If you have an Apple TV, you may find yourself opting to use a universal remote rather than the one included with the device. The reason? Well, there are a few possibilities.
The most obvious reason is that you do not like the Siri remote. It is a far cry from the traditional remote control, and its small size can make it difficult for some people to hold and operate.
Another reason to use a universal remote is to consolidate remotes. Your living room technology may all come with their own remote controllers, and it simply becomes way too much to keep track of. Therefore, having a universal remote that can control everything, including the Apple TV, will make things easier.
What is a Universal Remote?
A universal remote is a tool that controls multiple devices, regardless of their brands. Having written that, universal remotes are not guaranteed to work with all types of devices.
Universal Remote for Apple TV
Universal remotes with infrared (IR) controls are mostly compatible with Apple TV, though you won’t get touchpad features or voice recognition with IR remotes. Before purchasing one, ask the seller if the controller will work with the device. If necessary, mention which Apple TV model you have to be completely sure. Logitech Harmony is one of the most well-known universal remotes compatible with Apple TV. Look for other makes and models of universal remotes that offer similar quality and compatibility.
Using the Remote with Apple TV
Once you have the appropriate remote, the next thing you need to do is the initial set up. First things first, read the remote’s manual instructions. Unfortunately, there’s no all-in-one, step-by-step guide that will work with every remote control. Different brands require different setups.
However, the method by which you pair the remote with your Apple TV is pretty much the same, regardless of which remote you have. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what you need to do.
Pairing Your Remote
- From the home screen of the TV, select Settings, and open Remotes & Devices.
- Make sure that the remote is on before proceeding. If it is, pick Learn Remote. You may encounter a problem where the TV failed to detect the remote. Should it happens, restart the remote or check if you are already connected to a different device.
- Once the remote is detected, select Start.
The remote is now connected to the TV.
Configuring the Remote
The next thing we need to do is to program the remote so you can use it comfortably. The TV will calibrate and configure the remote. This way it will recognize the command you input through the new remote.
- Press and hold the button you want to use as the Up button. Keep pressing until the progress bar is full.
- Next, the TV will need you to press and hold the button you want to use as the Down button. The process is identical to the previous step. You’ll need to do this for other buttons. Here’s the typical order: Up, Down, Left, Right, Select, and Menu.
- Once the calibration is done, you need to enter the name for the remote. Pick one that lets you identify it easily.
- Afterward, select Set up Playback button. You will now calibrate how to control the playback of media. Simply follow through the calibration steps just like before. Here’s the order: Play, Pause, Stop, Rewind, Fast Forward, Previous Track, Next Track, Skip Backward and Skip Forward button.
- After everything is set up nicely, tap OK.
Now, you are ready to use the universal remote for your Apple TV. Keep in mind that you can change the button mapping anytime should you be unsatisfied with the current one.
Frequently Occurring Problems and Their Solutions
When using the remote control, you might experience some common issues. In this case, there are simple solutions you can try in order to address them.
No Signal Received
This message may appear while you attempt to register the new remote. This usually happens when the TV couldn’t detect the infrared signal coming from the remote. Double-check to see if any object is obstructing the line of sight between the TV and remote.
The remote may not be properly programmed. Reread the remote manual.
Button Already Learned
When you try to remap a previously assigned button, this particular message may show up. Normally, there are two possible causes.
- An old remote happens to have a button that is using the same IR code as the button from the new remote. This can be fixed by unpairing the old remote from the Apple TV.
- There’s already a button for the same functionality you are trying to map. In this case, remapping it to another button will do.
A universal remote can be a perfect solution for those not wanting to use the traditional Apple TV remote. Be sure to purchase a remote guaranteed to work with your model of Apple TV and follow the setup directions. You’ll be using your remote in no time!