— Sony Bravia flat screen TV, resolution 1080p, HDMI
— TiVo Bolt, Auto resolution (capable of: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p)
TiVo can display info for a channel that includes the input resolution. On most premium channels, resolution is 720p or 480p, while NBC, ABC and CBS are 1080i.
Channels with resolution of 1080 or 720 appear full-screen and meet my expectations of HD.
But the “premium” channels at 480 must be zoomed to fill the screen (and so appear fuzzy), or have a fat black border all around when not zoomed.
What I don’t understand is why premium channels have lower resolution. And cost more?
You are seeing correctly what Comcast has done since converting to MPEG 4. All 1080i channels in MPEG 2 were down converted to 720P in MPEG with exception of 1080i locals.
Comcast is evidently stuck with a limited amount of bandwidth to carry their total capacity of channels. Rather than keep some 1080i channels to be output as 1080p, they would rather go for more 480p channels for smaller devices. All Premium services seem to only have one 720p channel left with rest being only 480p.
It looks to me like they are leaving high technology: UHD (4K) and 1080p Full HD to IPV services (Streaming over high speed broadband). Considering they have a monthly limit for Internet they are making a "To little. To late effort." for IPV too.