Originally posted by shaneotool
... I sent an email to ch 11 and they said if I could get the analog signal than I shoud be able to get the digital signal. This sounds like BS...
Not really BS, assuming a digital station is broadcasting at sufficient power. Digital is more efficient, so it only takes a fraction of the power needed for a comparable analog station, other things being equal. It's a very rough estimate, though.
Sometimes the opposite is true. A digital station may be receivable, while the analog is unwatchable, due to ghosts or snow. That is true at my house, where multipath ghosts make some analog channels unwatchable on my big screen tv. However, the digital channel on the same antenna comes in perfectly. Here are some screen grabs
of analog vs digital on my TV. They are from a cheapie digital camera, so the quality isn't too great, but you can see the difference.
About the only way to find out for sure if you can receive DTV is to try it at your house. You can purchase OTA tuners at Best Buy, Sears or Circuit City - they all take STB returns. If you can't receive anything, just can return the box for a full refund. Lowe's may take the antenna back that you mentioned, if it's in good condition. You can buy a CM 7777 preamp at warrnelectronics.com or solidsignal.com. They may not take returns, but you could easily sell the preamp on eBay or on the links at the top of this page.
You'll have to ask Dish folks about their STB return policy though. I would call some of the local Dish installers in Hot Springs, or Custom Satellite