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Universal Remote Control Consolidation & Programming

You come home from a hard day at work, and all you want to do is relax for a few hours watching television. You try to turn the TV on and nothing happens. Are the batteries dead? Is the remote broken? Or did you grab the wrong remote from the half dozen you have strewn around the living room?

A universal remote control eliminates this annoying inconvenience. By programming a single remote to operate all of your home systems, you can clear away the clutter to make your living room tidier and watching experience simpler. If you’re interested in setting up a universal remote control, contact an electrician near you today!

Table of Contents

  1. Programming A Universal Remote Cost
  2. Possible Issues With Universal Remotes
  3. Advantages Of Universal Remotes
  4. Disadvantages Of Universal Remotes
  5. How To Program A Universal Remote Control
  6. Find A Pro

Programming A Universal Remote Cost

If you wan to program a universal remote yourself, the only cost is your time and effort. If you don't want to spend a long time reading instructions and adding each device to your remote individually, then you may want to hire a professional or ask your electrician to do the job when he or she is installing new devices in your home. Universal remote programming and consolidation services vary in cost depending on your location, how many devices you own, and how long the job takes. Programming a remote could take up to three hours, and costs range from as low as $100 up to $800 or more for larger jobs.

Possible Issues With Universal Remotes

Possible Issues With Universal Remotes

Universal remotes fall into two main categories, and you need to know which type is most suitable for your needs:

  • Multi-Brand: These remotes feature preprogrammed codes for popular devices, making them easier to use; however, they tend to have limited functionality and usually only operate a few devices at the same time.
  • Learning: These remotes are more sophisticated and have the capability to learn the functions of any remote, either via infrared signals or by the user programming the relevant codes. They operate more devices and are usually capable of handling the more complex functions on those devices.

Although multi-brand remotes are relatively easy to set up and use, the expensive, high-end learning remotes are often difficult to program, and the sheer wealth of functions may be baffling to anyone who lacks experience. If you're certain you need a top-of-the-line remote with the most advanced features, then you may need to hire a professional to program it for you.

Advantages Of Universal Remotes

The obvious advantage of a universal remote is that you get to pack away all of the other remotes you own and operate all of your devices from a single controller. If you have gone to great lengths to create an integrated home theater, then it pays to have a single remote to operate all of your linked systems. This is much neater, and is more convenient than constantly searching through a stack of remotes to find the right one each time. Furthermore, with only one remote control, you don't need to keep a stock of different battery types.

As universal remotes don't come bundled with a device, you are free to pick a model that suits your needs. You have the option to choose something simple and cost effective, or something with advanced features. If you like to watch television with the lights dimmed, then there are models with illuminated buttons, and choosing one of the larger remotes makes it less likely that you’ll misplace it.

Advantages Of Universal Remotes

Disadvantages Of Universal Remotes

The biggest disadvantage of universal remotes is "putting all your eggs in one basket." If you break or lose the remote, you also lose command over all the devices it operates. That means, even though you don't intend to use the original manufacturers' remotes, you still need to keep them tucked away in a drawer somewhere just in case.

Another disadvantage is the time it takes to set up your new remote. Manufacturers' remotes work straight out of the box, but universal remotes often involve a considerable amount of time and effort to link them to your devices.

How To Program A Universal Remote Control

In theory, programming a universal remote is relatively straightforward, but it is possible to press buttons out of sequence or incorrectly synchronize your systems. Sadly, it’s not always obvious what you are doing wrong. In some cases, you may need to resort to trial and error to get your home entertainment system and TV operating as intended.

RCA universal remotes are a popular choice as they are relatively easy to program following these simple steps.

  1. Power on the device you want to sync with the remote.
  2. Press the button on the remote corresponding to the device (such as DVD player or TV).
  3. Simultaneously press and hold the "On" button and the button corresponding to the device.
  4. Release both buttons after the illuminated "On" button flashes off and then on again.
  5. Press the "Play" button, and after five seconds, the device should switch off.
  6. Press the "Reverse" button to switch the device back on.
  7. Press the "Stop" button to save the new code to the remote.

Be aware that different brands of universal remotes operate in different ways. For some remotes, it may be necessary to type in a code or use a code search function.

How To Program A Universal Remote Control

Find A Pro

Consolidating all of your devices to operate from a single remote control is an effective way to remove the clutter from your living space while making it quicker and more convenient to operate multiple devices. If you are tech savvy, and have the time and inclination, then it's possible to program the remote yourself; however, hiring a pro is often an easier option that significantly reduces the risk of something going wrong. For an initial outlay, you get the reassurance of a job well done by a professional.

Last updated on Nov 7, 2016

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