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I'd like to suggest that a future version of the Slingbox firmware support (as an option) direct IP-based control of networked set-top boxes like those from DirecTV and TiVo. The protocols are already well-known and documented and in most cases the boxes advertise themselves on the local network.
Thsi would allow users of supported servics to do away with their IR blasters and thus neaten up their home theater setups.