My parents are current SD customers and are considering a switch very soon. They currently have many hours of recordings on their PVR. My question is, once the service is stopped, can the recordings still be accessed on the PVR or once service is cut does the PVR stop functioning for playback?
This question comes up quite a bit with Cable and IPTV. With IPTV each recorded programme must "check back" to see if it's allowed to play, so without an internet connection and without an active account, you cannot watch recordings on IPTV. With cable, the cable company often disables the PVR when you cancel and even if that's not done, after a period of time (roughly 30 days) you can no longer watch recordings on most cable PVRs as it gets disabled by the firmware. Some cable PVRs also need a connection to boot, so if the PVR loses power, you're out of luck (Shaw Cable).
However, with satellite, there is no such restriction that I know of since there is no "connection back". I suppose it would be possible for the STB to become non-functional if it it didn't "see" a satellite signal for a period of time, but I don't believe that applies to recordings. (With BTV you need a signal to use the PVRs (that are capable) for OTA recording for example - no account required though).
I would suggest though that they watch the recordings before they cancel, just to be on the safe side. Past experience may not be an accurate indicator of the future.
Years ago, when I moved, I took my Bell receiver/PVR which I owned with me. To this day I can watch all PVR content even though I have no current Bell account. When you leave PVR mode, the receiver resumes hunting for a valid satellite signal which it never receives.
Since I just terminated my Shaw Direct last week, I have same question as asked on this post. I don't care if I lose my PVR contents so I'll just wait and see what happens.