How could I remotely control media player on media centre type PC

I'm  contemplating building a small form factor PC for use as a media centre type device - to store my CDs etc., and possibly do PVR type functions too.

One thing I can't see how to do:

I'd like some kind of remote control solution so I don't need to turn the TV on just to play a (virtual) CD.

At a minimum I need to be able to select from a list of playlists, ideally it would also be able to select tracks too. Something not  windows specific would be good. It also needs to be not too expensive.
GylesAsked:
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Hi chookisa,
Might sound a bit bizarre but build it with DOS and use http://mpxplay.tripod.com/#loclinks its been designed for building stand alone players and IR contol via serial Ive seen a LOT of car installations with this funtionality and there cheap! and most of the software has been written for you

Cheers!
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GylesAuthor Commented:

Not really what I'm after as I can't imagine getting PVR video functions running in DOS, but no other answers seem forthcoming even with 500 points there.
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