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How to program an RCA universal remote

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Keeping tabs on all of your device remotes can be a nightmare, especially if your media room is outfitted with a ton of audio-video gear. We can also bet that you’ve dealt with the mighty hassle of trying to replace a lost or dog-chewed TV or component remote once or twice in your life. Not fun, is it? If we’ve hit a nerve, it sounds like a universal remote would be a good bet for you and yours.

Fortunately, there’s an inexpensive way to consolidate your controller count (and/or replace a dearly departed TV remote), thanks to the folks at RCA. The brand produces a line of universal remotes that are simple to operate, reasonably priced, and a relative breeze to program. For the latter, we’re here to lend an extra helping hand in the process. Here’s a guide on how to program an RCA universal remote.

A step-by-step guide

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to make sure your new remote has batteries in it and the components and devices you want to sync are properly hooked up. All set? Now, it’s time to link your remote control to the hardware. There’s more than one way to do that, and we’ve covered each method below.

Auto programming

  1. Turn on the component or device you want to set up.
  2. Press and release the button that corresponds with the component you are programming. If you want the remote to control your TV or Blu-ray player, for example, press 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, however, 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 your remote. If the component that you are programming does not turn off after five seconds, continue to hit the play button every five 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 three seconds until it does.
  7. Press and release the Stop button to save the programming for the device in your 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 it might take some trial and error to get the remote set up. If you need to start over for any reason, however, simply reboot the hardware, pull the batteries out of your remote, and pop them back in again.

Direct code programming

Inputting auto codes automatically is the quickest way to start syncing your equipment with your new remote, but your RCA also comes with a codebook that you can use to manually input codes for many different devices. If you misplace or accidentally chuck the booklet, no worries. You can find all the same codes right here.

In the following example, we’ll take a look at how to program an existing TV to your new remote. Grab your RCA and let’s get started.

  1. Flip to the TV section of the codebook, locate your TV brand, and circle all the available codes.
  2. Press and hold the TV button on your remote until the power button illuminates.
  3. Keep holding the TV button as you begin entering the first circled code. (Codes will be four to five digits long, depending on the remote model).
  4. Once entered, keep holding the TV button. If the Power button remains lit, you’ve entered the code correctly. Release the TV button and begin testing device commands. Commands like PowerMenu,  and Volume Up/Down should now control your TV.
  5. If the Power button blinks four times, the code you entered was incorrect. Repeat steps 2-4 for the next available code in the booklet.

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