I've experimented and Googled around. I've tried standard TV remote controls combined with an USB-UIRT receiver, but the range was too low. Googling shows some interesting programmable remotes, but they're far too expensive ($100+) to have each user purchase one.
How should I go about building the perfect clicker and receiver system? Any suggestion is welcome, from IR to radio, from Bluetooth to ZigBee based communications. Recommend a commercial product, or a do it yourself solution. Please also recommend a receiver device, and a way to connect it to a computer. Also, if you recommend that I just build a custom circuit board for the remote control, please give some references and examples of how it should be implemented."