is there any one that can explain to me the difference between non anamorphic and anamorphic and how I can tell the difference --- and what tv stations normally require and how I would know from looking at footage
Different facilities require different options. Most deliverables today are High Definition either 720p 59.94 or 1080i 59.94. Depends on your channel or facility.
16x9 does not mean high definition however, a lot of tv stations get away with an HD look by shooting their standard definition in 16x9 so it fills the frame of an HD set, nevermind quality.
Think of Anamorphic as 16x9. You have a 16x9 wide rectangle frame, and had a circle in the middle of the screen. If you took that 16x9 footage, and played it back on a good old fasioned square 4x3 tv set, the circle would look like an egg. It would be squeezed from the sides.
The reverse is true. If you take a 4x3 square image, and stretch it to fill a 16x9 rectangle frame, your circle would turn into an oval.
So, if you are trying to make a 16x9 frame look proper in a 4x3 frame, you either have to make the frame letterboxed by adding an effect from the image-resize. Or by cropping off the extra rectangle and make it a square.
Tv stations get this wrong all of the time. When they go back to the archives, and they mix it with high definition or 16x9 footage.