I've had a (kind of) epiphany. Having used a PVR (Personal Video Recorder, a.k.a. a Hard Disk Recorder) for the last few years for my time shifting of TV, the PVR in question died a death and it was time to look for a replacement. Yet nothing of any reasonable price seemed to fit the bill and I was umming and ahhing for a while.
And then my wife said 'Have you tried the new BBC iPlayer?' I hadn't, but I was fairly blown away. Any decent BBC programme (and let's face it, well over half the decent original new programmes are from the BBC) from the last seven days, available on demand? And all for free. Stunning.
Was this the end of my search for a way to timeshift TV? Not quite, I didn't really want to sit in front of a computer to watch TV every time.
But then came the news today that the BBC had introduced a version of iPlayer optimised for the Nintendo Wii. You'll recall that it has a reasonably up to date version of Opera (almost) built-in. So I tried it. Not bad, not bad at all. The video is only about 15 frames per second at the moment, but we're told that the BBC tech bods are working on improving this and optimising streaming still further.
With a little judicious zooming in, in the Wii Opera browser, we're now able to have BBC TV on-demand, on our lounge TV set, for free, with no need to remember to record anything, no need to pay for expensive hardware that will fail, etc.
The big catch, of course, is that non-BBC content isn't covered, but hey, there's always YouTube on the Wii for everything else in the video world!