The DVR Giveth and the DVR Taketh Away

Yesterday, I posted about how DVR overload caused me to lose an entire season of a show I planned to eventually watch. Last night, I was threatened with the same situation. As I started the evening, my DVR was already at 88% capacity, and I had seven new shows scheduled to record. Tried as I might, I could not watch and delete old recordings fast enough to keep up. When my DVR literally hit 99% as two new shows had just begun simultaneously recording, I had to make a fast decision. The oldest program on my DVR, the first scheduled to auto-delete when the drive hit 100%, was ‘Justified’. I like that show and wasn’t prepared to lose it. So I made a sacrifice. Goodbye, ‘Happy Town’.

This isn’t a big loss to me. As I previously mentioned, I didn’t think much of the show’s premiere. I was still willing to give it another episode or two to see if it improved. But when push comes to shove, shows I don’t like have to make room for shows I do. I deleted this week’s episode of ‘Happy Town’ and canceled the series recording. I will not be watching or recapping the show going forward. Is anyone disappointed by this? Frankly, I fully expect the series to be canceled before its mystery can ever be resolved anyway.

The irony in all this: It was in fact ‘Justified’ that was causing my DVR capacity issues in the first place. Of the three episodes I had backlogged, something went wrong with the recording of the second. Instead of recording for just the hour that the show was on, my DVR glitched and continued to record afterwards… for five additional hours. So that one episode was taking up the space of six. My wife and I watched and deleted two episodes (including the problem one), as well as a few sit-coms, and now my DVR is safely down into the mid-60% range. That should give me enough of a buffer to burn through some more programs this weekend, before next week’s shows start building up again.


  1. JoeRo

    I can totally relate to this. My own dvr situation came to a head when I had 6 episodes of V backlogged while also having 6 episodes of The Pacific on hand. I haven’t yet watched a single episode of the Pacific, which made my decision almost difficult. Sadly for V, it started off pretty weak, and has taken a serious nosedive since it’s started up again … buh bye.

    I’ve noticed that most of the stuff that’s causing problems isn’t serials, but much infrequently aired content. I have several Smithsonian channel specials, a handful of Nova episodes, and a few Disocvery HD theater episodes of Fantastic Festivals of the World. I find myself holding on to this type of content because I want to both re-watch it myself, and watch with with friends on the rare occasion when they drop by and we end up staring at the television. I’v considered using my 1.5 external drive to expand shows, but the DirecTV HR22 is stupid. Instead of filling the internal drive first and then filling up the external, it migrates everything to the external drive and ignores its own drive. Lame. I’m wondering when some DVR manufacturer will just get with the times and give us a full TB of storage for content. That’d enable me to put off making deletion decisions for a long time to come. Or a few weeks.

  2. Not sure what DVR you have, but with the Satellite services you can add external hard drives easily (up to 2 TB capacity) …. or swap out the internal hard drives with a bit more effort …. to rapidly expand your recording capacity to literally SEVERAL HUNDREDS OF HOURS of HD.

    With DirecTV, you might want to copy your current programming to the new hard drive, so you don’t lose anything (as the new storage space “replaces” the old); luckily this too is possible.

    In any case, I feel your pain. even with 2 TB of space, I’m always hovering at just 5% free. But that’s because I archive tons of premium station movies I might want to watch someday, and old favorites I haven’t got on blu-ray yet.

    But I’ve never not had room to record new stuff or my regular programming since expanding the capacity. It’s pretty easy to always have twenty or thirty hours of stuff I might not watch or expect to be able to record again in the future flagged to delete if necessary for my preferred viewing priorities.

    I’d definitely advise a capacity upgrade. HD’s are so cheap now, it’s almost a no-brainer.

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