As a systems guy, you should know its however the designers and coders wanted it to be, although some options may not make sense. The options on other PVRs I've used were to keep recordings indefinitely (protect recording) or until space is needed. Until space is needed typically deletes the oldest, unprotected recording first to make space space for a new recording. The protect recording option will make new recordings fail once all unprotected programming has been deleted. It appears that the protect recording option has been replaced by a one year expiry option. I suspect that all recordings will be deleted after one year regardless of status. These options can sometimes be applied to individual recordings to override the default settings. It may or may not be possible to change the settings on existing programs.