I've been looking into TiVo a wee bit, it's a non-subscription based service which give you access to all the free to air channels (HD and Standard Def). You just buy the box and plug it in. You then connect it to your broadband so it can download the 7 day TV guide and you're good to go with most of features that Foxtel has. You can also download movies and other fancy pants things too. You can only record 1 channel at a time though but you can watch another while it's recording.
TiVo takes your TV further| TiVo is | What is TiVo | myTiVo.com.au
Of course other PVR devices are also available :)
PS I agree that Jake on Two and a Half Men gets paid way too much. I hope he doesn't go the way of the Lohan.