Consumers desire control.
It is a natural urge.
They want to command the processes around them in order to maximize their convenience and minimize their effort. Technology helps make this dream a reality. Where before people had to strive to manage their home entertainment units, now they can simply pull the strings in one shot with the help of a ‘universal remote control’.
This slick gadget collects the functions of multiple devices such as a TV set, a DVD player, or a gaming console and places them right in the user’s hand. It is an all-in-one control solution. Therein lies its appeal.
However, such an advanced mechanism has an equally complex structure. Meaning, since it controls almost everything, a universal TV remote has an extra set of buttons and operations, which are not easy to understand for an average consumer.
This is where the present post becomes relevant. It promises to take you through the general meaning of a universal remote control and down to the specifics of how to program an RCA universal remote on your own. Keep reading and follow the step-wise instructions to power up your RCA remote like a pro.
Universal TV Remotes: A Quick Walkthrough
Nearly every home entertainment product comes with a dedicated remote control. More often than not, such a remote handles the programming of that one device only. There are, however, certain TV remotes in the market, which let you control more than one device within the same brand. For instance, if you have an LG TV and an LG Blu-ray disc player, you can operate them both from the same remote. But, this is not enough for consumers.
They wish to go beyond the same-brand control and maneuver multiple devices across different brands using one magical tool. That is why they crave for a universal TV remote.
What is a universal remote control or URC? The word ‘universal’ implies ‘applicable to all’. So, a universal remote is a single mechanism, which connects with and controls numerous home entertainment devices in the vicinity. It removes the need for having separate remotes for individual appliances. Some universal remotes have buttons, while others have a touchscreen interface.
You can control a TV, VCR, gaming console, MP4 docking station, Soundbar, air conditioner, CD/DVD/Blue-ray disc player, media streamer, cable/satellite box, and home theatre receiver from a universal remote.
What sort of tasks can you perform with a universal TV remote? There are simple command types, like changing the channels, adjusting volume, choosing inputs, altering the sound & picture quality of a display, and exploring the playback features. Then, there complex command types, such as turning the TV on, selecting the home theatre input, switching the home theatre receiver on, choosing the source, starting the playback, adjusting the room lights and the thermostat – all from the push of a single button.
Remote Programming Options
How does a universal remote acquire the ability to control a device? Most of the URCs have a built-in programming system, which allows them to recognize the products that the user wants to connect and control. It comes in four shapes:
- A remote could be ‘pre-programmed’, i.e. already wired to operate a limited range of devices from select brands without the need for further programming.
- A remote could ‘learn’ the commands of devices by facing towards their dedicated remotes and programming them individually.
- A remote could be ‘programmed with a special code’ of respective brands by manual entry.
- Finally, a remote could ‘auto-scan’ the programming of chosen products without the need for inputting codes.
How does a universal remote connect with a target device and communicate the commands? Again, there are four ways:
- Via IR – A majority of the universal remotes send commands to the devices in question via infrared light pulses. Products such as soundbars or home theatre receivers have built-in sensors to catch the information sent over IR, given that there is a clear line-of-sight between the remote and the device.
- Via Radio Frequency – Some universal remotes have RF technology, which enables them to relay commands to even those devices that are locked inside cabinets. The only requirement here is that the products should have an RF receiver, otherwise this channel won’t work so well.
- Via Bluetooth – A universal remote control could transfer the commands over the Bluetooth signals as well. This channel is mostly seen used with gaming consoles or Roku streaming devices.
- Via Wi-Fi – If a universal remote control has a built-in Wi-Fi functionality, then it could communicate with not just the entertainment devices but also with the smart home devices over the home network. Provided that the network is strong enough and has interference-free stability such as the one offered by Spectrum internet.
Advantages & Disadvantages
What are the pros and cons of having a universal remote control? Let’s check them out:
|Convenient access to multiple devices||Overwhelming interface|
|No remote clutter|
|Cost-effective||Difficult to set up without guidance|
|Comes with an instruction manual||Risk of physical damage & loss of control|
|Gives Smart TV control|
|One-time learning curve|
On the Whole…
A universal remote control makes human life easier. It gives you the ability to operate more than one home entertainment products and other gear from a single, stress-free standpoint. It comes with different programming options, communication channels, and command types, depending on the manufacturer. The fact remains that it is a handy gadget, which you definitely try once in a lifetime.
Introducing RCA – The Best of URC Brands
RCA or Radio Corporation of America has been around for a hundred years or so. Throughout the years, this iconic brand has made huge waves in the technological arena with its next-level products. It has fostered a reputation among the masses based on quality and reliability of service, which is why we have chosen its universal remote control as the central point of this post. Before we can move on to the features, a brief historical journey of the brand might shed more light on its importance.
12 Interesting Facts About RCA’s Journey of Innovation
- RCA originated in 1919 as a radio communications subsidiary of a high-powered alternator, American Marconi.
- In 1926, RCA expanded its radio broadcasting stations by acquiring AT&T’s assets, and in part, laid the foundation for NBC.
