From what I have been reading in the forum, it appears that (especially in the north hills of Pittsburgh) that just few miles in any direction can have a great impact on the reception of WTAE. I would assume that I am on the
outer edge of WTAE's signal as I have really had no problem with reception here in Wexford. The signal is not great, but it always seems to be watchable without major interruptions. When I first received my HDTV I purchased a small Terk indoor antenna at the recommendation of the salesman at Best Buy. I took everything home the same day and a few hours later I was watching every local Pittsburgh DT station, although WTAE was at a signal strengh of about 35 with some dropouts.
After finding this forum and reading I purchased a Radio Shack 2160 antenna and their $50 preamp. So here are some results after six months or so of playing around with this...
Terk Indoor antenna:
WTAE-DT 30-35 if positioned just right with dropouts
WCWB-DT 45-50 with pixelation
WPCB-DT was not on the air at this time
Radio Shack 2160 placed on my dresser in bedroom next to TV pointed in the general direction of Pittsburgh:
Station Signal W/O preamp Signal W preamp
KDKA-DT 85 85
WTAE-DT 40-45 50-60
WPXI-DT 85 85
WQED-DT 85 85
WCWB-DT 45-50 with pixelation 50-55
WPCB-DT 50-60 55-60
WPGH-DT 85 85
I also took the 2160 out on the deck of my townhouse and with a little bit a playing around I was able to get WTAE-DT up to about 70 on the signal meter with preamp installed. Also, not a blip from any other DT station with in 60 miles or so of Wexford. So, since this appears to be a very addictive hobby...
I decided to get the Channel Master 4228 and a 7777 preamp just to play around. Although I really don't know what it's going to get me that I don't already receive, it should be fun trying.
I'll post back with more results later
Thanks again to all for this great forum,