A favorites list is the best way to go. I started making mine while the installer was still in my house. The channel order, when de-cluttered, is MUCH more logical.
103-107 3D (if you have that)
125 (if you put ch 125 in a favorites list, the PPV movies that are "watch instantly" will stay and have pretty pictures in the guide. This solves the problem of seeing the movies over and over but still knowing what's new on PPV. If you don't want the PPV movies, don't put anything from 108 to 200 in your favorites list.)
202-388 "normal" cable channels. Scattered about are stupid infomercial channels. Take those out and it's much cleaner. For the most part, the channels are kinda-sorta grouped by theme, I think you'll see it when the stupid crap is taken out. I will never understand why CNN and HLN are still where they are or why ESPN-NBC Sports are where they are. Oh well.
389-399 DNS (which you probably don't need, if you live in one of the Burlington, VT DMA counties, some people can get 394 CW.)
400s are Spanish channels
500s are premiums and HD extra
600s are most of the sports channels.
700s are Sports packages
800s are music
1000s are On Demand, appearing at their regular channel number + 1000. ESPN is 206, ESPN On-Demand is 1206. On de-mand only are in the 1800s.
2000s are international.
There will be a message in the channel banner for free previews and it will tell you the channel numbers. It takes 10 seconds (maybe 20) to add them to your list for a weekend.
It's kind of a pain to make the first list, but WELL worth it. Do it and get it over with. I know people who got rid of Directv because of the channel order when, for a few minutes, you can pretty much do what you want with it. I absolutely love Directv and one of the few complaints I have (the same as yours) is easily fixed.
Last edited by ejb1980; 12-23-2012 at 03:28 PM.
DIRECTV: Genie (HR34) w/AM21 and 1 client.
AT&T: U-Verse Internet, Motorola modem and Samsung Galaxy S3 cell.
LG 42" (1080p, 120 Hz, 3D, Smart TV), Samsung 32" (1080p, 60 Hz)
Denon AVR591, Panasonic Blu Ray, Magnavox DVD player, Philips VCR, Terk HDTVo.