- In 1939, RCA broke the bounds by displaying an all-electronic black and white television set at the New York World’s Fair of that time.
- In 1954, it produced the first consumer color TVs in all of America.
- In 1958, SCORE – RCA’s first satellite – launched successfully into space and became the world’s first communication satellite.
- In 1964, this company fed the high-res camera technology into lunar probes that captured images of the moon.
- In 1972, RCA demonstrated the first-ever color video recording on its SelectVision Video Cassette Recorder, paving the way for its VideoDisc player.
- In 1996, RCA offered consumers the first widescreen TV relaying HD quality picture without the need of a set-top receiver.
- In 1998, the company joined hands with DirecTV by issuing the first successful satellite transmission of an HDTV program, while distributing DCT100 digital receivers by August of the same year.
- In 2013, RCA debuted the industry’s first tablet with a Mobile TV Tuner and other LED products.
- In 2014, it launched its branded android smartphones and ‘Roku-Ready’ Full HD LED Smart TVs with complete functionalities.
- In 2019, RCA completed its 100 years of history, being an iconic distributor of flat-screen TVs, 4K technology, home appliances, and other essential products, and staying in tune with its goal of inspired innovation.
Features of an RCA Universal Remote
Now that you’ve gone through the history of RCA, you can see why it’s the best choice there is for a universal remote. If you have purchased a remote from RCA already or are looking to buy, then knowing about the features and functions of the remote might help further clarify its utility. Here are some of the most important keys on an average RCA remote:
- ON•OFF: Powers up the remote.
- TV, SAT•CBL•DTC, DVD, VCR•AUX: Controls individual devices or components. Sets the mode.
- CH and VOL: Serve three functions, i.e. changing the channels/adjusting the volume, navigating through menu systems, and skipping forward/skipping back on DVR or DVR players.
- MUTE: Kills the volume.
- CLEAR: Exits remote programming and returns you to TV viewing.
- GO BACK: Takes you back to the previous channel or menu screen.
- INPUT and —: Serve three functions, i.e. switching between all video sources connected to the TV, separating the main channel number from sub-channel number, and toggling the inputs while in VCR mode.
- LIGHT: Helps you see the remote control better in the dark by illuminating the background. It stays on as long as you keep pressing keys.
- SKIP: Scans TV channels when you press it twice, and selects the current channel when you press it once. In DVD mode, it advances the content to a specific location on the DVD.
- MENU: Accesses the menus of your connected devices
- GUIDE: Opens the on-screen guides of your connected devices.
- INFO: Displays information about the device you are controlling.
- CODE SEARCH: Enables the remote to find, read and store the codes of target devices for remote access.
- OK: Selects a highlighted item.
These are the generic features, which you will find on any top-shelf RCA universal remote. Recognize them and know their functionality to prepare yourself better for the actual programming phase, which is coming up next.
How to Program an RCA Universal Remote?
Unless you have a TV provider like Cox Cable which offers a Voice Remote with multi-tasking capability alongside its plans, your best bet is to invest in a universal remote control from RCA. Why? Because with such a holistic tool, you can operate up to eight devices at once without having to store separate remote controls in drawers. But before you can get a taste of the state-of-the-art management technology, you need to set it up. Programming an RCA universal remote might sound like rocket science, but in reality, it is as simple as pie if only you have a knack for following instructions properly.
What You Need Beforehand
In order to program RCA universal remote, you need to have these items by your side:
- Brand new batteries that are compatible with the remote’s system.
- Notepad for saving information.
- List of RCA universal remote programming codes, which comes with the user manual and is available on RCA Code Finder as well.
- Lots of patience!
Top Remote Programming Practices
Here are two tried-and-tested ways you can program your universal remote control from RCA to control the home entertainment devices in your living room.
How to Program with ‘Manual Code Search’?
This method is fast and relies on Direct Code Entry, but requires the most effort on your part since you have to manually look up each brand’s code and enter that while programming the remote. In case you decide to utilize this method while setting up, be sure to consider the following instructions.
Manual Mode 1.1: For an RCA Remote without a Code Search Button
Image Caption: Model: RCR313BE
- Open the RCA Remote Code Finder, choose the type, brand, and model of the device you want to control from the drop-down menu, and note the code number that comes up in the result. Or, if you have an RCA universal remote manual, you can find your code entry in there.
- Power up the component manually by switching it on.
- Point your RCA universal remote at the respective component or device. Make sure to create a direct line-of-sight for the best results.
- Press and hold down the corresponding device key on the remote. For TV or SAT•CBL•STREAM, the command should work in one go. However, for DVD•VCR, you have to signify which equipment you’d like to power up. If it is a VCR, press 2 on the keypad while holding down the component key. If it is a DVD player, press 3. Once the remote recognizes the device, the POWER light will illuminate.
- While holding the component key, enter the code for the device, which you looked up from the Remote Code Finder. Keep pressing the device button, even if the POWER light goes off.
- If the POWER light turns back on and stays that way, it means you’ve successfully programmed the remote in regard to the device.
