I agree; everyone has the "fathead" look. I wonder if they did it that way because some of the commercials they air are 16:9, and they have to get the commercials right to get paid?
In theory, I suppose a station can change a channel's aspect ratio at any time, but in practice it only seems to get changed when the station (re)does the subchannel's setup. I wonder what it would take for a station to change aspect ratio dynamically, switching from 4:3 to 16:9 for commercials and back for content originally broadcast in 4:3?
Then again, ThisTV is a movie channel, and most of those movies were shot in 16:9 or an even wider aspect ratio, which makes me wonder why they're airing the "formatted for (NTSC) TV" versions of those movies instead of the "formatted for DVD" 16:9 versions?
Also, why aren't any movie channels broadcast in 480p? It's not HD but it'd still be an improvement....