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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Comcast DVR connected to a Panasonic Plasma TV. I have set up the Comcast remote to operate the Panasonic TV. There is one button on my Panasonic remote I use frequently and I would like to change a button on my Comcast remote to perform the same function. Can someone please tell me if and how I can do this?









Details:
Television: Panasonic 65" Plasma, Model# TH-65PZ850U
Comcast DVR: Xfinity Arris MX011ANM
Comcast Remote: Comcast Xfinity XR5 v4-u

The button on the Comcast XR5 remote is the triangular "A" button that is currently mapped to Comcast help, and I would like it to operate the Panasonic TV "Format" function which changes the aspect ratio of the TV between: Full, Just, H-Fill, 4:3, and Zoom.
 

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Cable company remotes typically can only be programmed to operate a TV's Volume, Power, and sometimes Input functions but that's about it.

Consider getting a simple inexpensive learning remote like the Philips SRP5107/27 below. I did a lot of searching a few years ago and this one was one of the few i found that are optimized for Tivo and DVR operation (it actually has several Tivo-specific buttons that also carry over to my Cable DVR when in Cable mode) and also with extra buttons for secondary commands. I have one of these that i use as a secondary remote from my desk and it controls every function of my Panasonic Plasma, Tivo, TWC DVR, and my Blu-Ray player, and i've set up a few of them for friends (Rite Aid used to sell it for $20). (edit - does not have Macro capability) You can teach any command (like Aspect setting) to the four colored buttons and also to the four buttons along the bottom. It's discontinued but there's an auction for it for under $7 with free shipping right now on Ebay . . . . i think i'm going to buy a spare for a bedroom now that i think of it . . . . $7 is too good to pass up ;)

Here's a link to the Manual: http://www.p4c.philips.com/cgi-bin/dcbint/cpindex.pl?ctn=SRP5107/27&slg=en&scy=US


Search Ebay for this phrase:

Philips SRP5107/27 Universal Remote Control featuring Simple Setup For DVR/HD



 

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Actually most cable remotes have some pretty amazing capabilities, far more than most other more expensive remotes. Things like being able to put any possible command from any device (even discretes) on any button, 2 functions per button, activity macros on any button. Add a JP1 cable and gain unlimited macros, unlimited devices (via multiplexing), 5 functions per button (long, short, double, shifted and double shifted presses), pronto hex import, nested macros and subroutines, variables and conditional branching, key group mapping, very fast macros, etc. All this from a $3 cable TV remote. That Philips (and similar remotes) can't do discretes unless you have some other more advanced remote (or JP1 remote) to teach them. Whereas a typical cable TV (JP1) remote can do any command via individual command codes, no learning required.

Having said that, the OP's remote is not one of those remotes, unfortunately. The new Xfinity remotes have been crippled greatly compared to older remotes. IMO, it would be worth $3 to buy an old cable TV remote to gain all these benefits. If discretes aren't required, then the Philips would be a good choice.
 

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Actually most cable remotes have some pretty amazing capabilities, far more than most other more expensive remotes. Things like being able to put any possible command from any device (even discretes) on any button, 2 functions per button, activity macros on any button. Add a JP1 cable and gain unlimited macros, unlimited devices (via multiplexing), 5 functions per button (long, short, double, shifted and double shifted presses), pronto hex import, nested macros and subroutines, variables and conditional branching, key group mapping, very fast macros, etc. All this from a $3 cable TV remote. That Philips (and similar remotes) can't do discretes unless you have some other more advanced remote (or JP1 remote) to teach them. Whereas a typical cable TV (JP1) remote can do any command via individual command codes, no learning required.

Having said that, the OP's remote is not one of those remotes, unfortunately. The new Xfinity remotes have been crippled greatly compared to older remotes. IMO, it would be worth $3 to buy an old cable TV remote to gain all these benefits. If discretes aren't required, then the Philips would be a good choice.
The JP1 thing is very cool, but seems too involved for the average TV watcher. About a dozen years ago my favorite remote was the Radio Shack 15-2116 (barely operating my TV, Receiver, CD player, and 2 of 3 VCRs) and a friend was over and spotted my remote and said "that's a great remote !!". I complained that it didn't have enough memory to fully operate all my equipment (my three time-shifting VCRs put it over the edge) but he said with JP1 he can probably expand it's memory and further enhance it so that it will control even more of my equipment. He later brought a laptop over and reprogrammed it and sure enough he was able to cram all the commands into it beyond what it was capable of on it's own. I later replaced it with an MX-500 then gave him the RS remote because he loved it so much. I still have four stock ones in an old box of electronics in the attic LOL.



 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your responses. I must say I am a little disappointed since overall I am happy with the Comcast remote and only really want to have the Format command available. Yes I guess I could get a universal remote and operate all my devices to operate from the one remote, but I don't really have the need for this setup based upon my own personal viewing habits. Thanks again.
 

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Ahh, yes, the old 2116. Still a great JP1 remote. I used to have several of those myself but sold them many years ago. Our software has come a long way since the old days. IMO, it's on par with Harmony and URC in terms of ease of use. No more excel spreadsheets or codes to deal with (unless you want to). Just drag and drop whatever you want onto whatever button on the remote. Still can't beat it in terms of bang for the buck ($200 worth of functionality in a $3 remote plus an $8 cable and free software).

Nethog, you may want to consider asking Comcast for an older remote that you can customize to your liking. Otherwise, as I said, they run about $3 shipped on ebay. Randy's is only $7. Seems silly to suffer through juggling remotes and switching device modes when the solution is so cheap and simple.
 
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