Promise TV — PVR records a month's worth of shows from all channels

Of all the amazing and wonderful things I saw this weekend at London's OpenTech conference, none came close to the stupendous Promise TV box. This is a home-built personal video recorder made out of commodity PC components (primarily a LOT of high-capacity hard-drives).

What the Promise does is grab the entire broadcast TV multiplex — all the channels being broadcast in the UK — slices them up according to the free, over-the-air electronic programming guide, and stores an entire month's worth. Why program a TiVo to get certain shows for you when you can record every single show on the air, all at once, and then use recommendations, search, a grid, or any other means you care to name to figure out which of those thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of programming you want to watch.

The team have produced a breadboard prototype and a single, product-like box that looks like the kind of thing you might stick under your TV. They've put up a placeholder site to collect email addresses of people who want to find out more when they do a more formal launch. I've just signed up — I can't wait to see more of this. I'd buy one in a hot second.