In short, if you are wondering if an InfraRed device is working, you can actually see InfraRed using a digital camera. It even works with a low caliber cell phone digital camera.
Put the IR device in transmit mode, aim the digital camera pretty much head on to the IR port and look at the camera's viewfinder or video screen. Like magic you can see the unseen. You can even photograph it for posterity like I did and attached to this post.
Besides checking remote controls, I have used it to see if my PDA was transmitting via the IR port. You might be in a room full of laptops and wondering which one is trying to connect to your laptop.
Don't use your cell phone to call tech support, use your cell phone's camera to "see" the IR. It will make you feel like a high tech Sherlock Holmes. Techno fun and useful too. Enjoy!