A digital video recorder (DVR) is user-configurable to start recording before a scheduled start of a program. The DVR displays an electronic program guide having a graphical indicator that the DVR is configured to start recording a program early. When a user commands the DVR to play back the recorded program, the DVR begins playing the program at the position corresponding to the scheduled start time, as opposed to the actual recording start time. If desired, the user can “rewind” the program and view the portions of the program recorded prior to the scheduled start time. The DVR can display a counter counting the time base for the recorded program. The counter displays time elapsed since the scheduled start time and counts portions of the program recorded before the scheduled start time as negative time.