How do I Program My Universal Remote to My Basic Cable TV?

by David Johnston
Universal remotes can be programmed to control both your TV and your cable box.

Universal remotes can be programmed to control both your TV and your cable box.

Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

If you have purchased a universal remote to control your TV with basic cable, you'll first need to program it so that it is synchronized to control your particular brand and model of television and cable box. Because different brands and models of universal remotes have varying steps for programming them, it's important that you consult the manual that came with your product. If you no longer have the manual, you also can check the manufacturer's website for details. However, there are a few basic steps that work for many brands and can serve as a guideline as you program your remote.

Direct Code Entry Method

Step 1

Find the device code in the user manual or manufacturer's website that matches your TV and your cable box make and model.

Step 2

Turn on your TV and your cable box. Most universal remotes allow you to control more than one device, but you must program them one at a time.

Step 3

Press the device button on the remote that corresponds to the device you are programming. Therefore, press the one labeled "TV" while you are programming the TV. Likewise, when you are programming the cable box, press the "satellite/cable" button.

Step 4

Press and hold the "setup" button for a few seconds. Many remotes will have an LED light that blinks when you have held the button long enough. If you don't see a setup button, look for a button labeled "set" or "program."

Step 5

Enter the code you located from the user manual or manufacturer's website. If there is an LED indicator light, it should blink again. Press the power or channel change buttons to test if it has worked.

Automatic Code Search Method

Step 1

Turn on your TV and cable box. You must program each device one at a time.

Step 2

Press and hold the "setup" button for a few seconds, or until you see an indicator LED light blink. If you do not see a setup button, look for a button labeled "set" or "program" or similar.

Step 3

Repeatedly press the selector button until your device turns off. Different brands use different buttons as the selector button. For example, some may require you to repeatedly press the volume button, while others may require you to press the channel button. Check your user manual or the manufacturer's website for details.

About the Author

David Johnston works internationally as a freelance writer and editor in a number of professional fields. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images