The best analysis that anyone's been able to come up with is that sometimes the Dishplayer doesn't have enough video buffered to supply an unbroken video stream while the hard drive read head has to span several tracks. Frequent 2 second or less blackouts also seem to be related to this phenomenon. If you find this particulrly annoying, you might want to try adding a second or two of pause to the program you're watching. For many folks it seems to help.
While watching your program, press "GO" on the remote (TV Pause). Wait two or three seconds, then press "GO" again. I have done this, and it seems to work. In fact, whil watching "The Matrix" (for the fourth time), I paused it three seconds, and I didn't get any blackouts or pixeling. When, in fact, just before pausing, I got a slight pixeling, AND, after changing the station to watch the news, I got a black-out right away! So, the two to three second delay seems to help a lot.
The issue is yet to be internally resloved. However, when you first bought the Dishplayer, before all the software upgrades, there was an option to "Quiet Hard Disk". This allowed you to actually shut the disk off while viewing, but, you had a two-three second pause before the live tv pause would take effect (while the drive spun-up). However, I never had any problems with the Dishplayer, NONE, until the first new software upgrades were done, and all the rest! Also, that option was completely taken out. I have pleded with Dish to put that option back in, they have refused.
The other glitch I have is a "pop" in the audio with three my sourround systems (three seperate MFGs).. I get this even during the Delay. When I tape a show to a VHS recorder, I listen for the "Pop". Immediately I stop the tape, rewind, and play. I still get the POP in tha audio, so it's definately my Dishplayer that is causing it. I have sent SEVERAL emails to the technical staff at Dishnetwork, and they have yet to offer a viable solution, short of replacing my Displayer with a model 5000 receiver.
The Audio POP is also in the Optical output. I have also noted a POP when no audio was currently being played (Setup screens). it seems to be an internal problem with the DP.