I'll install the latest firmware tonight and will certainly report back here if its an old problem. As far as I was aware I had the latest firmware update which Spong sent to me and I installed only last week. If firmware is released on a weekly basis could we expect 52 updates a year? I'm hopeful these issue's will be fixed now anyhow. If so... you won't hear from me again. I hope other new customers with the ET out of the box know where to find firmware updates and know they need a USB flash drive to update and fix any future bugs.
Lets be honest. The firmware is not tested sufficently before it is released. If it was we would not be seing all these updates. I would suspect that the software house that provides the firmware is supporting several different flavours of the box. And as such the testing is always the area that is left wanting. Being a test engineer myself, I see this all the time. Bad code reflects on the testing department. Reselers screaming for a fix to keep ther few custmers they have from returning the units.
Buy a Vantage 6000 HD and spot the difference. PVR built in and xvid play back out of the box as soon as you plug in a usb drive.