AVS Special Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Indian River, Ontario, Canada
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I wouldn't be too hard on the Logitech folks. They created ( well, not really them ), a very sophisticated mass market product that works quite well for the vast majority of their customers.
Although the Concordance team would like nothing more than Logitech opening up the Harmony, I really don't think that's likely. The reason being is that once you publish an API, you either fully support it, and the possibly zillions of small developers, or you do it half baked by publishing some specs. If you do it half baked, the open source community will be in a rage about your buggy API. If you fully support it, it costs tons of money ... money you don't need to spend because you already provide a complete solution.
Why did they encrypt the communication on the new remotes? Well, I'd say it was to discourage the hacking of their remote. The much earlier Harmony's used XML configuration files. Those were replaced with undocumented binaries. Why ... because they don't want someone downloading and using a custom editor, and then coming to them for support. ie " Hey, Logitech ... my remote won't turn on anymore ... noooo, I didn't do anything 'funny'."
That said, in programming where there's a will there's a way. If enough bright minds concentrate on it, they'll hack it.
For you though, I'd consider a Pronto, or a URC if you can find a dealer that will agree to give you the editor ( it's their prerogative). I think this is the type of flexibility you're looking for. You might even consider the URC MX-450, which can be purchased from Amazon, that will let you program everything on the remote itself. This is the primary remote I use, and I'm completely happy with it.