How to Record on DVR and Watch Another Channel

By Lori Spencer

If you already have your DVR programmed to record your favorite weekly program, you won't have to miss the big game airing at the same time on another channel. Most DVR models will allow you to watch and record more than one show at a time. Depending on the manufacturer and your digital cable or satellite provider's service, you may be able to record up to four or more channels at the same time. This comes in handy when the family can't agree on what to watch.

Step 1

Access your DVR's Program Guide; commands vary on different models but pressing the "Menu" button will usually take you to the Program Menu.

Step 2

Select "Search" from the Program Menu. This will bring up a search box where you can look for programs you want to schedule for recording.

Step 3

Use the numbered buttons on your remote to spell out the name of the show, movie or actor's name you want to search for. Use it like the number keys on your telephone (just like typing a text message) until you've spelled the full name or partial name.

Step 4

Hit the "Get Results" button. Your DVR will pull up a list of titles related to your keyword search on the screen. Use the up and down arrows on your remote to scroll through the titles until you find a program you want to record.

Step 5

Select the desired program. A brief description of the show, including cast, credits, running time, year of production and the corresponding TV channel number will appear when you click the "More Info" button.

Step 6

Make your selections and hit "Create Timer" (or similar function, depending on your particular model) to save the settings. The DVR will give you the option to record this program only once, daily, weekly, monthly or every time an episode airs.

Step 7

Add additional recordings for future recording as desired, then use the "Exit" button to close the Program Guide/DVR Recording menu.

Step 8

Use your remote control to change the channel and watch a different program while your scheduled recording is in progress. Depending on your DVR model, you may be able to record several channels simultaneously. Check your User's Manual.

Tips & Warnings

  • You'll know your other program is recording because the red "Record" light will illuminate on your DVR unit. (This comes on automatically for timer recordings.)
  • If you want to double-check and make sure your other program is recording, flip over to that channel and take a look. Press the "Info" button on your remote and you should see an onscreen message indicating the program is currently being recorded on DVR.
  • Recording capacity on DVR models varies widely--anywhere from 40 hours to more than 1,000 hours of standard programming. HD consumes more space on your hard drive and therefore you'll get less recordable hours. If you regularly record series that air daily or weekly, your DVR hard drive space will fill up quickly. Sufficient hard drive space for your needs is an important consideration when choosing which DVR to buy.
  • Recording more than one channel at a time requires a dual-tuner DVR. If you only have a single-tuner DVR, you'll only be able to watch the channel you are recording.