Wow, what a huge difference a $5 FM Trap from Radio Shack made! It seems being just three miles away from a large group of FM transmitters was really hurting my reception.
Just out of curiosity, I tested two antennas, the Antennas Direct ClearStream 2V and the RCA ANT751R in three combinations: just the antenna, using a $5 Radio Shack 15-024 FM Trap, and using a $25 RCA TVPRAMP1R Preamplifier with the FM Trap enabled.
Here's the results:
This was tested using a Hauppage WinTV-HVR 950Q USB card as the tuner connected to 30' of vanilla RG6.
The numbers in the cells are the SNR as measured by the "Digital Signal Quality" application Hauppage includes which ranges from 0 to 27.
Cells colored red are stations that were found during a channel scan but wouldn't come in, and those colored yellow came in just fine but under the maximum SNR of 27.
Blank cells meant I was unable to lock onto that channel during a channel scan, even though TV Fool said it might be possible.
It's interesting how especially with the RCA ANT751R there were a huge chunk of stations that weren't even viewable without a FM Trap. Also interesting how the ClearStream 2V only really struggled with VHF 12 but had no problems with that channel once the FM trap was installed.
So, based on these results, would anything help out with the VHF 12 or UHF 36 or 51, the only three channels that aren't coming in at the top SNR of 27? Or with UHF 27 or UHF 42, the two channels I never located?
A different type of FM Trap? A different antenna? Something else?