I'm in the greater Seattle area, about 20 miles northeast of Seattle proper. I'm trying, and only somewhat succeeding, to get a PBS digital station (KBTC-DT) from Tacoma, which is south of Seattle. They show some programming the Seattle PBS station doesn't. Comcast only carries one of their four channels, and in SD only.
Here's the specific tvfool report for the terrain between me and its transmitter:http://www.tvfool.com/modeling/?id=b...f&t=ALLTV&n=18
In short, I'm 37 miles and two edges northeast of the 45kW transmitter. Luckily, I'm not hugely below the edges, but it's still not line-of-sight. What you can't easily see there is that I'm on a slope that faces southeast, so at least trees aren't a problem.
Here's the rest of the report, if it's useful:http://www.tvfool.com/modeling/?id=b32b9936644f4f
Right now, I've got what I think is probably a pretty mediocre 8' directional antenna I got from Radio Shack back in the 90's. I think it's a U-100, but I don't remember. It's fine for Seattle stuff, but this is trickier, with two edges between me and KBTC's transmitter. With the tuner in my S3 TiVo, which seems to be decent, I can get 50-60% at best, but when atmospheric conditions suck (remember, this is Seattle), I can't do better than 30% or so, which isn't enough for a digital lock.
Thus, after doing some research, I have a Winegard HD8200P on its way this week and will be installing it this coming weekend. From what I've read, it should have significantly higher gain in the neighborhood of the channel I'm after, without being overly directional and dropping out the other stations I receive. Given the context, I know I can't expect perfect and consistent reception on the iffy channel, but I'm pretty sure this hardware will improve matters.So, after all of that, here's the actual question:
What sort of amp would get me the best results, given the specific antenna I'm installing, and the fact that I'm mostly
trying to get (real) channel 27? The other channels are either present on cable, or ridiculously easy to receive.
The only amp I have on hand is a Channel Plus DA-520A amp that does +20dB (non-adjustable) on 54-1000MHz. I don't know if that's a decent amp, and I don't know if it's at all appropriate for the job. If it is, then great, but if not, I'm quite open to getting something more appropriate.
I should also mention that it'd be nice to get an amp with multiple outputs, since I'm going to be sending the signal to at least two more locations in the house after I do the antenna upgrade. I gather a distribution amp is (often?) better than a single-out amp followed by a splitter.
Anyway, I like to think I'm not an idiot, but OTA is an area I've never done much research on, so I could really use some advice. Even advice not directly responding to my question is quite welcome. Even if it's to tell me I've made all of the wrong assumptions. I do that sometimes. Sigh.