How to Install a DirecTV DVR Receiver

By Diane Dilov-Schultheis

A DirecTV DVR (digital video recorder) offers you the possibilities of watching one program and record another at the same time. You can also record two different broadcasts, if you are watching a recorded one. DVRs further give you the ability to pause "live" TV. Once you do this you can then rewind it, use slow motion features to watch it again or even fast forward past commercials. In order to have the use of all of these options, you must have a few things done first. Anyone minimally experienced in installing audio/video components can install a DirecTV DVR in around 10 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • DirecTV account
  • DVR service
  • DVR receiver w/cables

Step 1

Acquire a DirecTV DVR receiver with cables and documentation. You can get your DVR directly from DirecTV or other sources. You will have to contact DirecTV to verify that your current installation will work. Reach them at 1-800 DirecTV. You will need to have two satellite signals connected to your DVR receiver to be able to access all of its features. You may be able to add a second line yourself, if needed, or have a professional install it.

Step 2

Gather all of your components and parts. You will need to have the DVR receiver, power cord, access card, remote control, phone line, RCA A/V cables and/or an S-Video cable. You will also have to have two RG-6 coaxial cables to connect to the receiver. Insert the access card in the receiver, if needed, and connect the phone and power cords to it.

Step 3

Replace your old standard DirecTV receiver. If you already have a receiver, disconnect it from the TV and satellite by removing any cables connected to it. Set the new receiver in place with the back of it easily viewable.

Step 4

Connect your DirecTV DVR to your dish and television. You will need to connect two RG-6 cables to the two "Satellite" inputs on the DVR. To get the best quality picture, use an S-video cable to connect the receiver to the TV. Use the output on the DVR and the input on the television. You will also have to use an RCA cable for audio, since S-video is only the "picture" and not the "sound." Insert the correct color plug (white is left and red is right ) into the DVR's audio outputs and the TV's audio inputs. If you do not have the option to use a S-video, you will also have to connect the third (yellow) RCA cable. The yellow is the video and does not need to be connected when S-video is used. Connect the phone line to the DVR and your phone outlet and connect the power cord into an outlet. Turn on your DirecTV DVR receiver, which will most likely take you through an additional setup process.

Step 5

Add DVR service to your account. To activate your DVR and begin using its many features, you must contact DirecTV and add this specific service to your account. You can call them and have this completed in a few minutes. Use the number mentioned in Step 1.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have an HD DVR, you would need to have HD and DVR service activated on your account to use it. You would also have to have it connected using HD capable cables.
  • If you get your DVR from DirecTV, you will most likely have to give it back to them if you ever cancel your DirecTV service. They often considered them "leased" for the duration of the service provided. You will be charged for it if you do not return it.
  • There will be an additional monthly charge for DVR service added to your DirecTV bill.