I do have a similar solution to the one Ville used in KDE

- set up a shell script
- issue a killall -q -9 vdr-sxfe command first (if there is no vdr-sxfe task 
running this will be ignored)
- call vdr-sxfe again

Looks like this:

/usr/bin/killall -q -9 vdr-sxfe
/usr/bin/vdr-sxfe --fullscreen --post volnorm --reconnect xvdr://localhost

I do have to use sigterm (-9) paramter, because I do get tcp buffer overflows 
quite often. So the connection
to vdr gets lost but the task itself keeps running and can't be terminated 
cleanly by sighub or sth similar.

In addition to ~/.config/autostart I do place a softlink to this script in 
K-Menu > Favorites and assign a HOTKEY.
So if I press this hotkey on my wireless keyboard the script gets restarted. 
Maybe there is a way to get kde-lirc working
with this script as well so you have it on your remote? Might be tricky when 
you already have a lirc session assigned to
vdr. I'd be interested in a solution to that.

I'm pretty sure you can assign hotkeys in gnome as well, might be worth trying.

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