Can You Use the DirecTV DVR for Netflix?

By Michael Signal

Direct TV DVR and Netflix deliver a massive amount of video content.
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With Direct TV's DVR (digital video recorder) service, subscribers never have to miss any program that airs on Direct TV. The DVR acts like a hard drive combined with a VCR. It records video that can be played back at any time, as long as there is enough space on the DVR's hard drive. Netflix offers another method to view a huge amount of video content. Some users of both services might wonder how to combine the two video sources.

Netflix DVD Service

Netflix still mails DVDs but also delivers video in other ways.
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Netflix became a popular vehicle for renting DVDs without going to the video store. The original Netflix model delivered DVDs to users' homes for a fee. The monthly fee varied according to the amount of DVDs users chose to have at any one time. Users arranged DVD titles in a queue on the Netflix website. The next highest rated title in the queue would be shipped to a Netflix customer as soon as the user returned a DVD to Netflix via mail. Netflix allowed customers to keep DVDs indefinitely, without late fees, as long as users remained paying Netflix customers.

Netflix Streaming Video

Netflix still offers unlimited DVD rentals by mail to paying customers, but its streaming service is a great compliment to the standard, original DVD service. Users can instantly stream videos from Netflix to their computers. Many other devices that can connect to the Internet can also stream Netflix movies, including several game consoles, Internet-ready DVD player, Internet-ready TVs and different brands of DVRs.

Direct TV DVR

Most cable and satellite providers offer their own DVR devices. Direct TV charges an extra fee for a DVR-capable receiver. Direct TV users can program their DVRs with a Direct TV remote or with Direct TV's online DVR scheduling service.

Why Not Combine the Two?

So, why not use a Direct TV DVR to record streaming movies or even DVDs from Netflix? The reason is that it cannot be done. Making copies of rented videos is against the law. No matter how Netflix delivers video, it is still a rental service. Users do not own the video content and cannot copy it. Also, it is not possible with Direct TVs DVR interface to record anything but programming included in a Direct TV subscribers paid subscription service. The DVR will only record shows listed on Direct TV's programming guide. Neither streaming Netflix video or DVDs will appear on the programming guide.

What's the Point Anyway?

Users can watch shows recorded on a Direct TV DVR an infinite number of times. Similarly, Netflix users can stream videos over and over or keep DVDs indefinitely without incurring extra charges. What would be the practical purpose of recording video that you could already watch at any time, as many times as you wanted? DVRs also have a finite amount of space, so recording Netflix content would waste hard drive space that could be used for Direct TV programming.