I'm not sure but I think all this can probably be solved with an external HDMI recorder like the Hauppauge HD-PVR2. The trick is to ignore the Sky recorder completely and just feed the HDMI output into the HD-PVR2. Just about any cheap HDMI pass-through device from China will strip the copy protection. This allows high quality (as high as you can get from Sky) manual recording. Hauppauge also has TV recording software with an IR blaster to automate channel selection and recording. I would think (don't know) that all this could be combined with something like Kodi to get the EGP info so recordings could be booked without manual set-up. The question is how much trouble you are willing to go to just to record off Sky when nearly everything available there can be streamed anyway.
It can. I have all of the kit I need on a shelf from when I got enthusiastic about a HTPC build (which I never got round to). But to be honest, they have annoyed me so much I pretty much can't be bothered any more. The worst was the outright lies I was told by their CSR.
There comes a point when it all just becomes too tedious and annoying to pay $100+ per month for the "privilege" of dealing with.
Plus, as the next post after yours observes, Sky boxes don't seem to like IR blasters. And, in another stunning display of contempt for their subscribers, Sky won't give people the codes etc needed to make an IR blaster work reliably (there is another thread on that somewhere).