Originally Posted by jimmueller
I can't mount anything to the exterior structure of the building. The patio is separated from the living room by a sliding glass door, and the patio is just screened so it is exposed to the elements. If I place something on the patio I still have to get the signal inside. There is power on the patio, but there isn't a way to get the RG6 inside without keeping the patio door cracked... unless there is a wireless solution?
As a matter of fact there is a wireless solution: keep all of your antennas indoors.
As a renter I can empathize. That's just the way it is, and it's easier to keep the property manager happy than it is to place something outdoors because that's the custom. Thankfully the frequencies that OTA TV work on get indoors pretty well. Sure you're not going to get the exact same signal strength, but it's not the end of the world.
If I was in your situation (I only have two different directions to contend with), I'd try one of those flat omni panels. Trust me, I'm an antenna engineer. This particular type, called a magnetic loop, works surprisingly well for its size. Because it's not a resonant antenna the size matters a lot less, and because it responds to the magnetic component of EM radiation, it reacts differently than other antenna types. You will need amplification to give you enough gain, but that's not a problem when it's all indoors. You'll also want to place it in a high place, both to give it a better view of the transmission sites and to keep it from being affected by the movements of people in the house. The last one is a factor with all indoor antennas.
How do you combine multiple antennas into a single coax input for the TV, DVR, etc?
You can use an antenna combiner, which is more or less an antenna splitter in reverse. MOF you can use an antenna splitter.
If you're serious about putting multiple directional antennas indoors, things can get very complex very fast, and unless you're an expert it will seem like it just doesn't work. That's one reason why I advocate trying the simple method first. If you go ahead with multiple antennas and they don't perform well using a simple combiner, it's probably worth paying a professional installer to fine tune the installation with the help of pro test equipment and other magic.
So far as the missus, I'm successfully divorced
That's one good thing. It would have been better if you had gotten the house though...
Are there any good options for an HD DVR for OTA?
I've used my HD TiVo boxes to get OTA, and they work quite well. There are cheaper alternatives, but I can't think of any single one that stands out. There's always the DIY option if you have a spare PC and tuner card.