I resolved the matter today. I returned the Sharp. I had other problems with this overrated TV... any lawyers out there that want to go after CNet and all the other propaganda arms for the electronics firms? The more I used the LC-32D5U, the more I realized that it sucked. I replaced it today with the new Samsung 30" Slimfit CRT. It was a spur of the moment purchase, but I got it at Best Buy... that means I paid too much, but I have 30 days to play with it and there's no restocking fee. The Samsung has its flaws too, but for less than half the price of the Sharp, they're easier to live with... oh, and it can tune in the virtual channel with no problem.
Here's what I wrote to BuyDig for my return:
Reasons for return - TV quality is not what I expected. There is considerable pixilation, even using a digital HDTV signal or progressive scan DVD (with analog or digital connection). Additionally, the TV's user interface is pathetic and the TV-guide "feature" is horrifically counter-intuitive and limits the set up (e.g., cannot receive analog and digital over the air broadcasts at the same time) . The HDMI connector uses one of the original (i.e., old) standards that is not capable of supporting a full RGB color pallet (0-255). This means the TV cannot produce the full grayscale range. For example, using a THX test pattern on the HDMI connection, the TV only displays 7 of the 10 black boxes. (I know the TV itself is capable of displaying all 10 because it does so with an analog signal.) Worst of all, the ATSC tuner is not capable of receiving virtual channels. (Many broadcasters are using program and system information protocol (PSIP) to broadcast on one frequency, but have the TV display their analog "brand" frequency. In my case, WOGX (Fox 51) broadcasts digitally on UHF channel 31.1, but uses the virtual channel 51.1 to match the analog UHF channel 51. Despite a strong signal (over 70%), the TV refused the display the broadcast. (I tried three different antennas!). I compared this TV side by side with a Samsung that I picked up at Best Buy today and the Samsung doesn't have the same problems as the Sharp.
By the way, I did try a Zenith Silver Sensor antenna. It actually had worse reception that then Terk HDTVi. I don't know why everyone hates Terk so much. I think this little antenna is pretty good.