The development of products with updatable firmware has been a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it does mean that many products can now be fixed and/or improved after the sale, without even having to take the product to a shop! But it cuts the other way too. Knowing that mistakes can be fixed later, products are often brought to market far before they're ready; we saw that with the iView and with CM's own Stream+. Neither the DTVPal nor the DVR+ were as bad as those when they first came out, but it still took a while before either was relatively bug-free. (Neither became completely bug-free, of course.)
As it happens, both the DTVPal and the DVR+ received fixes and new features via firmware updates. In the transition between the two products, E* obviously had to start over in several areas because of new hardware, migrating to Linux, etc. My only complaint is that they started over in too many areas.
A particularly galling example was re-inventing the onscreen keyboard for searches. Whose boneheaded idea was it to throw away the a-b-c-2, d-e-f-3, etc. model used on the DTVPal in favor of a MBAFAS (move back and forth and shoot) model on the DVR+ - especially since the letters were already printed on the remote keys (at least on the flat remote)? Searching on the DVR+ feels like playing Space Invaders!
I guess the overriding problem is that with most of these devices we're still dependent on the manufacturer for any firmware fixes/enhancements. That's why the DVR+ only got four apps (five if you count CMTV).
So a better solution might be an app-oriented OS like Android. I'm sure that was one reason CM came out with the Android-based Stream+. Want a better onscreen keyboard? Just download a different keyboard app! IMO CM kind of blew it with the Stream+, but I think the idea was good.