NICE AND EASY: Skip commercials with DIRECTV

There’s a hidden feature on every DIRECTV DVR (even Genie.) It means you never have to see another commercial again. How do you do it?

First, an explanation

The 2000s was a time of great innovation in DVRs. The first DVRs just came on the scene in 1999 and people were still paying big bucks for them. At that time there were two major competitors: TiVo and ReplayTV. They were developing new features very quickly. One of the features people really liked about ReplayTV was its ability to automatically skip over an entire commercial break with the press of a button.

That particular feature got ReplayTV in a lot of hot water. While it wasn’t, well, really, illegal, the company eventually was sued out of business by content creators. DIRECTV bought their intellectual property for a song in the late 2000s.

TiVo had a different feature where you could skip forward 30 seconds. You still had to press the remote twice a minute and you got at least one frame of each commercial. This kept them from being sued.

The slip button

When DIRECTV launched their own line of DVRs, they introduced a much more advertiser-friendly feature, the 30-second slip. This meant you pressed one button and you’d move forward at top speed, exactly 30 seconds. Advertisers liked this because you saw the commercial. Enthusiasts didn’t because it took more time than just jumping forward 30 seconds.

DIRECTV compromised by putting in a backdoor code that let you change the slip button (shown above on a Genie remote) to let you skip forward 30 seconds. And then, of course, they told no one about it. That left it to blogs like these to get the word out.

How to do it on a Genie system

Start by pressing the DASH button to go straight to search.

Type in 30SKIP and press the RED button on the remote.

Press SELECT.

When you see this message, press EXIT. That’s all you have to do.

On older/non-Genie systems

It’s really the same procedure on older/non-Genie DVRs. Press MENU and then go to Search and Browse. From there, follow the steps above to do a KEYWORD search for 30SKIP.

Turning the feature off

Some folks find that they don’t like it as much as they thought. Luckily, it’s easy to turn off. If you want to disable this feature, go through the same steps but type the word 30SLIP instead.

The inevitable next question

When people find out that they can “hack” their DVRs with a simple keyword search, the obvious next question is, “what other special codes are available?” In earlier days there were a lot of them. Today there are very few and 30SKIP is the only one that’s verified to work. The wizards in AT&T’s El Segundo, CA headquarters probably have baked others in, but they haven’t let them … “slip” out to the rest of the population.

If you’d rather have a video..

Well you’re in luck. Here’s the same information in a YouTube video.

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About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.