Published On: October 9, 2013

Universal Remote

Published On: October 9, 2013
Last Updated on: March 9, 2022
We May Earn From Purchases Via Links

Universal Remote

Universal remotes make life much easier as they allow you to consolidate your many component remotes into one remote to control everything. But which kind of remote should you choose

Universal Remote

By Author: Home Theater Review
The staff at is comprised of experts who are dedicated to helping you make better informed buying decisions.


Universal remotes are pre-programmed or programmable remote controls that will control all the gear in your system. They come in two main flavors:

IR Remote Control
Most consumer mainstream electronics components come with IR (infrared) wireless remote control access. This system, while affordable, is the least reliable out there. It requires the consumer to have a direct shot from the remote to the component in order to execute a successful command. RF doesn't need this and RS-232 is hard-wired.

It is common for IR systems to use remote repeater systems that have an "eye" that sees the incoming command and distributes that command to the system accordingly. These repeater systems tend to be quite fragile, with flimsy wires and repeater eye stickers that don't effectively stick to the section of the components.

RF Remote Control
"RF" remote control of audio and video components refers to radio frequency. It is a superior way to control an AV component wirelessly over IR (infrared). The main reason this is an advantage is that it eliminates the need to have a straight line between the remote and the component receiving its commands. You can have a Blu-ray player around a corner and an RF remote will successfully speak to it, where an IR (without some sort of repeater system) will not.

Notable universal remote control companies include URC, Philips, and Logitech (Harmony).

Read reviews for the Harmony One Universal Remote and the Harmony 890 Universal Remote.

Subscribe To Home Theater Review

Get the latest weekly home theater news, sweepstakes and special offers delivered right to your inbox
Email Subscribe
© JRW Publishing Company, 2023
As an Amazon Associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Share to...