Yes, there is a banner. I have paid little attention to the ads previously, but after you mentioned this I tried to notice who the ads were for. I have yet to see a Direct TV ad either.
Don't take this the wrong way, but you appear to be the only one having this issue and if there were Direct TV ads (and I am not saying there aren't, just I have not seen any), they are probably bringing Pete a little revenue for the site. I doubt he would drop them for one user's issues if this were the case.
I clicked on different pages for about 5 minutes to see what ads would show up...
Renaissance Hotels seems to be the most popular, followed by Target and Shewin Williams. I also saw ads for Constant Contact, World Warcraft, Fisher Investment, NY Times, BMW, APU, Pal Pal, Progressive Insurance, Vazoom, Dex and Century Link.
I'm guessing DirecTV is a local ad for your area. I know I get some that weren't mentioned earlier by MrMopar and I don't get some of the ones he listed. I get one for PNC which is a regional bank around here and sometimes I get ones for businesses that are only in Detroit. I don't think there's anything you can do except maybe make sure you have all the latest plugins for your browser - if they're not updated it may slow you down.
Never seen a DirecTv ad but its ads by Google so I suppose there could be one depending on how you connect to the ads source. Some other sites I have had a problem with ads but nothing here. I just marked it up to my pc not having the right ActiveX or some other control. When I have problems my pc has a update program I can run to look for upgrades. You might try that.