How to program an RCA universal remote

RCA universal remotes are supposed to make life easier, but before you can reap the benefits of controlling your entire home entertainment setup (television, set-top box, amplifier, and more) from one remote control, you need to set it up. This can be a bit of a challenge.

Fortunately, Digital Trends is here to lend a helping hand. Below, we explain how to program an RCA universal remote using the automatic code search method. Why? Because it’s the fastest and easiest way to pair your remote control with the other hardware in your home theater arsenal.

A step-by-step guide

The first thing you’re going to want to do is make sure your new remote has batteries in it and the components and devices you want to be synced are all hooked up just how you want them. All set? Now, it’s time to link the remote control to the hardware. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Turn on the component or device you want to set up.
  2. Press and release the button that corresponds with the component that you are programming. For example, if you want the remote to control your TV or Blu-ray player, hit and release the TV button or Blu-ray button. The remote’s On/Off button will light up and should remain lit.
  3. Now, simultaneously press and hold the Component button and the On/Off button. The illuminated On/Off button will turn off. After a moment, it should turn back on.
  4. Release both buttons after the On/Off button relights. It should remain on.
  5. Now, press and release the Play button on the remote. If the component that you are programming does not turn off after 5 seconds, continue to hit the play button every 5 seconds until the component turns off.
  6. Next, press and release the Reverse button. Wait to see if the component turns back on, and press it every 3 seconds until it does.
  7. Press and release the Stop button to save the programming for the device in the remote’s memory.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 for each additional device you wish to pair with your remote.

If you don’t press the buttons correctly, you might mess up the syncing process. This is the main reason why it might take some trial and error to get the remote set up. Struggling? Just reboot the hardware, pull the batteries out of the remote, and pop them back in again, then start from step one.

RCA’s remotes are great if you’re looking for something simple and functional, but sometimes you’re looking for something more — something that can act as the total command center for your smart home. If that sounds more your speed, check out our list of the best universal remotes.

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