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The remastered TNG box sets kept the same 4:3 aspect ratio as the original standard definition.

Some TV networks have aired a 16:9 version of TNG (as well as an upscaled Voyager and DS9) but they just zoomed and cropped. There wasn't anything smart going on.

The zoomed and cropped from 480p, i.e. making it even worse quality?

Basically, yes. The upsampling algorithms they use are pretty good though so it’s passable for most viewers. But obviously there’s no substitution for having HD quality at source

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