A remote control, generally speaking, is an electronic device that is used to wirelessly control or operate another electronic device across a short line-of-sight distance. Just like other electronic devices, remote controls have evolved tremendously over the past few decades. The more recent models have Bluetooth technology, voice control, motion sensor enabled functioning, and other technologically advanced features. Typical electronic devices that are operated remotely include televisions, DVD players, CD players, and home cinema systems.
Infrared technology (IR) is the primary technology that is used in home remote controls. Infrared signals, which are invisible to the naked eye, are sent as pulses by the remote control handset to the respective electronics device to control its function.
Basic knowledge of remote control features, types, technologies, and functions is imperative to making an informed buying decision. Buyers can shop for all kinds of remote controls in electronics stores and discount stores, or they can shop at online marketplaces. Large sites like eBay feature a huge collection of remote controls in different price ranges, styles, and brands to suit all the diverse needs of buyers.
Cable and Freeview Remote Controls
Different cable television services that exist today offer plenty of options to their customers when it comes to the usage of their televisions and their viewing choices. Almost all of these companies offer premium features like Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). When using some of the DVRs, buyers can record one show while watching another show.
Many cable and Freeview remote control brands offer options on a single remote control handset to control numerous devices so that the buyer can conveniently switch between the different devices rather than use multiple remote control handsets.
Features of a Remote Control
More often than not, remote controls for televisions only offer the basic controls, such as volume, channel, power, and a menu for settings. Surfing through the different channels is usually done by using plus or minus buttons or up and down arrow buttons for the channel. A number keypad is typically included so that users can directly access channels by keying in the channel number and hitting ‘Enter’ or ‘OK’ or just waiting for a few seconds for the channel number to register and change.
Cable remote controls typically have many more features than basic television remote controls. As an example, many cable services offer an ‘On Demand’ option for viewing videos that are either free or have a rental fee. Pressing the ‘On Demand’ button brings up a list that can be surfed using up and down arrow buttons or plus and minus buttons. When using the DVR feature on a cable remote, television shows can be recorded by using the ‘Record’ button on the remote control. Remote controls that can access DVR programming also typically feature play, stop, rewind, and fast forward buttons to control playback of programmes that have been recorded.
Significance of an All-in-One Remote Control
The hassle of keeping up with and managing more than one remote control handset for different electronic devices has caused users to seek out better solutions. Certain cable remote controls have brought a lot of convenience into the lives of viewers by consolidating control of various devices. These days, most cable and Freeview users can easily control their television sets, cable and Freeview boxes, DVR units, sound systems, and much more with a single remote control device that is usually referred to as a universal remote control.
Universal remote controls often have to be purchased separately and programmed to work with users’ various devices, but some cable companies issue universal remote controls with their systems at no additional cost to the buyers.
Specifics of an All-in-One Remote Control
Universal cable and Freeview remote controls allow users to switch between devices to control the basic functions of each device. To switch which device is being controlled, these remote controls typically have labelled buttons for the most popular devices, such as TV, Cable, and DVD. Additionally, there is typically one or more Aux, which stands for auxiliary, buttons on the handset that can be programmed to control additional devices like CD players.
It is important to note that universal remote controls are usually only designed to control the primary functions of most devices for the purpose of convenience. To access advanced features like the settings for picture quality or the bass settings for sound, buyers usually have to resort to using the device’s actual remote control. Device-specific remote controls should be stored in a safe location and not discarded.
Replacement of a Remote Control
If a remote control is lost or damaged, buyers may be able to replace it on their own with a universal remote control that is compatible with their devices, or they may have to call their service providers or their device manufacturers to order a replacement remote control. Depending on the model numbers and compatibility of equipment, new remote controls usually have to be programmed to work with the various electronic devices.
Programming a Cable Remote Control
Most cable companies include a pre-programmed remote control handset that is already set to function with the companies’ cable equipment. However, if it is a universal remote control and users want it to work with their other devices, they must program the remote control to operate the other devices. The first step in programming a remote control is to identify the type and brand of the other devices to be controlled. Different brands normally have a three-digit or four-digit code assigned to them that must be entered into the remote control handset according to specific instructions. The exact instructions for different remote control manufacturers can be found in the handbook or guide that came with the cable equipment.
An LED indicator light usually flashes some type of signal to indicate the programming is successful. If there are not any indicator lights, the test for determining success is to simply try to operate the device with the remote control to see if it works.
Programming Remote Controls to Work With Televisions
With the standardisation process on the rise, most cable companies include one universal remote control to control cable and DVR functions, televisions, and possibly other devices, as well. To program a universal remote control to work with a television, users should first attempt the programming process described in the previous section using the three-digit or four-digit brand code found in their cable or television user manual. If they cannot find either user manual, this information can also usually be found online these days.
If all attempts to find the user manuals fail, then users can attempt to alternatively program a remote control using one of two code search methods. The first method works for some cable systems, but not for others. Users point the all-in-one remote control directly at their televisions and then press and hold the ‘TV’ button until it starts to flash. They then press the ‘Ok’ button. The LED normally lights up to indicate the command is accepted. They then hold down the ‘Setup’ key and let the light next to the button flash twice before releasing it. If the system has auto-searching capabilities to identify the programming code, it is visible on the menu at this point.
If the system is not able to auto-search to identify the programming code, the only other alternative at this point is to use trial and error to try to find a code that works. In these circumstances, the code possibilities are substantial, and the best course of action is to try some basic codes that are sometimes used on televisions as generic, universal codes. These include combinations like "0000", "9999", "1111", and "1234".
How to Buy Cable or Freeview Remote Controls on eBay
eBay features a huge collection of televisions, remote controls, and electronics in various brands and price ranges in both new and used condition. A good way to start your search is by using the search bar on the eBay homepage. You can enter any relevant query into the search bar, including "Freeview remote control", "cable remote control", or simply "remote control". Basic knowledge of remote controls and their features is generally useful in finding the correct type for your needs. This ensures you avoid regrets and are satisfied with your purchase.
Delivery charges should be very reasonable on something small like a remote control, but you can use the ‘Distance’ filter to help you find items being sold near your location if you prefer to buy locally. Reading the refund policy is also a recommended practice, as it varies greatly from seller to seller. Finally, reviewing a seller’s history and comments from other buyers is often very helpful when you are trying to decide between items.
A remote control is an important electronics component in most people’s homes. It has evolved over time just like other types of electronic devices, and some recent versions even use Bluetooth technology, voice control, and motion sensors. Infrared technology, however, is still the most widely used technology in standard home remote controls.
Televisions, DVD players, home cinema systems, and CD players are some of the typical electronic devices operated and controlled by remote control handsets. Universal cable and Freeview remote controls are usually pre-programmed to operate with their own equipment, but they often have to be separately programmed to operate with other electronic devices, the most important of which is usually the television.
eBay and other online sites, along with numerous brick-and-mortar retailers, boast a huge collection of remote controls, televisions, and related accessories at almost any point in time. Finding the perfect universal remote control for your needs is a relatively simple process.