How to Program Your Cable or Satellite Remote to Work With Your TV
The assortment of remote controls cluttering the coffee table is an eyesore at best, and a daunting puzzle of technology at worst. To the one who set the system up, it’s no biggie. They know which button to push - on which remote - to get the desired result. To the significant other or a guest to the home, all of those remotes can be a little scary. They are lucky if they can turn the TV on and change a channel. Those of us in the home theater integration market heavily promote universal remote controls to solve this dilemma. This solution has a cost associated with it. The cost is dependent on the integrator and the system on offer. There is another answer that may not eliminate all of the remotes, but it is 100% free. It is a relatively simple matter to program your cable or satellite remote control supplied by your cable / satellite provider to work with your TV.
You can also program your AV receiver, DVD player or other components, depending on the model of the cable remote control you have.
Comcast and Xfinity
To program a Comcast / Xfinity remote to work with your TV, it is as simple as going to the Xfinity site and going through their set up tutorial. Select the remote that matches the one on your coffee table and then the device you want to control with it. The tutorial will walk you through what button to press and when. Then it will give you the code to enter so that your remote will talk to the TV. If the first code does not work, you may need to try one of the alternate codes given. There is a chart of the most commonly used universal codes at the end of this article. This process is one of the easiest and most intuitive to follow. I give Comcast high marks for this tutorial.
You can also program your AV receiver, DVD player or other components, depending on the model of the cable remote control you have. Please note, the remote will only control the device that it is told to operate. ‘All On’ will turn everything on, and the remote should control the volume of the TV when the volume control is used. To control the DVD player, or other components you will need to push the corresponding button at the top of the remote first.
To program a Direct TV remote to work with your TV, go to the Direct TV website. Select your remote, and follow the instructions given. The instructions guide you to the set up wizard on the Direct TV network. The process is a little clunky but it will eventually give you the results you desire. Direct TV uses the same universal remote control codes as other manufacturers. There is a chart of the most commonly used universal codes at the end of this article.
To program a Dish Remote the process has an extra step or two. First you will need to identify your Dish remote control. There is usually a model # on the back of the remote. If the model number has worn off, you will need to contact Dish Network and ask them to give you the model number of the remote. There are no pictures provided on the Dish website to help you identify your remote, you need the model number.
Programming your cable / satellite remote to also control you TV isn’t difficult, it just takes a little time and effort.
Once you have the model number of the remote, go to the Dish website. Go through the process of selecting your remote, the device you want to program and the manufacturer of that device. The site will then give you a three digit code to use in the next step. You may want to print this screen before proceeding, or open a new window for the next step. Dish Network uses a three digit code that is unique to the Dish Network remotes. This code is different from the five digit, universal codes used by other manufacturers.
Select ‘By Code’ from the menu on the left. Then follow the instructions to enter the code you got from the previous step.
To program a Time Warner remote to work with your TV, go to the Time Warner website. Select the remote that matches the one on your coffee table. Select TV, then the manufacturer of the TV. Now simply follow the instructions given. Depending on the model of the remote, you may also be able to program it to work with your Blu-Ray player or other components.
As with the Dish Network above, Time Warner uses codes that are unique to its remotes. Depending on the remote, the code may have either three or four digits. It is important to make sure the remote model chosen is correct or the code will not work properly. If possible, get the model number from the back of the remote. If this number has worn off, you will have to rely on the pictures given on the website.
Programming your cable / satellite remote to also control your TV isn’t difficult, it just takes a little time and effort. While this solution isn’t as elegant as a universal remote control like the Logitech Harmony, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. And anything that reduces the Spousal Annoyance Factor or makes your guests more comfortable is a very good thing!
Universal remote codes
Below is a list of the most common universal remote codes. The list is broken up by device type, then manufacturer. As noted above, these codes will work with any remote that uses universal codes.
If the manufacturer of your device isn’t listed above, try the link below to find the remote control code you need: http://customer.comcast.com/~/media/840B695801594CB7A74817A4D014F333
About Brian Hill
Brian Hill is a home theater enthusiast who has an extensive background in sales. His interests include music & movies, F1 & NASCAR auto racing, hot rods (he has a '56 Nomad) and hockey — Go Sharks!
Brian Hill's full author bio and article archive...