- If the POWER light blinks three to four times and then goes off, it means that you may have entered the wrong code. While holding the device key, try another combination until you achieve the status of step 6.
- Test the remote by trying out other functions, besides on and off. A code that allows you to control multiple processes on the selected device will be the right one. If you still have difficulty programming the remote with this method, try other ways.
Manual Mode 1.2: For an RCA Remote with a Code Search Button
Image Caption: Model: RCU300TZ
- Locate the device code for the equipment you wish to control remotely. You can find it in the user’s RCA code support manual or by running an “RCA universal remote code search” online in the Finder tool, which is mentioned above.
- Manually turn on the equipment and point the remote at the device.
- Press and hold down the CODE SEARCH button.
- While keeping that in position, press the device key for the component you’re trying to pair. If it is a flat-screen, press TV. If it is an audio device, press AUX. The POWER light on the remote will blink once and then remain on.
- Without releasing the keys, enter the code for the device that you looked up before.
- If the POWER light turns off, it means that your programming has worked, and the device has received the command. If not, then you should try other codes until you find the right one.
- Test the remote by experimenting with other functions.
How to Program with ‘Auto Code Search’?
This method is relatively slow but it lets the remote do all the hard work. In other words, you don’t have to do a manual code search here. If Auto Code Search sounds better to you, then use the following instructions to program your remote.
Auto Mode 2.1: For an RCA Remote without a Code Search Button
Image Caption: Model: RCR313BE
- Switch on the device which you want to pair with your remote. Remember that you will only be able to maneuver those components that support programming control from an RCA universal remote.
- 2. Point the remote towards your chosen device, and keep it in this position throughout the process.
- Press and hold down the device key for the respective equipment until the POWER light turns on. Then, release it.
- After that, jointly press and hold down the POWER keys on your universal remote and your device until the light turns off and then on again. This means that the pairing is done.
- Press the PLAY or SLOW key on the remote. Now, your RCA remote will run a code every three seconds automatically from an internal list until the right one is found.
- If the device doesn’t turn off, it means that your remote couldn’t find the right code. Press PLAY or SLOW again to allow the remote to run the next batch of codes through the Auto-Search. Keep on pressing it after every five seconds until the device goes off.
- Once the device turns off and your remote get the code right, press REVERSE or SKIP BACK to lock in on the code. This action should turn the device back on again.
- Save the correct code by pressing STOP or OK key. Your remote programming is complete.
Auto Mode 2.2: For an RCA Remote with a Code Search Button
Image Caption: Model: RCU300TZ
- Power on the target device.
- Point the remote in its direction and keep it that way.
- Press and hold down the CODE SEARCH button, which you can find at the top of the remote. Once the POWER light ignites, let it go.
- Locate the equipment key on the remote and press it until the light blinks once. After this, you can release it. The POWER light should remain steady, signifying that a stable connection has been created.
- Press and release the POWER key on the remote. This step will instigate an Auto Code Search in the internal code lists, and it could take a while, so be patient.
- If the device turns off, it means that your remote got the right code.
- Press ENTER or OK to lock the code and save it for future use.
- If the device remains on, press and release the POWER key every five seconds until the remote find the correct code.
- If the light on the remote blinks four times and then turns off, it means that the remote ran all the possible code searches, and is not compatible with your device. In this case, you can try another method or try a different model.
- Make sure to test the remote by turning the device on and off again.
Frequency Asked Questions
Where can I get an RCA universal remote control?
Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart host the latest varieties of RCA universal remotes, and under $25 only! You can place your order online and expect the fastest delivery by getting an equally fast connection from the best internet providers in your area.
Are DirecTV remotes universal and better than RCA?
Some DirecTV remote models do have universal control capabilities, allowing you to access up to 4 home entertainment units, unlike RCA which powers up to 8. There are guides to help you set up and program DirecTV remote, pretty much like this one.
Will RCA universal remote work with Xfinity?
Yes. You can link and control your Comcast cable box with an RCA remote. Although Xfinity TV plans come with their own Voice Activated remote having a touchscreen interface, you can set it aside for an all-in-one control.
How do I find my Samsung TV remote codes with RCA?
You can find RCA universal remote codes for Samsung TV in any of these three ways:
- While programming your Samsung TV, try the Auto Code Search method with your RCA universal remote. Let the remote search through batches of codes until it finds the right one for your Samsung TV. Press STOP or OK to save it.
- You can head to this site to find your Samsung TV codes: DirecTutor
- Open the RCA Remote Code Finder tool online, enter your remote’s revision number, your TV’s brand name and the product type to instantly generate the correct codes.
The Final Word
A universal remote control is a wonderful feat of technology that brings nothing but convenience in the house, as this post already shows you. RCA is a well-reputed company and its brand of universal remotes is definitely worth trying. Setting up and pairing the remote control may look challenging if you’ve never done it before, but with the help of this guide, you can achieve this milestone in a short time. Give the Manual Search or Auto-Search methods a shot while practicing patience and you’ll thank us for it.