Originally Posted by AntAltMike
Channels 20, 26 and 32 analog come from the River Road tower, which is surely to his Northwest. The network digital transmitters are to his north, so his 20/26/32 analog performance tells us virtually nothing regarding his prospects of getting the digital commercial transmissions from his north.
Good point. Of course, if he can still get 32 and 26-analog, then it still means that he has an overload issue. It's if he can't get them, then the matter's irrelevant.
That said, I just remembered that there's an analog station more proper to test with: WFDC channel 14 broadcasting from WRC-DC's tower, which is the westernmost tower that the Big 4 digitals broadcast from.
Originally Posted by bornyank1
Right now I have the antenna hooked up to my TV with 3 coax cables...1 from the antenna into a splitter, one from the splitter to a feed-through connector, and one from the connector to the TV. Is that as much drain as an attenuator would be?
You might want to double-check that all those components are working properly, as one of those components may be internally broken. Try a direct cable connection from the Silver Sensor to the TV and see if that corrects anything. Do the testing of analog 14 while you're at it.
Something like that, but not that exact antenna. One of the antenna's specs concerns me:
36" 300-ohm flat lead wire
What's the big deal with that? 300-ohm wire is highly
unshielded cable, and is very susceptible to multipath. In analog, this causes ghosting. In digital, this can cause a lack of any picture.
At my house, there's a 50-year-old (or older?) 300-ohm setup to two TVs. With the basement TV, I can significantly affect how much an analog UHF channel is ghosting by simply moving the cable by as little as four inches. This is in a basement at over double the distance between your dorm and the towers. The point is, you're going to want the best of the best: quad-shielded RG-6 cable. RadioShack sells that stuff under the "Gold Series" moniker. It's a tad expensive, but well worth it.
The 15-1838 I mentioned earlier has a connector that accepts RG-6 and RG-59 cable (they share the same connector). If I remember correctly, the antenna comes with a short bit of RG-59 cable, and if it's RG-59, it's not as good as RG-6.
Another good thing about the 15-1838: Unlike many other cheap antennas, there's no cable that's permanently fixed to the antenna; you can always upgrade to more robust cable. The cable usually on these things aren't too shielded or that long.
By the way, for maximum reception with any antenna, have it by a window, and have enough cable length to get to the TV with the antenna there.