tablet or laptop PC to access the web-based interface and schedule recordings.  The services are comprehensive so you can choose to record a single episode, an entire series or multiple shows at once.  The DVR Manager interface should also indicate what recordings you have already scheduled at your house.
  • Browse and Search Tools:  When you access the DVR Manager you can browse and search for your favorite shows by title, actor, or story description if you do not see what you want on the initial schedule.  This tool will pull up the programs you want to record and tell you what times they will be available for recording.  If the programs are not available in the 7-day timeframe on the initial schedule you can schedule a recording which is then stored in the manager for future recording. Other features may include the capability to browse TV listings by genre, channel, date and time.
  • Multiple DVR Show List:  If you have more than one DVR service in your home your television service provider may offer a Show List which will provide you with an overview of what is currently scheduled for recording on each DVR service in your house.
  • Recording Modifications:  The DVR Manager usually provides you with a way to modify the recordings that you have scheduled.  This can be accomplished by locating the scheduled recording you wish to modify in the Show List and then you simply follow the prompts that walk you through making changes.

These are a few of the features you should receive when you register for a remote DVR service.  Again, these services may vary according to the television service provider you use.

Resolving Recording Conflicts

Although a remote DVR service allows you to schedule multiple recordings at once you may come across recording conflicts from time to time.  Typically you are allowed to schedule two recordings which are scheduled for the same date and time with most remote DVR service providers.  When you attempt to do more than that you may receive a message that notifies you of a conflict.

In order to resolve the conflict you must cancel at least one of the two recordings that are scheduled at the same time to add the third recording  Or you can opt to see if there is another time that the third program is scheduled other than the time that the two previous recordings were scheduled in your DVR Manager.

Accessing the DVR Manager from Your Mobile Device

Depending upon what television DVR service you are using you may be required to setup a remote DVR service using your PC before you can access it using your mobile device.  This is a security measure that prevents someone from setting up your account in the event you lose your mobile device or it has been stolen.  Once you are registered via your PC then you can login to the DVR Manager from your mobile device using the special mobile login page provided by your satellite or cable television provider.  Logging in using the secure mobile page is another security feature that a lot of the remote DVR service providers are using.

It is also important to mention that the remote DVR Manager interface will appear differently than it does on a PC screen.  You will find that the interface features may be displayed differently on your mobile device due to the smaller screen.  This may also be the case when you use a tablet PC or netbook to login to the DVR Manager interface and it may take a little bit to adjust to the changes.

Also, to take advantage of a remote DVR service you must have a device capable of supporting the DVR Manager interface.  If you are required to swap out your device you can lose anything you have scheduled up until that point.  To get around this issue more remote DVR service providers are coming out with apps that you can install to help you access a remote DVR service on your current device.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

erik March 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

I have DISH, and while OTHER providers have been working to implement these remote-access technologies, DISH has had this technology for some time. I have Sling Technology, which works with my DISH remote Access App (free) to bring me my live TV and DVR anywhere I go. In terms of DVR technology, DISH is also at the forefront. The release of the new Hopper Whole Home DVR will bring about quite a buzz for those looking to expand their DVR capabilities. It should be released any day now, and will allow an individual or family the option to record up to 2,000 hrs of content on the (up to) four connected TVs. Each TV has access to the main playlist, so you will not have to worry over scheduling conflicts. It also lets you record up to 6 live HD programs simultaneously, and comes loaded with web-integrated features like Facebook and Pandora. If you love Prime Time TV, DISH’s Hopper will let you record up to ALL of the shows on ALL of the four major networks for up to eight straight days! There are too many features to list! My boss at DISH let me try it out, and I can’t WAIT to get this in my home.

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