Yes it is because you hit select before the question pops up, but sometimes when the receiver starts responding slowly to commands it is easy to do.
Not if you know that the unit can sometimes be quirky and know you should wait a moment to be sure. Based on the amount of people here that complain about slow response at times I'm pretty sure people know to expect it.
I myself have done this on a couple occasions. Scrolling through the playlist trying to clean things out and I hit red, down, select, and next thing I know the cursor moves down to a different show and deletes it instead of the one that I was trying to delete because the DVR had buffered in other keypresses.
Take it slow, it's not a race, and don't stack keypresses if you know to expect the DVR to be slow to respond.
If the receivers responded to the remote better I think less people would have this issue, or make this request.
Again, people know to expect it...
I wouldn't mind it if it we had something like how I understand the TIVO worked. You delete a program and it moves into a trash bin. All the programs stay in the trash bin recorded on the hard drive until that space is needed to record something else. Then the oldest items in the trash bin gets removed to make room for the new recording and it's gone forever. Anything else can be restored though if you end up needing it again.
Or better yet just don't delete anything. Set your HR to handle deletions for you by configuring how many episodes of a show you want, if you want something deleted when space is low, something you want to keep until you specifically say delete it, etc. The options are all there.
I'm not saying a deleted items folder would be bad, clearly it wouldn't. And I'm not saying there's not an issue with speed on some boxes, clearly there is. I just don't see how people are still blaming the box, or DirecTV, when they know how to work around it.