Got my HiDTV card running last night. The antenna is the biggest RS combo (VHF-FM-UHF) on a mast with a rotator, with a mast-mount preamp, about 20' above ground; my loc is relatively high, not in a valley IOW. This rig has pulled in clear UHF analog from Toronto and occasional tropo-ducting from Detroit, Toledo, Erie ... i.e. it has GAIN. (I live in Hamburg.)
Either the HiDTV card is picky or DTV is rather sensitive to multipath. Unless I rotate the antenna towards the xmitter, WIVB-DT breaks up or freezes fairly often. IOW, I can't just leave it pointed at Grand Island like I was hoping to. Ch 4's transmitter is maybe a dozen miles to the southeast of me.
With said ant pointed at Grand Island (if it's off even a little the multipath on ch 29 is terrible) I could not get a clean pic from Ch 17/43. A clean analog signal on 17, yes. The digital would either not lock, or would freeze and macroblock all over the place. Signal strength seemed to be in the 80s most of the time so I can't explain it. Anyone know if WNED-DT is at full strength?
Also, my subchannel list on 43 showed 17-0 analog, 17-1,2,3 digital. Too bad they plan SDx? instead of some real HD, but if it means they'll run some of the shows they ignore in favor of Britcoms and old movies then yay. If it means fund raising 24x7x365.25, well too bad they took away my national PBS feed from DirecTV.
I have the HiDTV plugged into a spare SVGA monitor (15" Sony trinitron). The picture is fabulous, better than I ever expected. Some day I will get a display big enough to make use of all the detail being transmitted.
That said, DTV will not succeed in the marketplace if people have to deal with rotating antennas. Most just don't care enough to bother. Until HD is on cable the market penetration will be small. If cable half-asses it by reducing data rate and upping compression, well there's always the satellite. Which we hope won't do the same.
People are starting to get used to DVD quality, once DVD-HD starts to hit the market more people will want the HD displays. The audio (at least on CSI) is fantastic too. Someday maybe TV station management will catch on that the quality of their signal *does* matter to many (*cough*Ch 7*cough*). OK not enough to make me watch "American Idol" but Fox doesn't care about digital