If your Dish DVR not playing recorded shows regardless of whether they are old or recently recorded, you have found the best solution post.
Here we’ll discuss the most frequent causes and provide you with an easy way to solve the problem at home.
To fix dish DVR recordings that are not playable you should first perform a hard reset on your DVR and cable box and then disable the inactivity standby port. Moreover, you can inspect the HDMI cable and if necessary, perform a default setting reset.
Some of these solutions require some focus so we recommend reading the entire post so you can be well prepared.
According to most forums and guides, the most frequent issue that might be preventing your Dish DVR from playing recorded shows is a problem with the hard disk.
If there are dead sectors within your hard disk, there could be black screens in the middle of some recordings and some or ALL of them could be missing.
But let’s exclude the bad hardware possibility for a moment and review the rest of the cases that you can actually resolve fast and easy at home:
1. Temporal Malfunction
If the recordings are there but the DVR refuses to play any or just some of them, there might be a temporal power malfunction with the box.
2. Corrupted/Deleted Data
If there is corrupted or deleted data within the source of the recording, the DVR will refuse to play them.
3. Problem with the Device
In case the recordings were not captured properly or there was an issue during the shoot, they might be unavailable to preview.
4. Memory Failure
If the hard disk failed, some of the newest recordings might be inaccessible and you may lose data.
Now that we’ve given you a better insight into what might be preventing the DVR from displaying the recorded shows, let’s proceed with the best solutions!
Before we proceed any further, have you tried rebooting your DVR?
Sometimes this whole inconvenience can be solved by simply restarting your Dish DVR device so make sure to try that before proceeding with the more complex troubleshooting workarounds.
If you have already tried rebooting the box, let’s proceed with a more advanced type of restart.
In addition to the reboot, you might as well apply a power cycle to your equipment.
This will discharge the devices, providing a head reset and a cold boot upon their next startup. We recommend power cycling ALL pieces of your equipment, including your TV!
Here is how to perform a power cycle:
- Turn OFF the devices via the remote control or hardware power button.
- Unplug their power adapters from the power sources.
- Wait for 5 minutes.
- Plug the power adapters back into their place and position the devices correctly.
Alert: It is important NOT to forget to power cycle both your DVR and Set-Top Box!
It is also recommended to unplug ALL additional devices connected to your box and TV such as gaming consoles, soundbars, headphones, etc…
If the power cycle didn’t do any good, there might be an issue with the HDMI connections throughout your configuration.
You have to inspect the HDMI cable that connects your receiver and TV and Dish receiver and DVR.
Here are some steps to troubleshoot the HDMI connection:
- Clean any dust and smudge gathered on the cable’s ports!
- Rotate the cables’ both ends.
- Plug the HDMI into a different port on both your receiver and DVR.
- Try to straighten the cable and prevent any twists or pressure.
- Apply mild force to tighten the port connection on both ends.
- Check the HDMI connections for hardware damage.
Note: If unfortunately there is hardware damage inflicted on the cables, this might prevent you from viewing the recordings so you must replace the damaged cable as soon as possible.
The next solution is to try playing a different recording. There might be an issue with the newest one, preventing your DVR from streaming it onto your TV.
Now after the power cycle there is a chance that the issue is resolved and the recordings from now on will work.
Try capturing another recording now and then playing it. If it works, you can test several captures from the old ones, and if they don’t work then there was a problem present before the power cycle.
Note: Issues like that occur if the broadcast itself has been going through interruptions or there was a power outage and the only shortcut for the recording has been saved.
In case the old and the new recordings are still not playable, move on to the next solution!
Another solution recommended by users with the same problem is to disable the inactivity standby mode.
If enabled, this mode will make your DVR go inactive and will prevent you from viewing any recordings.
Keep in mind that disabling the inactivity standby will also help if dish DVR not showing all recordings, so make sure to try it if you have that issue as well.
To disable the feature, go to Menu > Settings > Display > Inactivity Standby.
You should be able to disable it with a single click of the green slider. Make sure to restart your DVR as well once you’re done. This way the system will apply the changes immediately.
Transferring the recordings from the DVR to your computer might not solve your problem, but will definitely clarify if the recordings are corrupted or there is an issue with your DVR playback.
The easiest way to transfer the recordings to your PC is by hooking the DVR with your PC via Ethernet cable.
Then you can enter This PC from the computer and locate the DVR network folder. In there you will find the recordings and when transferred you will be able to play them
Alternative ways to transfer: You can also use Flash USB or External Hard Drive.
Now if your recordings are working on your computer, this is good news, they are NOT corrupted. If not, unfortunately, your recordings are lost and you will need to perform the next solution!
If nothing worked so far, then you should factory reset your DVR. Beware that a factory reset will restore the default configuration setup of the device and will delete all current recordings, so in order to test, you must record another show through the DVR.
Pro Tip: If your recordings are important to you, in the previous solution you can learn how to transfer them to a PC!
To factory reset your DVR, follow these instructions:
- Unplug the DVR from the power.
- Once your DVR unit has been discharged, press and hold the factory switch for 5 seconds.
- Proceed to hold the switch and plug the DVR’s power adapter back into the source.
- Wait for the beep and Release the switch.
Once you’re done, wait for the default settings to be set. When ready, simply capture a recording and test if it will be playable.
In case the recordings are still unavailable there could be a problem with the hard drive of the DVR. At this point, you can either contact the DVR manufacturer for assistance or bring the device to repair service.
When Dish DVR is not playing the recorded shows, you can try to hard reset your entire equipment. Then you’ll need to disable the inactivity standby option and inspect the HDMI cable. Lastly, you can export and test the recordings on a PC and if they work, perform a factory reset on your DVR!
Whenever Dish DVR not playing recorded shows in most cases the problem is in the DVR hard disk.
We recommend trying ALL of our solutions before you make your conclusions and if they do not help, you’ll at least know where the problem is coming from.
If this post was helpful to you but you’re experiencing other sorts of issues with your DVR, make sure to check our blog and discover the solution you need!
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.