Tonight is the second part of American Idol’s season finale, and this season Idol fans have been noticing something: live TV shows sometimes run longer than they are scheduled for (this has also impacted Fringe viewers, since when Idol ran over, Fringe would start and end later as well). If you’re watching Idol, or any other show live, the solution is simple: just watch the show a little longer than you had planned. But what if you’re DVRing the show? I know the pain of coming home to watch a DVRed episode of your favorite show only to find out that the final moments went over the alloted time and were not recorded.

Luckily, the Comcast DVR (and most other DVRs as well) offers up a solution that’ll make sure you don’t miss a minute of your DVRed show: setting the start and stop times of your recordings.

Assuming you have a recording already setup (whether it be a one off, or a series recording) setting a custom end time for your recording is easy:

Find the program that you’re interested in changing the recording settings on. There are two ways to do this: find the program in the Guide and hit the Info button on your remote, or go to your DVR Scheduler (push the ‘My DVR’ button on your Comcast remote or hit Menu and then select DVR if you’re using a third party remote) and select ‘Scheduled Recording.’ This will list your scheduled recordings from which you can select the recording you want to modify. Once you have the show you want to modified select hit the Info button on your remote

Choose the ‘Set or cancel a recording’ button (that’s the one that looks like a red circle) and hit ok.

This brings up the recording options. From here you can cancel the recording, or change the settings (which is what we want to do). Select the option called ‘Modify recording settings for this program’ which has a wrench icon.

Now you should see the Recording Settings on for this program. You have a couple of settings here, but we’re interested in the ‘Stop recording’ setting. If you select ‘Stop recording’ and hit the right arrow on your remote you will cycle through a number of options in 1 -10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 1 hour 1.5 hours 2 hours. Select however long after the show's scheduled end time you want to record (I usually go with 30 minutes) and then hit "Record with these settings"

These instructions are great if you want to change the stop recording time for one airing of a show, but what if you have a series recording setup for a show that always runs late? In that case on the Recording settings screen select ‘Modify series recording,’ and set the entire series recording to record an extra 5 or 10 minutes every time.