Tv remote control
Last updated: 03/23/2020

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The remote control has been an essential part of our lives for several decades. These days that are not only used for channel surfing, but also for browsing media streaming platforms. If you lose the remote for your TV, or the one that comes standard is not great, you will need to buy a new one.

These days you can find many cheap or high-end remote controls that are also compatible with gaming consoles or computers. A universal remote is a useful way to fully control all your devices, using a single control.

Key Facts

  • These days remote controls are very affordable, with quality models available for under $10. Just make sure to buy one that is made of durable plastic, so it will withstand constant use.
  • There are specific remote controls for devices such as the PS4, which allow you to use seamlessly use applications such as Netflix or HBO. Others are designed for use with a Smart TV, and can incorporate mouse function (Air Mouse) or the possibility of also being use as a computer keyboard.
  • The remote control you choose should be easy to use, and be practical for the way in which you plan to use it. An important factor to consider is the range of the remote, and if it offers any extra functions.

Our Selection: The Best Remote Controls on the U.S. Market

Due to the wide-range of remote controls currently available on the market, choosing the option that is best for you is no easy task. In this section we feature the four best remotes controls, in four different categories. We hope this will give you an insight into the different types of remotes, and the range of features they offer. All these products are top sellers, with fantastic reviews and offer great value for money.

Best Remote for Using With a PC

If you want a remote for using with your laptop or desktop PC, and just about any other device you can think of, take a look at this great product. It has Air Mouse, which converts your movement of the remote in the air, to accurately control the mouse cursor on the screen, and also a keyboard for fast typing. It has a cool design, with the option of seven different color settings for the backlight.

Best Button Layout for Multiple Devices

This is the best remote, if you don’t need need to connect it to a computer. It has a very simple button layout, that is similar to more traditional TV remotes. Available in two models allowing the ability to control either four or six devices, it can replace all the remotes in your home into a single unit. It has wide compatibility, and works with the majority of devices from leading manufacturers.

Best Remote for Samsung Smart TVs

If you simply want a remote to use with your Samsung Smart TV, this is the best option for you. This remote is very affordable, as it does not offer compatibility with any other devices, apart from Samsung Smart TVs. It is very lightweight and ergonomic in design. Not setup is required, simply insert the AAA batteries and you are ready to go!

This is most popular universal remote on our list. It has a compact design, and is very simple to use. It can only control up to three devices, and is perfect for anyone who doesn’t need extra features, and doesn’t want something overly complicated. It offers great value for money, and is the cheapest option on our list. It features easy-to-use keys with a multi-colored keypad.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Remote Controls

As you have surely realized by now, the latest remote controls are much more complex than than those of yesteryear. They have varying degrees of compatibility, because today there are so many devices that can be operated using a remote control. So that you can make an informed choice, it’s important to have a solid understanding of how these devices work and the functions they offer. To help you find out everything you need to know, in this section we answer the most frequently asked questions about these gadgets.

Girl watching tv covered with a blanket

Remote controls are used for both televisions and computers.
(Source: Antonio Guillem: 72001794/ 123rf.com)

What are remote controls?

As we all know, technology has made huge advances over the last couple of decades. One of the devices that has seen a big evolution during this time is the remote control. Nowadays they are used not only to operate your TV remotely, but also other devices, such as computers, gaming consoles and Blu-ray and DVD players. They also allow you to navigate popular streaming applications like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, in a much more fluid and intuitive way.

These days there are quality remote controls available on the market at very affordable prices. For a small outlay, you can get a device that will allow you to use all the features of your different gadgets from a single control.

What are the advantages of a remote control?

Not only do remote controls offer many advantages, they are an essential part of life. This becomes painfully obvious if you ever misplace your remote, and are not able to use your TV. The only issue with these devices is that they can sometimes be a little complicated and difficult for some people to use:

Advantages
  • Allows you to use your devices freely
  • Ease of use
  • Low amount of energy consumption
  • Long battery life
  • Highly compatible
  • Ergonomic and simple designs
  • Uses common AAA batteries
Disadvantages
  • Some models can be complicated to use

Can a remote control be used with a computer?

These days remote controls can be used to operate a computer, however not all universal models will allow this function. If this is a feature you are looking for, be sure to check the product specifications. The connection is usually made by connecting the remote control to your computer using a USB port. Simply plug the USB receiver into an empty port on your computer and configure the remote. Most devices will begin working automatically, however it is possible that you may need to download drivers from the manufacture’s website.

In case you are still unsure about how to connect your remote control to your desktop or laptop, here we explain the process step-by-step:

  • First insert the USB receiver into an empty USB port of your computer. The USB receiver will be included with the device.
  • When the connection has been made, a pop-up window will appear with precise instructions in case you need to take any further steps to begin using your remote.
  • In some cases you may be required to download specific drivers from the manufacturer’s website. If this is the case follow the instruction in the pop-up window, or visit the website of the manufacturer of your remote control.
  • Some models will allow you to configure individual buttons and customize other functions of the remote control – although this is not always the case. Now simply complete the installation process, and you will be ready to enjoy using your new remote control with your desktop or laptop computer.

