If I am not mistaken, some update versions would be in the stream for a long length of time and take a phone call to the mothership to install, then eventually removed from the stream and be downloaded solely over the phone, then installed.
When I was purchasing DVR40's, etc on eBay back in the day for other family members, I would receive them with 3.1 S/W, and it would take a long time to download the 6.2 S/W over the phone, because the introduction of folders and speed was a big deal back then. And, you had to pick the correct call in number for your area, which is not the case with the new HD DirecTiVo's.
I remember the process like it was yesterday because it would take so darn long, wasting many hours of my life doing so.
Remember the "Pending Restart" message we were always hopeful for after forcing a connection for the S/W update? Boy times have changed.