I have an HR20-100 connected to a plasma screen via HDMI. I have the latest national release software version. Normally, the "Format" button doesn't actually stretch, crop, or pillar box HD content. I can stretch, crop, or pillar box SD content, however. My TV is a cheap Viore, which really has next-to-nothing in the way of image processing capabilities (normal, "stretch", and "make-me-puke progressive stretch"), so I'm more or less at the mercy of the content provider when it comes to how I view HD content.
Well, my wife and daughter were looking to watch something on TV last, and were scanning through the channels. At first, they started recording "Planet of the Apes" on FXHD, which I assume was an HD signal, even though the movie was being broadcast in 4x3 with pillar boxes. Then they switched over to "Click & Clack's As The Wrench Turns" on PBS (SD, from DirecTV). I think my daughter hit the "Format" button until it was "cropping". After less than a minute, they decided to go to the List and play "Planet of the Apes" while it was still recording. Oddly, the "FX" logo on the bottom of the screen was cropped. I was very surprised, so I grabbed the remote and hit "Format" and it went to "Native" (4:3 with Pillar Box). I was able to stretch, crop, and pillar box the movie, even though it was in HD. Pillar-boxing the already pillar-boxed movie looked really weird, by the way...
I thought: "Cool! With this new software, now I can "crop" Dr. Who on SciFi HD!" (which is normally originally a ~16:9 show that is both letter-boxed and pillar boxed at the same time, which I've always found annoying...) However, when "Planet of the Apes" ended, I flipped over to ESPN HD to see if I could abuse my new-found stretch/crop/pillar-boxing powers. No dice. FXHD had started showing "Planet of the Apes" again, so I tuned it in again, and I could not crop, stretch, or pillar box it.
Any ideas on how to replicate this "glitch"? I'd love to "crop" Dr. Who!
Oh, and before anyone asks... I had opted to "Hide SD Duplicates" in the Guide, so I don't *think* there's any way my wife and daughter could have been watching the SD version of FX.