said by webcobbler :
I would implore you and/or your friends to upgrade your DVRs to 7000 series DVRs. Then they can use eSATA if they want. I say this because very soon, there will be more MPEG4 channels being added, and converted. If one does not have a 7000 series HD box, then you can not get these channels.
They already have done this with the MLB Extra Innings channels, as well as Spanish Package channels to start.
Verizon is giving us BBC America HD in MPEG2, not MPEG4, so I think that shoots a pretty big hole in your MPEG4 speculation, unfortunately.
I agree with Matcarl. I'd love it if Verizon made more space by distributing more channels in MPEG4 but they're clearly not going to do that. Someone (claiming to be) from Verizon already said they're not switching any existing channels to MPEG4, not even those putrid useless .tv channels! Any channel that comes from satellite in MPEG4 is already being converted to MPEG2 by Verizon. (Isn't HBO native MPEG4?) And so will Discovery. Verizon doesn't want to deal with the flood of requests for new DVRs they'd get if they switched popular channels to MPEG4. (MLB Extra Innings and that Spanish package are not widely-watched so they can get away with it there.)
So, thanks for the advice, but I already have a 7232 (I got lucky with the installer). It's my friends who have 6416s. Never mind getting them to upgrade -- I was barely able to get some of them to let me fix the settings so that the SD channels would not be all insanely stretched out. One of them got Fios just a few months ago and they gave him a 6416. Either there was still a hard-drive shortage from the after-effects of floods in Thailand, or Verizon just doesn't care and would prefer to hand out crappy old equipment than to switch any popular channels to MPEG4 any time soon to make more space. I suspect the latter.
Anyway, more on topic, Shark2k makes an excellent point. Another show that looks idiotic in HD on a Turner channel is Charmed (a dumb show, IMO) which I stumbled across all stretched out on TNT HD the other day. The stretched-out visuals hurt my brain and made my eyeballs scream.
I guess anybody who likes that goofy show needs TNT SD.