It does not save them any money. As others have said previously, 720p is better than 1080i for fast motion, and that was what Fox and EXPN/ABC/Disney chose. To change from their original decision will cost them a lot, but at the time they made the original decision, there was no difference in cost. It was just a trade off between higher resolution versus smoother motion. While chosing the smoother motion might not make sense for Fox News, it does make sense for National Geographic and for sports channels.
Do you notice a similar difference between your local ABC and FOX stations (720p) versus your local NBC and CBS stations (1080i)? Also, how do you have your receiver set? Try switching between "native on" with all of the formats selected and "native off" with only 1080i selected. That will tell you whether your DirecTV receiver or your TV does a better job of scaling the signal. My bet is that with a high end TV, the TV will be better, but with a cheap TV the receiver will be better.
Yes, it is native on, I figured that out after just a few minutes. It is better to use a brand new, expensive HDTV to create the best picture than to use a four year old cheap receiver (HR-24). There is about a 3-second delay between Resolution changes , but that is the price I have to pay.
My blu-ray player seems to send everything at pseudo-1080p, and my tv deals with it somehow.
If and when DTV converts to 1080p , I guess all the networks will have an incentive to settle on that standard. That might take 5 years of more to happen?
Edited by mitchflorida, 19 March 2013 - 09:56 AM.