Will irDA accept just any old universal remote or does it have to be a special kind?
closed as off topic by Mitch♦, Takkat, belacqua, Tom Brossman, izx Sep 3 '12 at 8:40
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IrDA has both signaling and frequency specifications, therefore cannot really be used with remotes; it is designed to facilitate communication between two intelligent pieces of hardware (read: computers).
If you want to be able to receive signals from a remote control then the best thing to do is to get a receiver such as those made by SNK since those are far more liberal with what they accept.