The tuner sensitivity is surprisingly good. I have an indoor antenna on the ground floor, with trees and buildings in the signal path. I used two of my best signals and attenuated them to dropout. The 7004 was just as good as my Sony KDL32R400A on channel 40 and slightly better than the Sony on 13.
All three outputs of the 7004 work; RF, composite, and HDMI.
Ant > RCA TVPRAMP1R Preamp > Power Inserter > Variable Attenuator > 4-Way Splitter for 7004, TV, and Sadelco DisplayMax 800 Signal Level Meter (SLM).
There was a second preamp added between the splitter and the SLM to increase the sensitivity of the SLM, because it doesn't read below -20 dBmV in the single channel scan mode.
Dropout at -39.2 dBmV = -88.2 dBm, 7004 signal quality < 20 %
Dropout at -38.4 dBmV = -87.4 dBm for the Sony
Dropout at -39.3 dBmV = -88.3 dBm for the 7004, signal quality < 34%
For both channels, the Sony dropped out below 15 dB SNR, but the 7004 shows different readings for signal quality at dropout. The 7004 SQ doesn't have a good correlation with SNR, but it does give a useful relative reading. My guess is that the Sony SNR is actually MER; it would be difficult to read the noise in a channel being used.
The higher 7004 CH13 SQ at dropout suggests that it has been inflated by multipath reflections, which are common with indoor antennas. I quote Dr. Bendov from his paper DTV Coverage and Service Prediction, Measurement and Performance Indices:
Defining the Signal as the total received power and the Noise as AWGN (Additive White Gaussian Noise) leads to the conclusion that the SNR at the input to the receiver increases with increased multipath.
In urban and indoor situations, there may not even be a main signal, only reflections, some of which are of equal magnitude.
If all multipath signals are part of the signal power, then the SNR margin may not be an indicative figure of merit of reception robustness. In any case, even accurate measurement of the total received power may not be trivial. The integrated signal power is not just the Desired Signal power. It includes, Man-made, Galactic, and thermal noises and residual transmitter generated in-band noise. It also includes some but not necessarily all multipath signals.
For example, pairs of identical and asymmetric echoes, one of positive amplitude and positive delay relative to the main signal and one of negative amplitude and negative delay relative to the main signal, will cause only a second-order distortion of the displayed power spectrum. They will create group delay. Thus, in a multipath channel, a pair of such echoes would measure high SNR when using the spectrum integration technique whereas in reality, the true SNR would be much lower.
My indoor antenna only has a folded dipole for channel 13. My first location for the antenna was near the dresser, but the antenna needed a VHF reflector added to the dipole to reject multipath reflections for good reception. (It would not decode without a reflector; see my avatar at the left.) The best location for the antenna was, of course, in the middle of the room in a high traffic area. The signal was stronger and a VHF reflector was not needed. The present antenna is in the corner of the bedroom without a VHF reflector. The ability to handle multipath reflections well would seem to be useful in Mexico, where indoor antennas are often used.
There is usually a chair in front of the antenna to hide the 5 gal Home Depot paint bucket which contains old magazines as weights.