DirecTV's DVR service using this particular DVR is frustrating. The remote hesitates, and channels are slow to change. The remote is very error prone, and clumsy. The player itself is very slow, and unfriendly. DirecTV would be well served to find a new supplier for their DVR's.
The black DVR is worse than the silver one. It records by mistake and cuts off the end of shows when it does record. Also Pay Per Views don't record, so if you buy make sure you watch on the same day as you buy, as a DVR won't help. Poor remote battery life, and extremely long delays in channel changing make it a chore to use this DVR.
The DVR features commercial free playback. It automatically records the channel your on, and you can wait a few minutes for the show to start than backup to the beginning of the show and fast forward through commercials. Also recording movies is usually flawless, and scheduled programs that run on time. If the program is out of the time slot your s recording will cut off at the original time the guide program expires.
If you have this receiver then get the insurance for $20 a month because you'll need it. It takes forever to boot up, and get a signal, and the best thing you could do is get a uninterruptible power supply so that you don't have to reboot if power surge hits. The insurance guarantees you a replacement box for the cost of a service call, usually $20. If you don't get the insurance then they want to stick you with the cost of the box plus the service call.
This receiver has a poor remote. The remote eats batteries. The power consumption is so high nothing is good except Energizer and Duracell batteries. The remote is the same for the silver DVR and the black DVR. So good luck changing that. The remote buttons wear out easily and often need pressing multiple times, or quit working entirely.
The DVR is great if you listen to music as it will allow you to output to your stereo, and listen flawlessly. Music and audio through this DVR are excellent as it will set up to allow you to quickly and easily select music or audio. This unit has a USB port, however after asking the DirecTV technician about it, he says it's not being used for anything. Overall a real piece of junk, avoid this DVR.