if you view the bit patterns from the IR remote-control on a CRT, and accordingly write the controller, it shouldnt take too long.
all you need is a remote-controller, some ir/photo diodes, and an oscilloscope to view the patterns. each key/button is just a bunch of voltage levels with a 'start' and 'stop' level at the ends.
maybe you can even start writing drivers from scratch for some new product? that'll be fun.