DirecTV & “Your receiver isn’t authorized to record this program”

I have DirecTV with an older DVR model – the HR20.  The other day I was watching a show & attempted to record it by hitting the “RECORD” button on the remove after about 35min had gone by of the 1 hour long show. 

I was greeted with this message:

“Your receiver isn’t authorized to record this program.”

I hit RECORD multiple times and it still wouldn’t work.  I’ve actually seen this before but never figured out what was causing it.  After doing some research, I’ve found out the following things:

This is apparently associated with a long standing bug in the DirecTV DVR software that affects numerous models – including mine:

    If the program you’re watching & want to record is a good ways into the show, it is a known problem that attempting to record the show by hitting “the RECORD button may fail with this error.
    I’ve heard that it has to do with the live buffer being completely filled – i.e. all 3 hours of live in-progress buffer is filled with past programming.  This is why this doesn’t happen consistently:  If you or the DVR has changed channels within the last 3 hours, you won’t get this issue.
    If you change the channel and switch back, you’ll find that hitting the RECORD button will now work… however you will have lost the buffer of the show’s progress. i.e. If you’d watched 35min of the show, then change to another channel and come back to the original channel, you will be able to record but you will not hae the previous 35min in the recording.
    If you go to the channel guide and press RECORD on the show playing at that moment, the recording SHOULD still work.  This is the best workaround.

6 Responses to DirecTV & “Your receiver isn’t authorized to record this program”

  1. Meridius says:

    Item 3 (the “recording from guide” workaround) enabled me to overcome this glitch. Thank you for posting this!

    Other search results for this problem yielded various DirecTV “experts” making useless guesses without providing a way past the problem. Seriously, this company’s service is disgraceful — just disgraceful — since AT&T bought it.

  2. Sarah says:

    Thank you! This was very helpful!

  3. Molly says:

    10/29/18 — Excellent explanation and solutions for the “not authorized” problem. Why couldn’t Direct TV just say, “Error #127. To record program in progress, go to guide, or switch off and on.”

    • kurtsh says:

      This is why “User Experience Designers” (UX Design) have become so en vogue these days. Technology developers/creators often don’t complete the “last mile” of their solutions which is, “What is this going to look like to the people that actually use it?” All things being equal, companies that understand that UX design is often the differentiator between them and their competitors are the ones that I think will be most successful.
      Humorously – or perhaps not – DirecTV’s UX design is better than most cable companies DVRs – so the competition isn’t that stiff.

      • Daniel Roberts says:

        Except for Dish’s UI which is excellent. You’re absolutely right about the cable companies though, their designs are horrid.

        BTW…thanks so much for this work around. Ran into this issue today and found it helpful.

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