How to Autotune Channels on DirecTV

By Elizabeth Mott

Whether you choose a basic programming tier with SD picture quality or opt for HD reception with a built-in DVR, your DirecTV subscription gives you access to up to 285 channels as of June 2013. When you know in advance that you want to watch a series or event and don't want to miss your program, use your system's autotune capability to set up your DirecTV receiver so it automatically tunes to the show or movie when it starts.

Step 1

Press the "Guide" button on your DirecTV remote control to bring up the program guide so you can locate the program you want to autotune. Press the unlabeled green shortcut button above the "Vol" and "Chan" buttons to move the guide screen later in time in 12-hour increments. Press the red shortcut button to move back in 12-hour increments. Use the "Chan" button to scroll one page at a time vertically through the channels. Press the arrow keys that surround the "Select" button to move forward or back in time or up or down by one channel.

Step 2

Press the "Select" button to bring up the event screen for a specific program. This screen shows you information about the program, including its channel number, duration, plot or event synopsis, and names of actors or participants.

Step 3

Press "Select" a second time to switch to the autotune screen for the selected program. Press "Select" again to add the program to your autotune "To Do" list. Choose "Done" to return to the guide. Press the "Exit" button to clear the Guide screen if you have finished your autotune selections.

Tips & Warnings

  • The red and green shortcut buttons above the "Vol" and "Chan" buttons can't move the guide back past the current time or forward beyond the limits of the receiver's programming memory. Those forward limits vary, but may extend two or three days beyond the current time. When you reach the end of the stored event information, the guide stops advancing forward.
  • The "Showings" selection on the autotune screen for a program lists other instances of the same program or series episode at other times and days. You can autotune any of these options instead of or in addition to the showing you originally selected
  • By default, an autotune event starts when the program starts and ends at the conclusion of its time slot. The autotune screen includes options you can use to begin the event early, end the autotune after the program time slot or both.
  • To set up a manual autotune event up to 12 days before it occurs, press the "Menu" button and choose "Manage Autotunes." Use the "Chan" button to scroll down to the "Manual Autotune" onscreen option. Press the "Select" button to access the scheduling items for the event you want to program, including event frequency -- one-time or recurring -- channel, day, start time and duration. Select the "Set Autotune" onscreen option to schedule your event.
  • You can't autotune two events with overlapping durations. The screen displays a scheduling conflict and forces you to choose between the new and the existing autotuned events.