I've seen that others who have a Logitech Harmony can learn the codes from the original remote and have the .bin extracted somehow, but as I mentioned, neither of us currently has a Logitech Harmony. Is getting a Harmony the easiest way to do this?
The Harmony 'trick' is only normally used by me. I help people with unsupported boxes by installng their devices onto my Harmony Remote so that I can use it to 'mimic' the original remote, analyse the codes and build the BIN file. Unfortunately, you won't be surprised to hear that the C-Box is not a recognised device on the Logitech database so I cannot help directly. If you did have access to a Harmony (you can pick up a 659 for $30 on E-Bay), then you (or FIL) can use that to learn all the button codes in the same way. But then you can upload that configuration to my Harmony account so I can download it to my Harmony account and see the codes. Make sense ?
is the learning and code export process easy enough that I could instruct my FIL to do it? Or would it be best to have him, say, ship me the remote for a bit so that I can pull out the codes, before I ship the remote back to him?
The procedure is relatively easy although the 'standard' method is to just download from the database and your FIL won't be able to that, he will have to do a fair amount to work to learn the codes. But if you decide to go that way and your FIL struggles I am quite happy to produce a 'dummies' guide for you.
The alternative is to buy a JP-1 compatible Learning Remote and do it yourself. But it isn't for the faint hearted This is the guide I wrote about it: http://www.hifi-remote.com/wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Create_Custom_Remote_Controls_and_use_them_on_your_Slingbox
I also have a remote that controls a Windows 7 HTPC, which means it comes with a IR receiver. Is there a way to use that IR receiver to learn remote codes directly to program a .bin file?
Not that I know of. You would be better asking that in the JP1 forum.
Easiest solution might be to buy another STB that is supported Try this link to check: http://support.slingbox.com/get/KB-5000164
and if you can't find one then this link gives the Harmony supported boxes, which would mean I could build the BIN file directly. http://www.logitech.com/harmony/components
Hope all that helps.
Just to update the community, a forum member from the JP-1 forums is local to where my FIL is, and generously offered to visit and learn the codes from the box itself. This and the JP-1 community are truly amazing! Once I have the .bin file, I will upload to the sling community here.
If for some reason this doesn't work, I will go ahead and get a Logitech Harmony and follow your advice here.