One thing to consider: Since VM take their equipment back, then put it a through a clean-n-screen process before passing it on to another customer. There will be more than a few STBs out there with old hard drives that aren't aging so gracefully. Therein sectors of them will be failing, the more sectors which fail, the longer things take to read (load) from the hard drive. This problem only expands over time until the hard drive fails.
- - - - - - Any opinions expressed by myself are entirely my own and do not represent Virgin Media in any way.