Learn how to troubleshoot the DVR Service Unavailable error on your PVR. When a Digital Box is unable to detect a hard drive to which it can store a recording, the screen will display the following message: DVR Service is not available or is currently disabled when the LIST button is pressed or when the PVR Recordings option in the menu is selected.

Reset your Digital Box

Before proceeding, you will need to determine if your PVR has an Expander attached to it. Please refer to Shaw PVR Expander Guide for more information about the Expander.
Resetting a Digital Box with an Expander: To reset your Expander and Digital Box, please see instructions on how to correctly perform the reset here: Reset a Digital Box with an Expander
Digital Box with an Internal Hard Drive, no Expander connected: If you do not have an Expander connected to your Digital Box and your Digital Box has an internal hard drive, you will need to reset your Digital Box. See instructions on how to correctly perform the reset here: Resetting Your Digital Box

Did you know: The DVR Service Unavailable message will always appear for the first 1 to 2 minutes after the Digital Box has been unplugged (power cycled) or reset. This is a normal message and should clear itself shortly. If it does not, please proceed to the section below for steps to resolve the issue.



Reseating the coax connection

Reseating your coax cable simply means to remove it and replace it. Reseat the coaxial cable connections by performing the following steps:

  1. Unplug the power from the Digital Box
  2. Unscrew both ends of the coaxial cable (from the back of the Digital Box as well as the other end of the cable, at the wall outlet.)
    • Caution: if there is a splitter connected between the Digital Box and the wall outlet, ensure that there isn’t a phone or internet modem sharing the splitter, or else the phone connection or internet connection will be interrupted
  3. Screw both ends of the coaxial cable back in
  4. Reconnect the power cable to the Digital Box
  5. Wait 5-10 minutes for functionality to be restored
  6. Press PAUSE while watching any channel. If the program you are currently watching pauses, then the PVR functionality has been successfully restored. Press the PLAY button to resume playback from the point at which you pressed Pause, or, press the LIVE button to resume watching television in real-time. Your list of recordings should appear in a few minutes as the Interactive Guide is restored gradually—you can test this by pressing the LIST button.

Common causes and symptoms

Here are some answers to common causes resulting in the DVR Service Unavailable message:

  • The error message DVR Service Unavailable may appear for a number of reasons:
  • Power was unplugged to either the Expander (external hard drive) or the Digital Box while a recording was in progress
  • The eSATA connection between the Expander and the Digital Box is loose or has become disconnected
  • The hard drive has overheated: please refer to How to check whether your hard drive is overheating
  • Your Digital Box does not have an Expander connected and/or your Digital Box does not have an internal hard drive
  • The coaxial connection from the wall outlet to the back of your Digital Box is disconnected, loose, or has become damaged
  • The Digital Box is not activated on your account: activate your Digital Box by visiting http://activations.shaw.ca/

Other symptoms which indicate a hard drive has not been detected include the following:

  • The PVR option has been replaced with VCR Timers
  • The PVR option is missing completely
  • Pressing the Pause/Play/FF/RW buttons on the remote does not have an effect on live TV

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