Apple didn't invent the computer remote - long before the launch of the Apple remote were various PC-driven remotes.
I have an old ATI TV Wonder Radeon 9400, which was a video card with a built-in analog TV tuner and analog (composite) video input. It came with an RF-driven remote for its built-in DVR software. It was a pretty sweet setup for its time.
Since then, Logitech has released a number of programmable remotes that work really well…once you set them up. I like the older remotes with monochrome displays better than the newer ones with color displays (and touch). Monochrome uses significantly less energy, so the batteries last a lot longer.