How to clean out your DVR!

Oh’ the joys of recording your favorite programs. The convenience is wonderful! But nothing is worse than  seeing that “space available” bar filled nearly to the brim. If you don’t act fast your Unwrapped marathon will be lost forever!!! Do not fret. I have some tricks of easy ways to clean out your DVR with ease.


I work in television, so I understand the basic formula for most TV shows. I’m referring mainly to TLC/HGTV type shows. These tricks would not apply to scripted drama and mystery shows like CSI.

FIRST RULE- Be ready to focus and use that fast forward button on your remote. This is not the time to vegetate and zone out! You’ve got a lot of cleaning out to do.

SECOND – Always skip the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds before the commercial break. This is the time producers fill to tease ahead! They show teaser video that you will see again in the meat of the show. You can usually tell that the show is beginning to go into a commercial break because they will start teasing ahead. When you hear words like “coming up” or  hear music, that means a commercial is right around the corner so start fast forwarding!! This can shave a good 10 minutes off your total viewing time just by following this tip. IMG_1763

THIRD– Are you watching a reveal or makeover show? You are in luck. These are the easiest shows to skim!! If you are watching a makeover show (home, fashion, organization, Hoarders, dramatic weight loss..etc) watch the first seven minutes to see the problem. Learn about what is going to be fixed. You will see the majority of the best video during the teases, so don’t worry about missing anything in the middle. After the first seven minutes, fast forward like a crazy person until the last 7 minutes. That’s when you’ll see the resolution…. the best past of any makeover show! You’ll also get the satisfaction of seeing recap video from the midst of the show.

FORTH –If you are REALLY in a hurry, you can always fast forward to the last 10 minutes of any TLC type show. You’ll get the gist of the story (problems and resolution) without wasting valuable time watching the full hour long show. If you do this trick, you’ll be able to clean out 10 shows in the time it would take you to watch one.

FIFTH- Remember, television shows are on TV to make money through advertisement revenue. The entire goal of any show (yes, even news) is to KEEP YOU WATCHING and entertained so that you will sit through dozens of commercials. The other goal of every show is to FILL THEIR ALLOTTED TIME SLOT. This is not evil or bad in any way! It’s a great way to let the free market work. But when you are in a time crunch and want to simplify your DVR playlist, understanding this fact can help you press that FF button with ease! IMG_4375   Do you have any tips to cleaning out your DVR? Let me know in the comments below.

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3 thoughts on “How to clean out your DVR!

  1. P.S. I meant to add that I liked your behind-the-scenes shots; I think that the production is as interesting if not more interesting than the final product. But that could just be my tech background peaking through the clouds.

  2. Thankfully, I got out of watching broadcast television long ago. I sit in front of a computer 36 hours a day, so I consume all of my media there or now, thanks to the late Steve Jobs, on an iPad. (Curiously enough, I consume nearly no video on the iPad; it’s become a very expensive e-reader. But I love every minute of it.)

    I think that news is best consumed by reading. Reading is an active process and one is more critical of the information they are consuming when they are reading; at least so I’ve found.

    That having been said, I have nothing against the idea of televised news; one can consume a few stories quickly or get details that only an audio/video format can capture. Unfortunately, the web has largely made broadcast news redundant, save for the fact that news channels–such as the banner under which you broadcast–can run local and hyperlocal broadcasts at periodic intervals at quality because of incumbency.

    As for entertainment shows, be they Top Gear, Justified, House (when it was still on) Sherlock etc. I buy them in HD from iTunes. I have the convenience of having the shows in the cloud so I can access them from anywhere with a large enough pipe, though I always transfer the bits across the wire for local storage for immediate recall and no buffering. This means that I consume my entertainment sans ads.

    So to answer your question, my tip for cleaning out a DVR is simple: avoid having one in the first place!

    1. ProfessorTom- your response just made me LOL. I agree with a lot of what you said. Working in broadcast news is getting more difficult because of the exact points you’ve made. We are always asking; how can we get our viewers to tune in and not just read the story online? I have a a feeling news as we know it, and TV as we know it, will be as old fashioned as news papers in the coming years. We shall see….

      Thank for commenting!

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