Barry asked me how my components worked inside of the new stereo cabinet. I started to post a comment, but decided it warranted a full post.
In our old house, my old Sony receiver sat about 5' off of the floor behind glass doors. Unfortunately, if you held a remote at couch level, it wouldn't work.
This is true of the other Sony equipment that I have - it is both less sensitive to IR and has a more narrow cone of sensitivity.
So, I need a solution, and settled on components from Xantech. There's a small receiver that sits where it can see the remote, a connecting block, and then an emitter that sticks to the IR window on the component. That solved the original problem.
In this house, I upgraded the system. I have a receiver upstairs that is wired into a new connecting block, emitters on all the components and one that runs back to the computer in the office at the other end of the house, and 1/4" receiver that is in the shelf that's above the TV. The receivers need 3 wire cable that runs back to the connecting block, and the emitters only need two wires. IR signals are low frequency and low power, so they aren't picky about the kind of wire you run them on.
I really like the Xantech stuff - it's well made, and with the exception of a few wiring problems on my side, has performed flawlessly. It's not cheap, however. The receivers run anywhere from $40 to about $100, the connecting blocks run from $10 to around $50, and emitters are $5 - $10 each.