After reading this thread for months, I decided to take the plunge. Just got my '960 on Saturday. Thanks for all the excellent information from all you "early adopters." I Bought from ABT in Glenview, Illinois.
Love the set! What a picture! I'm using it with an external rotatable yagi antenna for OTA signals. Here in Chicago, there's quite a lot of programming on the digital channels. Especially enjoy watching the digital "simulcasts" that eliminate all the analog artifacts (ghosting, airplane flutter, etc.). And great audio--I'm only using my home theater audio system for DVD's.
But, I did have a few questions regarding signal strength. Apparently, either the digital modes need a strong signal, or the Sony tuner isn't very sensitive. I live in Wilmette, approximately 14 miles from the DTV transmitters. When I first plugged the TV in, I got perfect reception from some digital channels, and some "blocking" on others. I re-aimed the antenna, and everything on all the digital channels was fine. But some of the analog channels were ghosting. Well, I re-aimed slightly to optimize the analog channels, and some of the digital channels started "blocking" and then dropped out ("no signal"). Luckily, I have two pre-amps in my distribution system, so I was able to increase the gain, and now everything's fine all-around. (I typically lost "lock" at about 21 S/N and 65 on the "antenna bar." Now that things are operating fine, I get 30 S/N and 85-98 on the antenna signal strength.)
I would like to know more about the "suggested" S/N strength and what the "antenna" signal bar actually mean. (For example, what does the green light mean--and what if you hit "100"or go above that--is that then too strong a signal?) Can anyone provide more information on this?