Yes, they should. And then they should be willing to pay $1,000 (at least) for a DVR.
I sincerely doubt that in any of your "life-critical" applications the hardware is free, or at the most $450.
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.
What does hardware cost have to do with it?
Hardware is far more reliable than the software put on it. How many hardware problems do we see in general? Very few. And almost all of them are caused by improper ventilation/heat. Mostly disk drives and power supplies. How many hardware bugs
? Essentially zero. Noticeable bugs that affect a significant percentage of devices? Zero
. Certainly many orders of magnitude less than wonky unnecessary software problems.
Why is that? Because hardware is the most expensive thing to create and maintain. You can't download a hardware fix every couple of months.
Has that made hardware more expensive in the big picture? Not a chance. The reverse is true.
There is nothing unusually complicated about a sat receiver/DVR.
In fact, the bulk of the software is not supplied by DTV. Linux (which is a basket for a whole lot of stuff contributed by many sources), Java, etc. While certainly not the best-of-breed in many respects, none of that stuff has anything to do with the problems that we see with DTV equipment. Those same technologies are in totally free "media center" implementations. I'd bet those free implementations are more stable than DTV.
The only reason DTV gets away with putting out this garbage is that it's pretty much the only game in town for getting their service (other than TiVo) and their competitors are equally unmotivated. It's called lack of competition.
In the scope of things, software development for DTV has got to be a pretty small expense for them. If it isn't then they are getting a terrible return on their investment.
Most ridiculous of all is that if they were smart enough to look at the overall cost of these blunders they would realize they could actually spend a lot more on software development and quality control and still save a bunch of money. You only write good software once.