I just looked at my manual and the auto playback feature is triggered when the target is set on "HDD" and you must press "PLAY" to start the last recording on the HDD. Taking the batteries out eliminates the possibility of a sticky play button on the remote. Might want to check if the play button on the unit is sticking. You may also want to try leaving the target on "DVD" while watching to see if that will work for you as a workaround.
And also, you might be getting a cross-command from your TV remote. I'm thinking of the volume control that you might be adjusting while viewing through the 760. Try sitting on a title on the HDD and press the tv remote commands that you would use to see if the title will actually start.