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I cannot confirm on using TV Remotes; it may depend on their capabilities. However, you should be able to use Media control devices.
In fact, I tested an Intel® NUC Kit NUC7i5BNK with the Microsoft Remote Control (without IR receiver & RC6 compliant) using Kodi version 17 and was able to navigate through the software (play, pause, rewind, etc.).
Just make sure you have the latest BIOS, drivers, and software.
I hope this information helps.