I've never heard of Bell allowing more than 3 HD and 1 SD, even with FTTH where bandwidth isn't an issue.
Personally, I schedule recordings for everything I want to watch and hardly ever channel-surf. When I want to watch something, I just pick a previously recorded program.
If you have conflicts with live viewing, you can usually schedule specialty channel programs for off-peak times since they usually repeat. If that's still not enough, you can schedule your network TV recordings on the timeshift channels.
All the boxes have component, HDMI, composite video, optical audio and stereo analog audio outputs, with everything active. Some of the older boxes also have a second pair of analog audio jacks and a coax output.
The remote is infrared.
I'm not in Bell Territory, so I can't answer the weather channel question. There may be a local feed for the SD channel and the HD channel may be a national feed.