[James] is one of those guys on a quest to control everything with one device. His tool of choice is an Android phone, which can do quite a lot right out of the box. But he was never satisfied with its lack of IR remote control abilities. He fixed that feature-gap by building a Bluetooth to Infrared translator.
The hardware he used for the prototype is quite simple. A cheap serial Bluetooth modem from eBay lets him connect to his phone. An Arduino board listens for data from the modem and converts incoming commands to flashes on an IR LED. Voila, he can control the tube with his phone.
We love the potential of this hack. The Bluetooth module runs from 3.3V, and reading serial data and flashing an LED is extremely simple. You should be able to use a small uC, say an ATtiny13, and a 3.3V regulator to miniaturize the module. We could see this plugging into the USB port on the back of a TV for power, with a wire extension to put the LED into position. The only shortfall is the inability to turn the TV on remotely when drawing power this way.
Remote codes aren’t particularly large to store either. So this would be pretty easy to extend to full control of all IR-compatible home entertainment devices. You just need a tool to discover the remote control codes.