Originally Posted by wajo
The ~1dB amplification might be a small number, but the percent of signal strength is not so small.
Woke up this morning and saw all the replies & suggestions, thanks!
I did the power plug test (pulling the plug on the DVR, using coax from DVR to TV). For both cases: when the unit is not plugged in, and with the unit plugged in, but the power button off, the TV functions as if it were directly connected to the antenna - I get all channels. When the DVR unit is plugged in and is on, many channels don't show up. but some (like 36.1) work fine. All of these channels seem to be the ones where the virtual channel # (2.1, 5.1 etc) is different from transmitter channel, but I didn't go through every missing channel to confirm. The signal strength test (by unscrewing Antenna-in till its hanging by a thread) doesn't get any additional channels.
If the philips had an amplifier circuit that made the signals stronger, wouldn't the TV lose all the channels when I turned on the TV?
Is it possible that the DVR's tuner/amplifier is just sub-standard relative to the TV's tuner?