Like millions of people, I use a PC running Windows Media Centre instead of a traditional set-top box or PVR. It means that I can watch and record TV programs, just like everyone else, but I can also use the machine for more conventional web surfing too. It's the ideal living-room companion.
But the one feature that Media Centre lacks, in my opinion, is a built-in web server to allow me to schedule recordings over the internet when I'm away from home.
Thankfully, all is not lost. A wonderful piece of freeware called Remote Potato does the job. Installation is relatively easy, though configuring your router to allow access through you firewall is a little more tricky. But once you've followed the online guide, the system works superbly. From any computer that has a web browser (and that includes a smartphone), you can browse the TV listings and schedule new recordings. And, as you can see from the screen shot below, do a lot more too.
I've mentioned Remote Potato here before, but previous versions have been betas. A couple of months ago the product finally reached the v1.0 milestone. Actually it's already on 1.06.
If you use Windows Media Centre, I definitely recommend it. To download the program, just go to http://www.remotepotato.com/. The installer is only around 9 MB, and runs under media center on Windows 7 or Vista.
I have checked the above-mentioned file with Virus Total, and the program appears to be free of all malware and viruses.