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Replacement Remote Controls

Updated on January 9, 2011
Almost everything we use these days has a remote control.  Our televisions, stereos, DVD players and cable boxes, our video cameras and computers, our cars and garage door openers have remotes, you can even get remotes to control your house. Some devices have a few specific uses for a single device, like our car remotes, others have multiple functions and can control more than one device, like our television remotes.  With the rise of remote control devices there has also been a need for  replacement remote controls when something goes wrong or gets lost.  You might even want to consolidate remotes for audio/video devices just so you don’t have so many lying around.  Every DVD/TV/Cable box/Stereo comes with a remote, and that’s 4 remotes right there.  It’s nice to have control on one device (unless you loose it after you’ve spent an hour programming it).   You might want to get a media remote that controls all your devices, and has learning capabilities.  Some of the more expensive media center remotes have an LCD screen that helps with programming, and shows you what functions you’ve selected, and allow macros, basically the ability to consolidate multiple button pushes into one.

Media Center Remote Control

If you’re looking for a media center remote control replacement, you may already have one.  Many cable box remote controls will function as universal remotes.  A universal remote is one that will control many devices, regardless of manufacturer.  I have Verizon Fios, and previously had Brighthouse Cable, and both remotes would control the TV and DVD player that we had.  If you lose or break a cable box remote, check the remote that came with your TV, it may have functions that will control your cable box.  If not you can get a replacement remote from your cable company, or if they want to charge you too much you can get a replacement for any cable or satellite company’s remote, usually for under $10.

Universal Remote Control

If you want to consolidate remotes there’s plenty out there from the Logitech Harmony line of remote controls which range in price from $37 to $400(!) or you can get a 4 device universal remote from your local big box store for under $10. That will probably be the option the average person will use, if you have a home theater than the Logitech remote control will probably be more to your liking.   They're not the only line of PC programmable remote controls, but they're probably the most popular, and have the largest offering.

If you have a Samsung, there’s a Samsung Remote Control called RMC302C that will control your Samsung devices, but not others, it’s more like the Logitech and a little pricey. Check out their line of universal remotes, that are in the $20 range instead for one that will control everything else. You can get a Toshiba remote control for your media system with an LCD screen and learning function, you can also get a cheaper universal, again in the $20 range.

If you’re looking for a Panasonic remote control, they have replacements for specific devices, and they have the ubiquitous $20 universal remote but they don’t have the high end media center remote control that some of the other makers do. The phone maker LG also has a line of basic universals, but you can’t get a super duper media LG remote control either.

Keyless Remote

If you’re looking for a remote for your car there’s a few ways you can go. There are universal remotes that will start your car, if that’s what you’re looking for. You can also find alarm system remotes that will work with specific alarm systems. More than likely, you’re looking for the remote that unlocks your car. In that case you can go to the dealer (expensive) or get one from the internet (not as expensive). Most of the keyless entry remotes will run around $20, and can be gotten from several places including Amazon. You’ll need to know your model and year, they will come with programming instructions.

Garage door openers also have aftermarket replacements, you can get them from the company that made your opener, or there are universal versions, that will work with many different brands, they work much like universal remotes for televisions in that you use a code to program for your specific garage door opener or the remote can “learn” the code like a TV remote. If you do get one of these make sure it will work with your brand, even if it does say universal remote.

Remote Control Switch

If you’re looking for a remote control switch, you’ve got plenty of options. Remember the Clapper? It’s a remote control switch, and it’s still around actually. There are much better options today. The easiest to use is a small module that you plug into your wall, then you plug your device into that. They’re cheap and relatively unobtrusive, and the remote will work through walls with a 100 foot range for most. The next option is a hardwired switch or receptacle. You remove your light switch or receptacle and replace it with the remote control version. They work basically the same way as the plug in module, but they look like a regular switch. They can also be controlled as part of a home automation system.

Hopefully this quick overview will give you some idea as to what is out there for replacement remote controls. Each type could fill up a Hub by itself, so this is by no means exhaustive. Lucky for us most every thing electronic these days isn’t proprietary, if someone makes it, there’s someone that makes a copy. So here’s to never having to get out of our chair to turn anything off!


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