Can a Smart TV Use a Universal Remote?

Hand pressing universal remote pointing to a TV that is powered off.Hand pressing universal remote pointing to a TV that is powered off.

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Smart TVs come with their own smart remotes that are compatible with the device. However, what happens if you lose your smart remote or simply prefer to use a different one, like a universal remote?

A smart TV can use a universal remote, and it can pair with a television just as easily as the original remote that came with it. All users have to do is program their universal remote to their TV for it to be useful.

Universal remotes can offer you the same features, if not more, as the smart remote your TV came with. Continue reading to learn more about universal remotes and pairing them with your smart TV.

Can You Use a Universal Remote with Smart TVs?

A universal remote is a remote that can control one or more types of devices. Universal remotes can connect to your smart TV, or any TV for that matter, and perform functions such as changing the channel, adjusting volume, and toggling between different applications on your smart TV. If you have a more advanced universal remote, you can even control other smart devices in your home.

Why Use a Universal Remote with a Smart TV?

Smart TVs have a variety of different features you can use. They offer streaming services, cable, and more. The fact that smart TVs are capable of providing multiple types of features usually means that you may need multiple remotes—for example, one for audio, one for cable, and another for your streaming services.

Universal remotes can cut down on the need for multiple remotes and provide functions for all aspects of your TV, therefore eliminating the confusion of two or three remotes.

Types of Universal Remotes that Work with Smart TVs

There are various types of universal remotes you can purchase, all with the capability to connect to your smart TV. Depending on what you are looking to control on your TV with your remote, each type of remote offers a different type of functionality.

Here are the different types of universal remotes:

IR-Based Universal Remotes

IR-based remotes are the traditional type of remote. These types of remotes can control your entertainment center (TV) and this only. This is because they do not support Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. IR-based remotes are the least costly among all of the universal remotes.

Note: These remotes are ideal for non-smart TVs, although it is still possible to control the devices with your smartphone if you choose to instead.

Hub-Based Universal Remotes

These types of remotes support Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth and connect to a hub through that. Hub-based remotes usually can control not only your entertainment center (TV) but also other smart devices (lights, thermostats, etc.).

Hub-based universal remotes are pricier compared to basic IR-based remotes.

Hybrid Universal Remotes

Hybrid remotes have a combination of features from both IR and hub-based remotes. These types of remotes work by connecting to a hub or control center and function with both hardware and software.

Programming Your Universal Remote to Your Smart TV

Most universal remotes can be programmed to your Smart TV through direct code entry. Direct code entry is a method of pairing the remote to the TV via entering the code your television identifies with. You can find this code either on a web page or a codes sheet that came with your TV.

Here is how to program your remote via direct code entry:

  1. Turn on your smart TV.
  2. Hold down the correct “device” button on your remote.
  3. After the buttons light up, enter the device’s code on the remote’s number pad while still holding down the “device” button.
  4. If the power button lights up and stays on after this process, it means you have successfully programmed your universal remote to your smart TV.

If your remote does not program after following this process, you may have the wrong code. Go back and make sure you have entered the code correctly. If not, try again with the proper code. Or you can watch our video guide to help you pair your remote:

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