Forget to set the DVR? A new unit called Promise solves that problem by simply recording everything that gets broadcast. Users then choose what they want to watch from the onscreen menu.

Obviously there are a few drawbacks. For one, Promise is only available in the London area for now. For another, it only records programs that are available on Freeview, the British service that delivers over 50 free-to-air digital TV channels, radio stations and interactive services through an aerial.

Lastly, Promise isn’t cheap. It comes in two models: Promise Lite, which stores all programs for three days and costs £1,200 (about $1,900); and Promise Seven (pictured), which retains them for a week, has more advanced options, and costs £1,998 (about $3,165).

New programs automatically replace the oldest, except for shows the user has marked to be saved.

The prototype Promise system was demonstrated at the Open Tech 2005 conference, but the units are now much smaller and have more capabilities.

Promise is a small independent company, unrelated to Freeview. Freeview is from DTV Services Ltd., a company owned and run by its five shareholders: BBC, BSkyB, Channel 4, ITV and Arqiva.

Hat tip to Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing.

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