I looked at: http://winlirc.sourceforge.net/
WinLIRC requires a very simple IR detector connected to a serial port. Any serial hardware that works with the original LIRC will also work with WinLIRC. Note that the parallel port hardware, IRDA ports, and Irman are not yet supported by WinLIRC. WinLIRC also supports a variation on the serial port receiver, that has it's pins attached to the irDA header pins on the motherboard. The transmitter is simply an infrared LED and a current limiting resistor. You should easily be able to buy all the parts for the transmitter and receiver for less that $15.
If you have your hardware: remote and receiver ready to go, seems like you only need WinLirc to get it going. Seems like it has the drivers in their software.
I don't know anything about this though...just guessing. Did you check out their website?
Question about IR receivers...
Type in WinLirc in the search, I found all kinds of stuff.