Most of the issues you may encounter with your DVR can be resolved by sending a refresh signal to the Spectrum Receiver. Visit our support page for additional instructions on how to refresh your receiver.

You can also reset (power cycle) the DVR by unplugging it for 15 seconds, then plugging it back in. Wait up to 20 minutes for the receiver to fully recover and then turn it back on.

Note: Problems may arise if your receiver is overheating. Make sure there is adequate ventilation around the device.

The following troubleshooting tips are for Scientific Atlanta and Motorola brand DVRs. Use the quick links below to navigate to a section of your choice.

Recording Issues
Playback Issues
Automatic Deletion/Scheduled Recordings Not Working
Can't Delete Recordings
Error Messages
Additional Troubleshooting

Recording Issues

If you're having trouble recording programs, sign in to your account to verify that your services are active.

If you're only having trouble recording select programs, open the Record menu and make sure the program doesn't have restricted recording options.

If you're using Multi-Room DVRs, make sure that you're not trying to record on a secondary receiver. Programs can only be recorded on the Primary DVR.

If you're able to play recorded shows but can't record new programs, make sure the DVR has available disk space.

To view disk space for Motorola Brand DVRs:

  1. Press the My DVR button on your remote.
  2. The percentage of storage space you've used is displayed in the middle of the screen.
  3. Delete some of your already-recorded programs as needed.

To view disk space for Scientific Atlanta Brand DVRs:

  1. Open the DVR Recordings List.
  2. Press A to open the Saved Shows options.
  3. Use the Up or Down arrows to highlight View Disk Info.
  4. Press Select or OK.
  5. The Saved Shows Information screen will show the amount of disk space in use.
  6. Press C to return to the Saved Shows list and delete saved programs as needed.

Learn more about DVR disk space and how to add an external hard drive to increase your storage capacity.

Note: On Demand content can't be recorded. You can only watch On Demand content during the rental period for the program.

Problems with Series Recordings

Programs such as daily news shows and games shows may stop recording when set up as a series recording if you cancel a single episode of the series or cancel a program of the series that is currently being recorded. Follow the steps below to resolve this issue:

  1. Delete the current series recording.
  2. Reset (power cycle) the DVR.
  3. Set up a new series recording for the desired news program/game show.
  4. In the DVR menu, verify the program is scheduled to record under Future Recordings.

Playback Issues

First verify that the Primary DVR is connected and powered on.

If you're experiencing problems with playback of some channels, try and record a few moments of a new program. This may be an issue with the broadcast.

Automatic Deletion/Scheduled Recordings Not Working

Recorded programs or scheduled recordings may automatically be deleted from your DVR if the memory is full. Learn more about how you can delete saved programs and free up disk space to record additional programs.

Your DVR may also have an episode limit default for each series recording that is set too low.

Please note that programs will automatically be deleted/scheduled recordings will not work if the program SAVE setting is marked as Save Until Space Is Needed or something similar.

Learn how to remotely manage scheduled recordings.

Can't Delete Recordings

If you're using Multi-Room DVRs, make sure that the recording you're trying to delete is not being played on a secondary DVR.

To delete ALL programs:

Note: Programs can't be recovered after the hard drive has been cleared. Any future or series recordings scheduled may be deleted and will need to be reset/rescheduled. Other settings such as favorites or parental controls may also need to be reset.
  1. Press the CBL button on the remote and power off the receiver (the TV should remain powered on).
  2. Press the OK, SELECT or MENU button on the remote to open the diagnostics screen.
  3. Select Option 1, then use the remote for the following sequence (Needs to be completed within 5 seconds):
  • Press REPLAY once.
  • Press MY DVR three times.
  • Press LIVE once.
  1. CLR should now display on the LED screen of your receiver. This indicates the hard drive has been cleared of all programming
  2. Press OK, SELECT, MENU, or EXIT to leave the diagnostics screen, then press CBL and POWER to turn the receiver back on.

Error Messages

Rec Display

  1. Press the CBL button on the remote and then press EXIT.
  2. Reset (power cycle) the DVR.

Unrecoverable Write/Hard Disk Drive Error

If you receive this error message on a Motorola DVR, you'll need to contact us.

