Sorry for misunderstanding.
Doesn't matter if the signal is analog or digital to the antenna, it will pick either format up. What matters is the frequency - VHF or UHF.
An indoor antenna works best by a window and the higher the better. Are you on the second story or higher? If you are facing the tower you should be able to receive the stations close to you. Most likely you will never see those 45 mile away stations though.
Yep, you definitely need a directional VHF/UHF antenna, don't waste money on omnidirectional ones.
A ground floor apartment dwelling buddy of mine lives about half my distance to the Dallas area antenna farm and gets decent reception even though his apartment windows face north and the towers are to his south. The signals are strong enough for him due to his proximity to the towers.
Also, note my experience is with the flat terrain in north Texas. When I think of WA and western Canada mountains come to my mind.
Really have zero knowledge with smart antennas. When I found something that worked (the Winegard) I stopped there.