<snip>select a channel from my computer, which runs FreeBSD, and record it on my drive. This would allow me to remotely select a show to record during the day by SSHing my home computer. I don't mind buying a receiver from Bell...
I'm sure that you aren't surprised that FreeBSD-specific support info will be somewhat limited on this forum, but here are some generalities from a Linux guy who's been through this...
Things you will need:
- BellTV receiver and subscription.
- TV/video capture card and the associated driver software for FreeBSD (e.g., Hauppauge 150 (SD) or Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212 (HD) -- but select one that has FreeBSD support!). This capture card will take the composite, svideo, or component video and analog or spdif audio outputs from the BellTV receiver and capture it onto your hard drive.
- IR blaster and the associated driver software for FreeBSD. This device will allow your computer to signal the BellTV receiver to change channels as required.
If you can get these basic components working, a very rudimentary method to record from a SSH session would be something like (loose pseudocode):
irblast 627 # use an irblaster command to tune to BellTV channel 627
cat /videodevicename > /recordings/myshow.mpg &
I'm doing something similar to this to capture HD recordings from my BellTV 9242 with my HD-PVR 1212.
For standard definition, I use MythTV to manage my PVR150/PVR350 recordings from my BellTV 2700 and 4700 receivers (and it includes a web interface for remotely scheduling recordings).
There may very well be more refined software to manage this for FreeBSD, but I'm not familiar with it.