AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Inner Loop, Houston
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TexGuy - Adding the CM7777 into the mix is a bit of an unknown. If you are at 70 - 80%, then it will probably peg your reception meter. However, some receivers are sensitive to being overdriven, so you may actually need an attentuator if you are one of the lucky ones. Basically, you will never really know until you try.
The deciding factor for me would be whether you can get the lower power/elevation channels like KUHT, KNWS, etc. with your current set-up. If so, then be happy with what you've got. If not, and those channels are important to you (PBS-HD is really pretty impressive on a big screen), then I would drop the $50 and go ahead and get one.
One caveat to all of this: Rain fade. Since we live in a swamp (metaphorically speaking, of course), rain is an issue for us. When it rains, the water will interfere with the radio waves, and the signal strength that you receive will go down. Whether it is noticeable or relevant is another issue entirely. If you suffer from rain fade enough to notice, then you may want a pre-amp in your signal chain anyway. Since the power inserter can be at the display, you can easily unplug the amp when you don't need it.
FYI, the HD Tivo is allegedly one of the receivers that is sensitive to being overdriven, so I will let you know how it reacts to my antenna/pre-amp once I get the dish installed (I have the 4221 and the 7778 in my attic).