You've set a very high standard. If you want "idiot proof", then buy a Shaw PVR. With a PC, you are going to have computer problems upsetting things and you are going to have to use an IR blaster.
I'm not saying its not manageable but it won't be "idiot proof" which is your primary requirement.
If you're bound and determined, then download free trials for Beyond TV and Sage TV or Myth TV and you can decide for yourself.