How to Program a Universal Remote

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If your household is starting to be overwhelmed by the number of remotes you have, then it may be time to invest in a universal remote. Nowadays, there are remotes for everything; the TV, the cable box, DVR, DVD player, music players and more. Each of these devices usually comes with its own remote. So it’s pretty easy to get confused about which remote controls what.

That’s why a universal remote can be so handy. A universal remote is, according to PCMag, “[a] handheld remote control that can turn on and operate any unit of equipment in a home theater system.”

Here’s how to program universal remotes from RCA and GE:

RCA Universal Remote

Read the following steps to find out how to program universal remotes from RCA to act as the universal remote for your home entertainment system:

  1. Turn on whatever device you want to program.
  2. Press and release the button on the remote that corresponds with whatever device you’re currently attempting to program (i.e. the TV, the DVD player, etc.). You’ll notice that the ON-OFF button will turn on and stay on as you complete this step.
  3. Press the device button again, this time simultaneously with the ON-OFF button. The ON-OFF button will turn off and then come back on immediately. Release both buttons once the ON-OFF button comes back on. It should stay on once you release the buttons.
  4. Press the PLAY button on the remote. The device you’re programming should respond within five seconds. If it doesn’t respond after five seconds, press the PLAY button every five seconds until the device turns off.
  5. Press and release the REVERSE button once the device turns off to see if it will turn on again.
  6. Press and release STOP to save the new code.

How to program a remote from GE

A GE universal remote works largely the same as an RCA universal remote. To program universal remotes from GE, you can either manually enter the codes or use the code search feature. Here’s how:

How to program a remote by manually enter codes

  1. Remove the battery cover and batteries from the GE universal remote. You’ll find a stick with the model number; note whether it’s version 1 (V1), V2, V3 or V4.
  2. Download the list of codes for your model from the Jasco website. Use the code for the device you’re using.
  3. Turn on the device you’re programming (TV, DVD player, DVR, etc.).
  4. Hold the SETUP button for four seconds until the indicator light illuminates red.
  5. Press the corresponding device button, depending on which device you’re programming currently.
  6. Enter the code. It can be either 3-digits or 4-digits. If you’ve entered the correct code, the indicator light should turn off.
  7. Press the POWER button. If the device turns off, you’ve successfully programmed that device into the remote control.

How to program a remote using the code search feature

  1. Find the version number of your GE universal remote (same instructions as step 1 above).
  2. Turn on the device you want to program into the remote first.
  3. Hold down the SETUP button for four seconds and then press the corresponding device button.
  4. Press the POWER button and wait for the device to turn off. If you have a V2, V3 or V4 remote and are programming a DVD player, press PLAY and wait for device to begin playing.
  5. After two seconds, press the POWER/PLAY button again. The device should turn off. If it doesn’t, repeat until the device turns off. V2, V3 and V4 remotes don’t need for you to continue pressing the button; the remote will automatically send the command every two seconds.
  6. Press the ENTER or OK button on a V1 remote to lock in the code. Press the numeral “1” button within two seconds to lock in a code for a V2, V3 or V4 remote. The indicator light should turn off if you’ve successfully entered the code.