The HDMI supports device remote control via the CEC protocol (see our series of podcast covering topics like CEC), the idea being that you could control your Blueray player via your TVs remote and the control signals are sent over the HDMI cable.
Pulse-eight have made available libCEC a XMBC library for CEC , this means that the library can be incorporated into the OpenELEC and Raspmbc builds of XBMC for the Raspberry Pi so you will be able to control XMBC from your TVs remote without the need of an IR adapter (which I got working, more info here)
Another major feature that we’ve worked on is creating the possibility to hook up different types of CEC adapters to libCEC, not just the adapter that we’re selling ourselves and we now support the first non-Pulse-Eight device. Say hi to theRaspberry Pi! This means that you can now control XBMC on your Pi with the remote control of any CEC-capable TV, no adapters or special wires needed!
libCEC with Raspberry Pi support has been included in OpenELEC and will be included in Raspbmc RC4. These are beta versions, so if you experience any issues with libCEC on the Pi, please send an email to [email protected], or create a ticket on Github.
Seems a great idea to me.