Originally Posted by mcy919
I've seen WCCB's signal at 100% on my converter box and it still froze after two seconds on my HDTV. .
Maybe this explains it.
Most of the TV signal meters give you an indication of signal strength, but not signal quality. It's the "quality" that matters and that is what should be used to aim an antenna. In most cases the two will follow each other, but there is also a chance that you can have a very strong signal, but interference, say by reflections from moving trees could degrade the quality down to where the receiver can't hold a lock on the station. You get a strong, but low quality signal. For a digital tuner it then comes down to the error detection and correction routines in the tuner software. Some tuners do a better job of this than others.
I was confused by this too, because I had issues with my original setup where I used a DB8 pointed at WHKY from Huntersville to Hickory. There is a small signal lob on the back of this antenna which happened, luckily, to be pointed at WSOC & WCCB. The signal meter would read 100% so I thought I had had solved my issue. However during any kind of storm, WSOC, even though the strength meter would stay at 100% would drop, and drop a lot. WCCB would also but not as much.
After I converted to a MythTV system, i.e. PC based tuners, I found that I could go to the command line and do a much thorough examination of what was going on with these tuners. As it turns out, while I had 100% signal strength, which would lead me to believe that all was OK, the signal quality was pretty bad. The tuner could not deal with more than 30% error correction and after that it would drop the signal. i.e. Signal Quality had to be more than ~70%.
My solution was that I added another antenna to the system. I used my small homebuilt antenna, placed in the attic, and pointed in that direction. WSOC now is at 91%, but the signal quality is close to 100%. It does not drop now despite storms, etc. WCCB also is very similar. Curiously, with this setup, I can now pick up WDMC-LD (a low power station in Statesville, channel 25). The signal strength is a measly 60%, but signal quality is 90%+, so it always locks.
To sum it up, you really can't rely solely on signal strength to determine if you can pick up a station. It's the signal quality that matters. Some TV tuners will display the quality but IMO, they all should.
(One neat thing. I can take my laptop and wirelessly connect to the MythTV console and then use it as a wireless meter to point my antennas while watching the signal quality on the laptop. I suppose I could do this on my smart phone too)Edited by blackcat6 - 1/1/13 at 3:48am