gov - I feel your frustration... My 'ranting' continues below if you're bored...
Sadly I don't see things changing. It would seem that DirecTV engineering is holding fast to the 'it's good enough' idea. They may be right - if the masses don't mind the poor response of their receivers why would DirecTV spend even a dime correcting it? Their receivers have had remote response/speed/firmware off and on since they released the HR20 way back when.
For people that have had Dish Network receivers the speed difference between even the oldest HD DVR from Dish Network and DirecTV HD DVRs is really in your face - every time you pick up the remote.
To make things even more confusing supposedly DirecTV spends more money on their receivers than Dish Network. At least according to some posters here. You can actually own an HD DVR from Dish Network that runs rings around DirecTV dvrs and only pay a little more or even the same as what DirecTV 'leases' their receiver for.
Unless management decides to make a change in the engineering department I think we can expect more of the same. I know there are people here on dbstalk that know the ins and outs of DirecTV engineering and why they do what they do. It would be cool to know what the reasoning is. Can it really cost DirecTV that much more to improve their response of their DVRs and thoroughly test the firmware before the unleash it on their customers?
The funny thing is there is a new gas station not too far from me that has fancy new gas pumps. I told my wife the gas pumps were brought to us by DirecTV. Big touch screens that will print coupons etc as you fill up. The mechanical pumps are pretty quick to get the gas into the car but I swear DirecTV engineering is writing the software for them! It takes for freakin' ever finally get the gas pumping. The delays from when you push something on touch screen to when it responds reminds of using my remote. It can easily take a full minute to push the 6 or 7 buttons needed to get the gas flowing.
I know it's stupid - most people would say 'big deal' it takes 60 damn seconds to start filling your tank. But... Now when I need gas I drive one block further to get it because their pumps actually work. I guess it just goes to show latest/greatest high tech doesn't necessarily mean 'better'.
Ranting over for now....