The fol. should help to sort out the different Signal Level Meters.
1. Inexpensive "Satellite Signal Level Meters" are ONLY good for aligning SAT dishes:
2. Inexpensive "OTA Signal Level Meters" are simple, full-band energy detectors which
are useful to align OTA DTV Antenna...but ONLY when ALL desired LOCAL, STRONG towers
are in the same location---which hardly EVER happens in real world applications:
3. Some CECB Converter Boxes have been cross-calibrated against professional Signal Level Meters:
Probably the least expensive way to measure signal strength on a channel-by-channel basis
and will measure very weak signals.
Some USB Stick Tuners also display Signal Strength (e.g. HDHomeRun, et. al.) but I have not
(yet) seen any data re cross-calibration to professional Signal Level Meters.
4. There are VERY FEW low cost OTA Signal Level Analyzers which can display receive levels
for individual channels. Here's the Digiair Pro for just under $200:
However, it will not measure very weak signals, so consider using a Preamp with it.
4. There are numerous Analog TV "Field Strength Meters" appearing from time to time
on the used equipment market. An adjustment factor is needed to convert from Peak Reading
for Analog to Average Reading for Digital. Correction may vary from model to model:
BTW: If the "Field Strength Meter" comes with an antenna, it's intended to measure
the very strong signal levels in the vicinity of the transmitter....not the receiver....
5. Pricey, professional OTA/CATV Signal Level Meters with increasing levels of useful features:
White Paper from 2003: http://www.sencore.com/uploads/files...RF_Signals.pdf
Some are CATV ONLY, whereas some do both OTA and CATV. Some even add SAT band.
Carefully check the minimum signal level capability....many are intended for CATV use
and have limited sensitivity when used for OTA.
6. Expensive Spectrum Analyzers that can display multipath degradation and various sorts
of interference, whether co-channel, adjacent channel or intermodulation distortion.
Some of the more expensive Signal Level Meters have this capability built-in.