This article is from the Digital Broadcast Satellites FAQ, by Brian Trosko firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
To an extent. Because the receiver has no time, you will have
leave it on and tuned to the channel you want to record. You
will have to set the VCR timer normally. This means that you
can only record off of one channel during a given absence.
There are also several models of VCRs that can be used to control
a first-generation DSS system. Model name include RCA and Mitsubishi.
All second generation DSS systems have timers on them, and some have
VCR control outputs.
Timers will be downloaded for newer E* systems sometime soon; not all E*
models will be capable of using them.