If this error message appears on a Scientific Atlanta DVR, follow the steps below to reformat the hard drive:

Note: Reformatting the hard drive will delete ALL previously recorded programs. Other personalized settings such as future or series recordings, favorites or parental controls may also be deleted and need to be reset.
  1. Press the CBL button on the remote control.
  2. Power off the DVR.
  3. Press and hold the Pause button on the remote control until the message indicator (MAIL LIGHT) flashes.
  4. Press the PAGE DOWN button one time.
  5. Press the LIST or MY DVR button three times (display will show HDD1, HDD2, and HDD3).
  6. Display will then show HDDF, wait a few moments (no longer than 2 minutes) and the DVR will reboot.
  7. Turn the DVR back on and wait for the time to display.

DVR Services Not Available/DVR Not Enabled

  1. Sign in to your account to verify that your services are active.
  2. Send a refresh signal to your receiver or reset (power cycle) your device.

Program Unavailable

This message may appear in a Multi-Room DVR setup if the Primary DVR has been disconnected or lost power while the Program Information screen is displaying on a secondary receiver.

  1. Make sure the Primary DVR is connected and powered on.
  2. Turn the Secondary Receiver off and then on again.
  3. Reset (power cycle) the device.

For further assistance, please contact us.

Additional Troubleshooting

Missing Functionality

If you're missing functionality or only part of your DVR features are working, tighten any loose connectors or replace any that appear damaged.

Once you've tightened/replaced any connectors, you can send a refresh signal or reset (power cycle) the receiver.

Problems Fast-Forwarding

Some Networks don't allow fast forward for On Demand programming. This feature is left to the discretion of individual networks.

Can't Send to TV/Manage DVR Remotely

Confirm the correct TV and receiver are selected and powered on. You can select your Default devices and nickname your devices online at or by using the Spectrum TV app.

If Send to TV doesn't work through the Spectrum TV app when the Guide or Menu is open on your TV screen, close the Guide or Menu on your TV, then try sending the program again.

If you have a Cisco/Scientific Atlanta receiver, you can only tune to Live TV using the Spectrum TV app or Cisco/Scientific Atlanta DVRs can't be managed through the Spectrum TV app or

Can't Change Channels Via Remote on HDTV

Verify you are pressing the proper device button on your remote control for the device you are trying to control (TV, receiver, VCR, etc.).

This issue can be caused in some of the newer HD TVs because the infrared coming out of the plasma/LED interferes with the infrared coming out of other devices. Try these steps to fix the issue:

  1. If the TV is set up on a table, position the HD or HD/DVR receiver behind the TV.
  2. If the TV is wall-mounted, move the HD or HD/DVR receiver as far to the right as possible.
  3. If your TV has a setting called Active Control, try changing it to reduce the interference.
  4. Reduce the TV's brightness.
  5. Place one of the following over/around/above the IR sensor on the HD or HD/DVR receiver:
  • Beige-colored tape
  • Film negatives
  • Sunglass lenses
  • Cardboard visor
  1. Dim the lighting in the room, if possible.
  2. Try using a RF (Radio Frequency) Remote Control system.

TV Screen/Channel Problems

Visit our TV Troubleshooting page if you're missing channels or have no picture on one or more TVs.

Closed Captioning

Learn more about managing closed captioning on your TV or receiver.

Interactive Guide Problems

Please visit our support page for programming guide tips if you're experiencing problems with no Guide displays, incorrect information, channels missing from Guide, etc.

Equipment Doesn't Turn On

  1. Verify that power is running to the amplifier, if applicable.
  2. Make sure the power source is working and that the equipment is plugged in.
  3. Verify the receiver is hooked up correctly.
  4. Turn on the receiver manually, without using a remote control.
  5. If the electrical outlet is controlled by a light switch, make sure the switch is turned on or check if the breaker needs to be reset.
  6. Send a refresh signal to your receiver or reset (power cycle) the DVR.

Can't Pause or Rewind Live TV

  1. Press the CBL button, then the POWER button on your remote control to turn off the receiver. Wait a few seconds before turning it back on.
  2. Verify DVR storage isn't full.
  3. Send a refresh signal to your receiver or reset (power cycle) the DVR.