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GuidesHow to program a universal remote explained

How to program a universal remote explained

Usually, when you buy a TV, the remote control comes with it. But there are situations where you buy a second-hand TV that does not come with remote control and you need to buy one separately. If you buy a universal remote control, it has to be additionally adjusted to the model of your TV.

Such a remote control must come with the manual. This manual should contain hundreds of codes for numerous manufacturers, making it much easier to synchronize devices with the remote control. However, if you have lost the manual or it did not come with the remote control, there is no reason to worry. 

Universal remotes can browse for these codes in their database and then pair them with other devices, such as DVD players. Of course, you can always look up the codes on the Internet-based on the model and brand of the device.

In this article, we are going to tell you how to program a universal remote control.

How to program a universal remote control

The first thing you need to do before programming your universal remote control is to check the batteries in it. They must be charged in order for your remote control to work steadily. If you think that the remote control has old batteries, you should renew them just in case.

Also, you need to make sure that you can connect directly between your universal remote control and the device you want to program. Try to arrange the setup so that nothing gets in your way, otherwise, you will have to start the whole procedure all over again.

If you want to better understand the programming process, it is important to know exactly how your universal remote control interacts with the device being programmed. Each time you press a button on the remote, a signal is activated from the remote’s circuit board to another device. Essentially, the remote sends a command code that tells the TV what to do. Universal remotes, unlike standard remotes, have a wider range of compatibility, so you can use them with multiple devices. To program one of these remotes, you need to press a sequence of buttons to synchronize the remote and the TV or another device. 

These codes are usually numeric, but sometimes they are a combination of other buttons. Once the appropriate code combination is initiated, your remote will send commands to the other device, telling it to pair with it.

A universal remote control can be used to control many devices, from TVs and VCRs to cable set-top boxes, home theater receivers, and Blu-ray/DVD players. In many cases programming can be quite time-consuming, however, there are some effective ways to do it.

How to program a universal remote control using manual

If you want to program your universal remote control and you have the remote control manual or programming guide, this is the quickest way to get it working. The programming instructions will show groups of codes for various brand-name devices. Just follow the instructions to enter the codes and your remote will be ready to use in no time.

In addition to entering codes, the manuals will help you program the universal remote control without them. This script covers everything not listed in the manual. It also is useful if the listed codes don’t work with the correct unit, which sometimes happens because the codes are based on the brand and not the model.

How to find the code in the Internet

If you want to find the codes for your universal remote control, you can use this website. Other brands of remotes can be searched online to find the appropriate manual or code list. Some companies offer code lists for several remotes, while others provide codes only for a specific model. There are usually several codes you can try. Once you have a list of possible codes, you can enter them manually, one by one, according to the instructions online.

The manual will also show you how to program the remote without the codes as in the original manual. You may even have an online version of the original manual, but variants and updated instructions are often found online.

If we are talking about more expensive universal remotes, they may offer additional programming methods, such as using an audio-wave computer or via USB connection. In addition, some remotes have auto-learning technology. Again, refer to the manual for programming features and details.

Common methods to program a universal remote control

If you want to program your universal remote control, you can try to follow these common methods:

  • Hold down the device button for a few seconds and enter the first code from the list;
  • Hold down the power button until the LED starts blinking and press the device key, then the first code;
  • Hold down the device button until the LED flashes several times, then release the button and enter the first code;
  • Press and hold the power button and device button simultaneously until the LED flashes or stays lit, then release and press the power button repeatedly until the device turns on or turns off, then press the device button (sometimes the stop button) to save the setting;
  • Press and hold the device button until the LED lights up, release the button and continue to press the channel or volume up button repeatedly until the device turns on or off, then press the device button or stop button to save the settings.



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