Firmware for DVB card only automatically loaded first time?

I did my upgrade (clean install) to opensuse 11.4 the other day. I have a Freecom USB DVB-T stick that uses the dvb-usb-wt220u-02.fw firmware file. Fine. Normally I have to copy this file to /lib/firmware and reconnect the USB stick for it to work. However, this time round I found that the TV card worked in Kaffeine after the initial opensuse installation without the firmware file being in /lib/firmware. However, after a couple of reboots to sort out other things I found that the TV card woudn’t work in Kaffeine until I manually copied the firmware file. This seems a bit odd.

Is there something that means the initial install will load the firmware off DVD but then the installed system won’t? If yes isn’t this an inconsistency?