Hello,I was looking around in the android app store today and came across an app that may suit your needs. That is if you possess an android based smartphone. It eliminates the need for interfacing arduino with your tv remote and essentially converts your phone into a remote. It is available on the google play store and goes by the name remote control.
I am new myself, and apparently in a sort of the same situation as you except for the fact I am 21 and don't have any fancy degrees. I have tinkered with the Arudino a bit as well as a knowledge of remote controlled helis and planes. I don't really know much about how to go about this except for the idea of getting an IR emitting and detecting diode set which I know is sold at my local Radioshack, and using some buttons of course. I would be interested in learning from you about how you go about doing this if you ever figure it out. Personally, I am working on an RFID door lock for my room which uses a servo. I hope you figure this project out though.Oh, one last thing that may help a lot if you don't already know, I figured out quickly when working with the Arduino that you use pull-down resistors and pull-up resistors a lot when using the digital pins. If interested, I have a link here. http://blog.makezine.com/2009/03/05/understanding-pullup-and-pulldown-r/
It really depends on what devices you are controlling. Many TV type devices use infrared light (IR), and you can make Arduino controls to mimic existing devices. ...
Quote from: MichaelMeissner on May 09, 2013, 02:23 pmIt really depends on what devices you are controlling. Many TV type devices use infrared light (IR), and you can make Arduino controls to mimic existing devices. ...All the devices I want to control at this time use IR - but I have yet to understand how to control the IR signal. Do all IR transmitters encompass the frequency range for transmission required by the various frequency ranges of most modern IR devices? My understanding is that to maximize the range, I may need to get separate IR transmitters for different devices.