You keep thinking in terms of source and destination quality. 720p requires less bandwidth. ESPN has a zillion feeds to manage. They can maintain the integrity of far more feeds without severe compression, resulting in a better final picture compared to what they would deliver if all those feeds were in 1080i. You keep saying how terrible your CBS picture is. In our local area it is NBC that is horrible because they run 92 bazzillion sub channels .. ok 6 subchannels. Two subs are in HD. I know the NBC source is pristine. I know the live sports **** that hits my TV OTA is an un-watchable modern art pixelation, smear and stutter fest.