I'm in the UK; I'd like to ditch my satellite TV subscription, and link my TV into my home network. More than that, I want to be able to record TV programs from my TV to some kind of networked media storage. And I want to be able to view any media stored there from my laptop or my TV.
Basically... is the attached diagram possible/affordable/"practical" yet?
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Very few TV sets record video from their own tuners. Instead a hardware Tivo-like DVR connects to various services and records to an internal disk. Problem is most programming services insist on encrypted recording playable only through HDMI with HDCP control of decyption. If your TV connects HDMI, the DVR will feed the recorded programs to that TV.
The Microsoft MCE model has a central server with multiple attached sat/cable/OTA tuners. The various programs are selected from a central Guide, recorded encrypted to the central server, and then made available for playback on various home TV sets and computers with protection of encrypted content. In other words, local decryption to a file is blocked unless authorized by the content owner.
If you want to avoid cable/sat pay programming services and access only unencrypted "free" OTA TV, recording is usually done from a computer tuner/capture device or a DVD recorder with OTA tuner. You would capture with these devices, then encode a file for upload to a central server. Networked computers (and network enabled HDTV sets) could read the files over the network. A CAT6 wired network will support a variety of file formats. Wireless networks will require more compressed file formats compatible with HDTV hardware decoder support. If the TV is not network enabled, a local media player is used to access the network.
Have a look at the new-ish Humax HD Freesat and brand new Freeview HD PVRs as they have some interesting looking connections that may give you a lot of what you're looking for.