DirecTV Force-Feeds You Movies

DirecTV customers are complaining that a software upgrade is shoving pay-per-view movies onto their DVR hard-drives, eating up disc-space and causing headaches. Tipster Buzwardo says, “I find it pretty darn annoying that DirecTV is sending me PPV content that I now have to make sure my kids don’t play.” More complaints can be found in the DirecTV Forums.

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  1. Awesome picture.

  2. Oh God, does that mean “Norbit” is taking up space on my Hard Drive? Damn you DirectTV.

  3. brainswarm says:

    My Dish DVR has two hard drives, one for my recordings and one for on demand PPV. While I’d rather have the option to allocate that drive to my stuff, at least the PPV doesn’t try to take a giant dump on my saved Battlestar Galactica episodes.

  4. I read some of the thread at DirecTV.com. I haven’t experienced this personally – either way, I’m able to save far more content to my HR20 receiver’s hard drive than I was with my old Motorola cable box, but mo’ is always better.

  5. tomok97 says:

    I have DirecTV and noticed this too. Although, it doesn’t seem to be taking up hard drive space. But I’ve had the same concern that my kids my stumble on it and watch a movie. Especially since the titles aren’t all kid friendly. One of the movies available is the hyper-violent new Rambo movie. Call me a wuss, but I don’t really need my 8-year old watching that.

  6. MyLud says:

    After the last software “upgrade” completely destroyed the UI (seriously — it’s like five button pushes to get to my scheduled recordings, and five or six to change my pre-sets), along with the ridiculous 24-hour viewing window for PPV, this last change may have tipped the scale for me.

    The only thing left on the “+” side of my DirecTV scale? NFL Sunday Ticket. And I’m beginning to think that’s not even worth it…

    Seriously, DirecTV is just awful — and I’ve been with them for six years! (and don’t point out that I’m a moron. I know I am. It’s the NFL Sunday Ticket thing that’s kept me hooked).

  7. BuddhaLite says:

    I was wondering why my DVR was recording something at 6am each morning. With the upgrade I just thought the system might be doing some maintenance. I’ve been as low as 50% free but haven’t gotten any space alarms.

  8. Chairman-Meow says:

    Psst…..just unplug the phone jack in back of the DVR…..and you’ll never have to worry about this again.

  9. zentec says:

    @MyLud:

    I agree, they’re becoming nothing more than a cable system from the sky. I really don’t like having to lease their equipment, and to upgrade to HD requires quite an onerous agreement where I fork over a lot of money for the privilege of being tied to a 24 month agreement that permits them to jack around the programming costs.

    For now, I’ll continue being a subscriber with my trusty DirecTivo. Plus, DirecTV always beats what cable charges by $10, and will match any new customer offers that Charter sends me in the mail. I just need to call DirecTV to get them. But when it comes to HD, I can pretty much assure that I won’t be going with DirecTV.

  10. mike says:

    @InfiniTrent: I came here to say this. Awesome.

  11. BuddhaLite says:

    @MyLud: The one good thing in the change is the feature that allows you to skip to any day instead of going to the guide and skipping 12 hours ahead multiple times. Moving the upcoming shows to be recored was a bone head move though.

  12. Canino says:

    The recordings don’t seem to be taking up any disk space. They’re probably set to not register as used space and to be overwritten when a user recording is made.

    If someone is worried about it, all they have to do is go in to the parental controls and set the monthly spending limit to $0.00. Then set a parental control password. Problem solved.

    Also, as Front_Towards_Enemy said, unplug the phone jack. Software upgrades are done over the linkup, not over the phone. The phone jack is only for PPV dialin.

  13. @Front_Towards_Enemy: That explains why I haven’t had this problem – I don’t have a phone or Ethernet connection to my box.

  14. TACP says:

    I’ve seen this on my DVR, too. There is about 50GB of allocated space on the DirecTV DVR’s hard drive that is usually not used; that’s where the movies are being stored. Therefore, you don’t actually lose any space. Most of them have already expired and have been auto-deleted by now, anyway.

    HD capacity is not a problem for me. I upgraded to a much larger eSATA drive right after I got my DVR.

  15. HogwartsAlum says:

    @tomok97:

    You’re not a wuss. An 8-year-old doesn’t need to be watching that!

    I have DTV but I didn’t get the DVR. I haven’t had any other problems – yet.

  16. MyLud says:

    @Bevill: Shows you how turned off by them I am — I didn’t even know this feature was available! I’m definitely going to check it out, as anything is an improvement over having to go 12 hours forward, repeatedly…

    @Front_Towards_Enemy: the phone plug is OUT! Thanks!

  17. oneliketadow says:

    @tomok97: You’re not a wuss, the new Rambo movie is awful and your child will lose faith in movies for life if they watch it.

  18. hank18 says:

    @Front_Towards_Enemy

    I’ve never had the phone line plugged into my DVR, yet this PPV crap still shows up on it.

  19. DHT says:

    Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to affect the older TiVo-branded DirecTV DVRs (of which I have four).

  20. chrisexv6 says:

    The movies are pushed down via the satellite, phone plug makes no difference (I have 2 HR20s and have the “Movies Now” movies, with no phone plugs connected).

    As a previous poster mentioned, they use the amount of reserved space from the internal hard drive to house them. Your recording should not be affected (Ive heard rumors that a few people had recordings affected, but no one has been able to prove it). I havent seen any negatives in regards to disk space.

    I havent tried watching them to see if the PPV safeguards work as they normally do…..maybe I will, just to make sure the runts at my house dont start ringing up a bill.

  21. Canino says:

    @chrisexv6: The movies are pushed down via the satellite, phone plug makes no difference

    True, but you can’t buy them without the phone line.

  22. dink23 says:

    @DHT: That’s because the Tivo DVRs don’t have On-Demand.

  23. kbarrett says:

    You can also set the spend limit in the setup menu to $1 per movie … that will put a crimp in sales …

  24. racermd says:

    As noted above – All ‘modern’ DirecTV DVRs utilize a section of the hard disk reserved for such things. Ultimately, if you have one of these units, you’ve been using less than the full capacity of your hard disk from the start. You just haven’t been aware of it.

    DirecTV has not reduced the space a user is able to record in by one byte. The space you could record to 6 months ago is still the same size today.

    There’s a very long thread about this at DBS Talk, but I’m unable to reach the site at the moment. Look for an appropriately named thread in the DirecTV section “HD Plus DVRs”

    The only reason this is news is that people that don’t know any better are making a ruckus over what is essentially nothing. Please, move along.

  25. Buzwardo says:

    racermd says: The only reason this is news is that people that don’t know any better are making a ruckus over what is essentially nothing. Please, move along.

    If you followed the link to the DirecTV discussion you’d have noted that many claim to be losing content they recorded. If so, that isn’t “essentially nothing.”

    My objection is that the PPV content is pretty easy to get to from all the shows my kids record. They already know not to order other PPV offerings without checking, but they could have easily selected this content unwittingly. I’ve since made them aware of the issue, but it wasn’t until I saw the DVR recording at oh-dark-thirty that I became aware this content was available.

    Be it on the computer or via a DVR, I’m not a big fan of having unrequested content pushed to me. If someone is going to push content into my house I’d prefer to know about it ahead of time and have the ability to opt out.