AFAIK DirecTV leases their equipment so eventually they will start recycling their equipment.
I have been Directv customer 5 different times. Yep you read that right 5 new different installs. Every time I got NEW equipment and always the latest and greatest. Installs and equipment was always free but with a 2 year contract with a minimum of a Basic Programming package.
I think they recycle equipment to replacements to existing in contract customers - not new customers.
OK but it still does not mean you are guaranteed to get new hardware every single time. You can't blame companies for recycling. These DCTs can cost $500 or so each and it just does not make any sense to trash them after you get done with your 2 year contract and cancel it (most people play the game to save money like you do).
I will say that Mediacom is using some DCTs that should have been phased out long time ago. But that's not up to me. I like new equipment too BTW -- I speak for myself, not my employer.