...JP1 remotes allow full customization down to the keypress, with any key being macro-capable. A lot of freeware and crowd-sourced datasets. JP1 remotes were/are made by One4All, both under their own name or private label like this one. Many, like the 1994, have been totally recoded by the community to enhance functionality. See http://www.hifi-remote.com for more info.
JP1 remotes are the biggest bang for the buck by far. For a $15 (or less) remote and a $30 programming interface, you get:
- A universal remote made by UEI, the same folks that make the DirecTV remotes, so they share the same codes
- Learning, global macros or device specific macros on any key, custom volume punch thru for each device, 5 functions per key per device (short press, double press, long press, shifted press, double-shifted press), fantastic graphical programming software for PC/Mac/Linux, update your remote in under 5 seconds, and add pronto hex and any device or protocol known to man.
- With extender software, you also get fast macros, device state tracking, nested macros, device multiplexing (for a practically unlimited number of devices)
Since DirecTV boxes buffer remote commands, you can send them as fast as possible. My closed caption macro runs in a fraction of a second, and 3 or 4 seconds later the DirecTV box catches up and turns on captions. But since it ran so fast, I didn't have to hold the remote still for that 4 seconds.
If you think only harmony can do activities, think again. Instead of pressing Watch TV, on a JP1 remote, just press the TV button and get the same result, only faster. And if your dog eats the remote, you're only out $20 instead of $250. Grab another one at best buy, download your config, and you're back in business.
Here's a typical $15 JP1 remote (RCA RCRP05B) and the programming software: