But the Active channel isn't involved in the boot process. The app doesn't even run until you press the Active button on your remote or receiver. I mean, if DirecTV could do what y'all want them to do in a reasonable manner on all interactive receivers, I'm sure they would. But they may not know of a good way yet or it's just something not high on the priority list for the interactive developers that have to pump out these new interactive applications every darn month!
Perhaps another way to look at this. When someone presses the active button, a couple things happen at once: the active tuner changes to the current interactive channel and a subsystem either starts or is already running to gather the current active channel layout information. The active subsystem (or application) starts to gather its data while waiting for the hardware to settle on the correct transponder: it checks to see if the zip codes and user's lottery state are set in memory; checks to see what data may or may not be present from the weather data stream (like the guide data stream, I believe the weather data is always being sent to the receiver. This is based on a comment by a product manager quote from a thread long ago); and perhaps gathers a few more bits of data.
In the time the tuner changes transponders, when the program has to check to see if the Zipcode has been set, it would have plenty of time to check memory, if not set, check non-volatile memory, if not set default to El Segundo. Again, all this could happen before the voltage switches the multiswitch to select the proper bank of transponders!
I played with interactive tonight, there are only a few settings: Main weather zipcode, up to five city codes, and a state for lottery information. Worst case, 14 bytes of user settings. Nothing. There is more overhead every time you change channels and the live buffer is flushed. Seriously. All the disk buffers have to be unallocated again, the guide information needs to be copied to the status bar (or some form of status bar setup happens), etc.
Somewhere in all that needs to be done for the active channel to "start" there is both time and space for the user settings. And I know the programmers are more than capable for this task--ask any programmer, storing and retrieving user configuration data is so trivial, it is downright boring.
Therefore I can only believe the current lack of storing the settings is something that smacks of the programmers not being allowed to change. I certainly can buy it being a low priority at this juncture, tho I can't imagine it being so low that the D10s, R15, etc. still don't have this. By this point, I can't understand why someone would intentionally leave this as the design spec for any new receiver. Sure, easily overlooked for the first receiver, and might not get noticed by the time the second receiver is in serious code development. But by the 4th receiver??? Ah well, I do have high standards.
And for hoping you all have a very Happy New Year.