If connectivity to your computer is an important feature for you, make sure the remote control you purchase is compatible with your computer and has the functions you need. For example, you may want a device with Air Mouse technology, or that can be used as a keyboard. Remote controls can be designed for use with specific devices, so make sure you find a model that is compatible with your computer and gadgets.

Asian Man Watches TV Changes Channel Holding Remote Control

Remote controls are very easy to use.
(Source: Diego Vito Cervo: 42016245/ 123rf.com)

Can the buttons of a remote control be customized?

As we mentioned previously, many of the latest models of remote controls can be customized. They allow you to to configure the buttons in anyway you desire, and also make hotkeys for your favorite functions. Customizing your remote control allows you to get the most out of your TV, computer and other devices.

While some models are shipped with their functions pre-programmed, universal remotes can be used with multiple devices and configured according to how you plan to use it. For example, if you like watching movies, simply assign a button as a hotkey that performs this function with a single click.

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“Technology makes more technology possible”.

How is a universal remote control configured?

If you have purchased a universal One For All remote control, the first thing you need to before you begin using it is to turn on your TV manually. Next press the «TV» key of the remote control, and then press and hold the «Magic» key until the red light begins flashing.

At this stage of the process you’re nearly there. Now you just need to enter the code 991 and press the on and off key. Finally, direct the remote control to your TV and press and hold the «CH +» key until it turns off. Release the «CH +» button, press the «Magic» key again and it’s all done. Now you are ready to start using your One For All remote control!

Shopping Criteria

The wide-range of different types of remote controls currently available on the market, means that there is definitely something for everyone. However, it can also make the decision process a little complicated. It is important to keep several factors in mind when making your purchase, so that you can be sure you are getting the best option to suit your needs. Here are the most important criteria to consider when making your purchase.

Ease of Use

This aspect depends less on the design of the product itself, but on the ability of the user to handle new technologies. If you are simply looking for a remote to use with your TV, you don’t need to buy a model with lots of additional features. That being said, some remotes are easier to configure than others, and some have a layout that is more user friendly. Look for a remote that is easy to use, has an ergonomic design and provides the features you need.

Young family watching TV at home

Most remote controls are made of plastic.
(Source: Andriy Popov: 56143005/ 123rf.com)

Range

There is nothing more annoying than a remote that will only work when you are very close to the TV, or any other device you are trying to control. Equally one that must be pointed directly at the receiver can also be a source of frustration. The average range of remote control is over 20 feet. This may be more than enough for most people, but the greater the range of your remote control, the more freedom and manageability it will offer you.

Extra Functions

Not all remote controls on the market offer all of the same functions, even if they are compatible with the same devices. One of the best extra features is the Air Mouse option, which works similar to a computer mouse, but on your Smart TV. Other remotes have buttons for shortcuts to various streaming applications like Netflix. If you have a look at the products reviewed in our ranking section, it will give you a good idea of the range of different functions offered by the latest remotes.

Materials Used in Manufacturing

Virtually all remote controls are made of plastic. However, some are made using much higher quality plastic in the manufacturing process. As you are likely to use your remote daily, it is very important that you make sure that the product you are going to buy is made of durable materials. This is especially true if you live with children or have pets in your home.

The buttons are also an important factor to consider, they can have a softer or stiffer response depending on the model. Although this may make a remote more or less comfortable to use, it will not effect the actual response sensitivity – which depends solely on the internal circuits. This means you only need to think about how comfortable a remote is to use, and if you like the button layout. Buttons made from rubber will tend to last longer than plastic buttons.

close up of man with tv remote control at home

Most remote controls have an ergonomic design.
(Source: Dolgachov: 59328387/ 123rf.com)

Number of Devices

Some of the best universal remote controls are designed to be used with a single device, usually a TV. Others models allow you to control two or even more devices, such as gaming consoles, computers, and DVD and Blu-Ray players. If you are looking to reduce the number of remotes in your home, the wider the compatibility of the model you purchase, the better.

Summary

If you have lost your TV remote, or a looking for an upgrade, there are some great options on the market these days. Some models can be used to replace all the remotes in your home that you use to control multiple devices. Remember that not all remotes will work with all devices, and some are designed specifically for use with certain pieces of hardware, such as a gaming console.

The main thing to consider is how you plan to use your new remote, and to make sure that the option you buy offers all the features you require for your individual needs. Check that the model you choose is compatible with all your devices, is easy to use and offers all the functions you are looking for.

We hope this shopping guide has helped you to find the perfect remote control for you. If you liked this article, please be sure to leave us a comment below and share it with your family and friends!

(Source of Featured Image: Piotr Adamowicz: 19278825/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Brett Holmes Technology Geek
Brett is a keen observer of the latest technology trends and knows his way around the industry because he runs an electronics store. He writes about it in his spare time and wants to help others learn more about the technology industry.