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I wish to invite suggestions regarding if and how is the following achievable:

controlling multiple instances of a media player (say VLC) by one "unified" hot-key command. eg. Pressing spacebar would pause/play all instances of VLC Pressing CTRL+ UP would increase volume in all instances of VLC and likewise for all hotkey commands.

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You can use AutoHotkey for that kind of tasks. AutoHotkey has very strong capability for hotkey management.

Always use AutoHotkey and its documenatation from http://ahkscript.org/ (current uptodate version, new official website)! AutoHotkey and its documentation from autohotkey.com is outdated and you may have some problems using them!

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Haven't tried it for your specific use, but I would suggest giving keybroadcast a shot.

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