Yes, you CAN watch DirecTV DVR content as a stand-alone unit
I know this works for the R15 units, but I don't see what it wouldn't work for others.
(1) Connect DirecTV DVR to your TV.
(2) DVR will automatically go into 'Receiving Satellite Info' mode, with 0% on the meter.
(3) From your DirecTV remote, press EXIT twice and then MENU.
(4) You can then select LIST to view your already recorded content (that wasn't PPV/time sensitive).
I just tried this with R15-300 and R15-500 dual tuner DVRs and was able to pull up recorded TV shows as well as HBO and Showtime movies. I have an HR10-250 and was also able to get into the LIST. I cannot comment on anything newer than that. Sorry.
Also of note. If you're selling or disposing of an old DVR and only want to reformat the drive to remove old content, I was told you would need to press the RESET button and once you get the HELLO and ALMOST THERE screens, then hold the RECORD and DOWN ARROW buttons together for 10 seconds and the drive will format, wiping out all old content.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by BuddhaMike; 07-22-2014 at 11:55 AM.
Reason: Additional content