Remote Control Codes

Universal remote control codes are three-digit numbers that enable a hand-held infrared remote to control home entertainment devices such as televisions, DVD players, cable boxes and VCRs made by a variety of different manufacturers. After a universal remote control is programmed with the remote code appropriate to the device, basic operating functions can be performed via the remote. Although most three-digit remote control codes tend to be specific to a particular remote control manufacturer and will work with no other brand of remote, some remote codes are compatible with a variety of remote controls which are produced by the same manufacturer but sold under different generic brand names.

Remote control codes may be stored in the remote utilizing a procedure which varies per manufacturer and must be performed according to the specific manufacturer’s instructions. However, certain programming features tend to be standard across many brands. For example, most remotes provide a choice of input modes for the three-digit remote control code.

The remote code may be programmed by Direct Entry method, in which a known code specific to the particular manufacturer of both the remote control and the device you wish to control is entered on the keyboard of the remote. This is the fastest method of configuring a remote to operate a particular device but is dependent upon the user knowing the correct remote control code for the device. Over time, remote codes compatible with particular devices may be discarded or misplaced, particularly when the devices are not used regularly.

In the event the correct remote control code has been lost, many remotes offer a Code Search mode which causes the remote to scan through hundreds of three-digit remote code combinations stored in its database until the correct code to configure the device is identified. The remote code may then be noted and recorded for future reference. Another factor in properly utilizing three-digit remote control codes is the age of the device you’re attempting to control. As manufacturers release new generations of devices such as televisions or DVD players, the correct remote code required to operate the device may not exist in the database programmed into an older remote control.

Therefore, the Code Search method may not produce a correct match to the device and only the Direct Entry mode will properly configure the remote. In addition, some new devices may rely on new infrared formats which are entirely different from those produced by an older remote control. The existing remote control cannot be configured to operate the new device, no matter what remote code is programmed into it. In these instances, the existing remote control should be replaced by an upgraded universal model. Before purchase, consumers should first verify that the new universal remote will produce infrared formats which are compatible with both older and newer models of devices.

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