1. No consensus. I my own comparisons of MPEG2 HD vs. MPEG4 HD, I detect very little difference. DirecTV has been improving the MPEG4 encoders used for local HDTV rebroadcasts, and that seems to help a lot. 2. I don't get the East or West Coast feeds, so cannot comment on their quality. 3. The HR20 HD DVR has folders. 4. I think the HR20's remote is fine. Mostly I use my MX500 universal remote, though.