Have you ever been sitting at work and realised that you forgot to setup a PVR or the Tivo to record something? Optus aims to make it easier for you to watch TV from where ever you are, with a new service that will let you schedule, record, and even watch free-to-air programs from your mobile.

Called “Optus TV Now”, the service allows you to browse through the TV guide on your mobile and then select which programs you’d like to record. While it’s available only to Optus subscribers, everyone using the system gets 45 minutes worth of recorded TV shows free, with five hours of storage on offer for $6.99 per month and 20 hours for $9.99 per month.

So does it work?

Our results were mixed, with Optus TV Now providing a decent service, albeit one that’s severely limited especially in comparison with PVRs.

To use the service on your smartphone, Optus provides an app, available on both Android and iOS. This app doesn’t just serve the TV replay service, but also offers paid access to channels such as MTV, Sky News, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon.

Logging in is easy – just run the app – but you can only do it from the mobile connection on your phone. Once you’re connected to WiFi, the service tells you to switch off wireless networking and use your mobile connection. While the traffic for streaming video is unmetered through Optus, everything else coming through mobile internet at this time – social networking, email – isn’t, making it a potentially costly affair if you’re watching when you could be connected to WiFi, say at work or home.