Heard of Slingbox ? Well, its one of the innovative Set-top box invention right now in US.
It transforms your Windows XP based PCs and laptops into personal on-the-go digital TVs, it allows individuals anywhere-anytime access to their own living room television experience with no additional monthly service fees, the Slingbox turns any Internet-connected laptop or desktop PC into a personal TV. The Slingbox redirects, or "placeshifts", a single live TV stream from a cable box, satellite receiver, or DVR to the viewer’s PC located anywhere in the home. If the Slingbox is coupled with a broadband Internet connection, the viewer’s live TV stream can be "placeshifted" via the Internet to a PC located anywhere in the world. Imagine if am able to watch my home or my favorite TV channels back in India sitting here with my Laptop in US, how lovely it would be.
The challenge to the Slingbox right now is copyright-related and contractual.