The HMC was announced almost ten years ago for delivery on or around EOY 2005.
Did we think there'd be one with 5 - even 5 years ago?
Here's the 2005 CES press release:
Perhaps the most exciting development will be the year-end launch of the DIRECTV Home Media Center to provide whole-house connectivity with all multimedia systems, along with mobility for devices outside the home. Content in a variety of forms — digitally recorded video, photos and music — will be accessible from every networked TV in the house. Through a broadband connection, the DIRECTV Home Media Center will support personal computer connectivity, scheduling of DVR
recordings from the Internet, photos from wireless phones, video-on-demand and many other features.
Prior to this there was speculation of a six-tuner modular unit.