A Buyers Guide to Cable and Freeview Remote Controls

Like if this guide is helpful
A Buyer's Guide to Cable and Freeview Remote Controls

Cable and Freeview are both television broadcasting companies, but the primary difference is that Freeview is operated within a not-for-profit business model. Because of this, Freeview offers its customers free-to-air channels, such as news channels and the BBC. Various cable networks and Freeview distribute their own equipment to consumers, which generally includes receivers, antennas (where necessary), and remote controls.

In some cases, individuals may also purchase cable or Freeview remote controls through other outlets. These include electronics retailers and online venues such as eBay. In some cases, buyers are also able to find remote controls at these other venues for cheaper prices.

Cable and Freeview remote controls are available to consumers in many different varieties and styles, each tailored to different uses and personal preferences. In general, shoppers should be familiar with the various physical sizes and styles, the different button options, remote control types, and available special options before making purchases.

Cable and Freeview Remote Control Sizes

There are several different remote control sizes available to consumers; from those small enough to fit in palms to those nearly the length of forearms. In general, consumers should try to purchase remote controls which fit comfortably in the hand while still featuring all the buttons deemed necessary. In most cases, this means that remote controls should be at least as wide as half the width of users' hands.

Sizing the Hand for a Remote Control

To size the hand to fit a remote control, begin by placing the end of a tape measure between the thumb and the hand, parallel to the knuckle of the thumb. Pinch the thumb against the hand to hold the tape measure in place, and draw it across the hand and over the knuckles; this marks the widest part of the hand. Note where the hand ends on the tape measure. Half this measurement should be the minimum width size for a remote for your personal use.

Cable and Freeview Remote Control Types

There are many different types of remote controls, each suitable to different user needs. These include dedicated remotes, universal remotes, learning remotes, and programmable remotes.

Dedicated Remote Controls

Dedicated remote controls, sometimes also called specialised remote controls, are remote controls manufactured to be used with one specific piece of electronic equipment. These remote controls generally feature more specialised buttons and features than other types of remote controls, though they are generally also only available through manufacturers.

Universal Remote Controls

Universal remote controls, as the name implies, work universally between many different household electronics. Generally, the users manually programme the remote controls before operating them. Users should take care to purchase universal remote controls which are compatible with the electronics intends to be use with the remotes.

Learning Remote Controls

Learning remote controls are similar to universal remote controls, in that they are meant to operate universally between multiple pieces of electronic equipment. The primary difference is that the method through which they do that is easier and more user-friendly. A learning remote control typically needs only to be pointed at a unit's dedicated remote, and a sequence of buttons is pressed on each remote for the learning remote to 'learn' the frequency at which the old remote operates. Learning remotes are relatively expensive compared to other options.

Programmable Remote Controls

Programmable remote controls are unique in that users can programme certain buttons to complete the functions of multiple buttons simultaneously. This means that users can programme a button to instruct a DVD player to play, turn on the attached TV, and adjust the volume all at once. Programmable remote controls are generally one of the more expensive remote control types.

Cable and Freeview Remote Control Options

Cable and Freeview remote controls are available in a large variety of other options relating to colour, button style, and battery type. Carefully considering these options helps shoppers ensure that they purchase remote controls which feature ideal functionality for their purposes.

Cable and Freeview Remote Control Colour and Finish Options

Cable and Freeview remote controls generally come in three colour and finish options: black, white, and metallic. Some remote controls may even feature a combination of those three. In general, black is the most common, and it tends to hide signs of frequent use better than white or metal varieties.

Cable and Freeview Remote Control Button Options

Cable and Freeview remote controls are manufactured with several different button options, colours, and arrangements. In general, these are narrowed down to remote controls which feature relatively few buttons, buttons colour-coded by function, large buttons, or glow-in-the-dark buttons.

Remote Controls with Large Buttons

Those individuals with large hands or poor eyesight may find remote controls with large buttons less frustrating than the alternative. Large buttons generally have numbers and letters which are easier to see, and they are usually spaced so that users can press the correct buttons with little difficulty.

Remote Controls with Colour-Coded Buttons

To assist users in identifying the buttons they may need to press in a hurry, many manufacturers of remote controls now produce remote controls with buttons colour coded by function. This is also useful when teaching younger children how to correctly operate remote controls.

Glow-in-the-Dark Buttons

For those individuals who enjoy watching TV in the dark, remote controls which feature glow-in-the-dark buttons may serve to help them always press the correct buttons. This style is also a good option for those with impaired vision. Many manufacturers now produce remote controls with glow-in-the-dark buttons.

Cable and Freeview Remote Control Battery Options

The type of batteries used in remote controls is an important aspect which should be taken into consideration by shoppers. Larger batteries, such as AA and AAA may hold a charge for longer, but those type of batteries also mean that the size of the remote controls are likely to be somewhat larger than those featuring other battery types. Those looking to reduce waste may wish to consider purchasing remote controls with rechargeable batteries.

Remote Controls with Rechargeable Batteries

Some remote controls for cable and Freeview are manufactured with special, remote-specific batteries, which are taken out and recharged. In most cases, such batteries both hold a charge longer than more traditional batteries and have a longer, useful life. The downside is that consumers can usually only purchase replacement batteries from the manufacturers, and the batteries of some specific models of remotes may be phased out by the manufacturers while still in use by consumers.

Remote Controls with AA and AAA Batteries

The vast majority of remote controls are manufactured with the use of either AA or AAA batteries in mind. Though shoppers can purchase rechargeable batteries in both sizes, many individuals also simply replace these batteries once they have lost their charge.

Remote Controls with Coin Batteries

Some remote controls are manufactured with the use of coin batteries. This allows manufacturers to create the remote controls to far smaller specifications, allowing them to sometimes be small enough to fit inside a hand. Unfortunately, coin batteries can be more difficult to find in stores than more traditional AA and AAA batteries.

Buying Cable and Freeview Remote Controls on eBay

Buying remote controls of any variety on eBay should be a simple and quick process. To begin, locate the search bar on any one of eBay's pages. Click on the search bar and type in the various words or phrases which describe the remote control best suited to you, then press enter. This will pull up a list of all the eBay items which match your description. Some good examples of a solid search include, "programmable remote control", "rechargeable remote control", "universal remote control". Once you have the list of items available, different search settings allow you to organise or reorder the list based on your preferences. You may opt to see remotes only of a certain brand or type or those within a specified price range.

If you see a remote which looks promising, but would like to communicate directly with the seller about the item's details or functions, simply look for the "Ask a question" link featured on the item's listing page.


Those looking for cable or Freeview remote controls may easily be confused by the wide variety of options available on the market. An easy way to keep the process of shopping for the best remote control for your needs is to identify the type and size of remote best suited to you, and then determine what other features you would like to include. Some consumers prefer universal or learning remotes, which can be used on multiple types of electronic equipment, while others prefer the finer controlling ability of specialised remotes. Different options buyers might want to consider include the colour or finish of the remotes, the sizes, types, number of buttons, and what type of batteries the remotes require to operate.

Those shopping for cable or Freeview remote controls may find that online venues have larger selections of remote controls than most traditional retailers. And some websites, such as eBay, not only offer a larger selection, but also often have products available at far cheaper prices.

Have something to share? Create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides