How to program a universal remote

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bird on remotes
Have as much use for your multiple remotes as this bird? Program a universal remote instead.
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Exchange a handful of clunky remotes for just one

A universal remote allows you to ditch your multiple remote controls. It can control your television set, DVD player, stereo system, cable or satellite, and other devices that may appear in an entertainment center. With all the buttons and long list of codes, a universal remote may look difficult to program, but the process is actually pretty simple. By following a few quick steps, you can see for yourself how to program a universal remote.


Install Batteries in Your Universal Remote


Before you begin syncing your universal remote with your various devices, you must install batteries in the remote. Consult the packaging or battery panel to determine the size and number of batteries you need.


Enter Codes


How to program a universal remote will depend largely on the quirks of your remote and the code list provided by the manufacturer. Depending on the manufacturer, this process may vary slightly. But you'll always need to turn on the device you want to sync with the universal remote. You may want to start with the television.


Search the code list for the brand of your TV. Hold the TV key on the remote. You may have to keep this key depressed while you enter the number from the code list. With the number pad, enter the first code beside your brand of TV. Something on your remote should indicate acceptance of or a problem with the code. For example, a light at the top may blink, stay lit, or illuminate and go out. If you can find the instructions for your remote, they should explain the sign for code acceptance.


Test the Device


After you have entered a code, try the power button on the universal remote. If you can turn off the TV, your code will work. You should now be able to change channels, adjust the volume, and so forth.


If pressing the button doesn't turn your TV off, you will need to try another code for the appropriate brand of your device. Proceed with entering the second code, in the same way described above, and move down the list until a code operates your TV.


Add Other Devices


Continue in a similar manner until you have programmed your universal remote to operate all the desired electronic devices in your entertainment center. That's it. You've now learned how to program a universal remote.


If You Don't Have the Code List


If you no longer have the code list that came with your universal remote, you can often obtain a list online from the manufacturer of your remote control. Sometimes you can obtain one list for all remotes; other times you may need to select the particular model of your control. You may find several links to code lists or remote control support below:


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