Originally Posted by DaveInDenver
Digital TV is obviously a digital mode. Think back to your ham knowledge, what is a primary advantage of digital modes, such as CW (Morse), PSK31, etc.? Higher signal to noise ratio. So yes, digital TV reception can tolerate a more marginal signal and still get an acceptable picture. The old U.S. standard was NTSC, which is essentially a multiple signal AM mode.
The need for a lower signal strength works in favor of the broadcaster, too. They might be using lower power transmitters now so that an individual TV that had an OK picture before will still have an OK signal now. When you are talking about replacing a 500 KW xmitter with a 100 KW, that's a major savings in electricity. If that means a typical TV used to need -20dBm to get a good picture and can now deal with -35dBm, they'll be happy to lower their power.
Thanks, Dave. You confirmed what I thought concerning lower signal strength. And you added something I hadn't considered: reduced transmitter power.
I'm going to give an antenna a try, I think. I like DIRECTV just fine, but the cost is high compared to how much we actually use it.