Cropping should only occur on x5 1080p mode. You can switch to 1600×1200 or 1920×1200 to get the full picture (if your display is compatible).
Connecting directly to TV (no switcher) may reduce downtime. In general this is up to the display, some are faster, some are slower. Only way to eliminate it is to use an external scaler with framebuffer.
Right, I was a bit unclear, I meant a device with framebuffer that also can run frame-unlocked (framerate conversion, constant ouput framerate regardless of input framerate). On the face of it, the Framemeister should be able to do it, but for some reason it cannot. Bucko can correct me here probably, but IIRC there are some devices that can (DVDO?, Extron?), but I’m not so familiar in the area.
Where Extron is concerned, I believe they’re able to seamlessly switch between sources but not between video modes on the same source. For example, my Extron DSC 301 HD would be able to seamlessly switch between HDMI and VGA inputs, but not between 720p and 1080p over HDMI.
The Framemeister supposedly has the hardware to achieve seamless transitions as you describe, but, you’re right, it doesn’t. It should be possible with some changes to the firmware, but I think it’s unlikely that Micomsoft would bother with the Framemeister now discontinued.