So I thought it would be useful for a followup....
And as Paul Harvey said, "and now for the rest of the story"
I stared at the boxes that Directv delivered the HR34 and two C31s in (three total boxes) for way too long. I never truly was at peace with a decision to open or send back the devices. So after much hemming and hawing I opened the boxes and installed the new equipment.
Obviously I am jaded as anyone using a HR23 which was slow as Christmas. The HR34 by comparison is a much better device than I had in the HR23. Speed is a huge improvement in the new box, it really just doesn't compare. I know by comparison the HR44 is faster but from what I was using the HR34 is a breath of fresh air.
So you all can rest assured that I have happily taken one for the team and there is one less HR34 in the warehouse.