How Many Remote Controls Does It Take?

May 15


Don West

Don West

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Are you overwhelmed by the sheer number of remote controls cluttering your living room? Discover how to streamline your home entertainment system with a single, efficient remote. This guide explores various options, from universal remotes to advanced control systems, to help you regain control of your devices.


The Remote Control Conundrum

If you've invested in a sophisticated home entertainment system,How Many Remote Controls Does It Take? Articles you likely have a growing collection of remote controls. Each new device—whether it's a TV, DVD player, or A/V receiver—comes with its own remote, leading to a chaotic pile of controllers. Imagine needing to juggle multiple remotes just to watch a movie: one for the TV, another for the receiver, and yet another for the DVD player. This can quickly become a frustrating experience.

The Problem with Multiple Remotes

Consider a typical scenario: you want to watch a DVD. First, you need the TV remote to turn on the TV and switch the input to the DVD player. Next, you grab the receiver remote to switch the audio input. Finally, you use the DVD remote to start the movie. Adjusting the volume? Back to the receiver remote. This cumbersome process can be simplified with the right remote control solution.

Solutions to Consolidate Your Remotes

Universal Remotes

Universal remotes are designed to control multiple devices from different brands. These remotes come pre-programmed with a wide range of infrared codes, allowing you to manage various equipment with a single controller. However, they may not support all the specific codes for your devices, which can limit their effectiveness.

Learning Remotes

Learning remotes offer a more tailored solution. These remotes can "learn" the infrared codes from your existing remotes. You can either enter a code for your device brand or directly transfer the codes by pointing your original remote at the learning remote. While this setup can be time-consuming, it ensures that your new remote can control all your devices.

Advanced Learning Remotes

Some learning remotes go a step further by allowing you to program single-button "macros." These macros can execute a series of commands with one press, such as turning on the TV, DVD player, and receiver, setting the correct inputs, and starting the movie. A popular example is the Philips Pronto remote.

Two-Way Remotes

Two-way remotes can receive and display information from your devices on an LCD screen. This feature allows you to see details like the current radio station or active input, enhancing your control experience.

HAVi Control Systems

Home Audio Video interoperability (HAVi) is a standardized specification that enables bi-directional communication between devices connected via FireWire. This system allows for comprehensive control and power routing among all linked components. While not all manufacturers support HAVi, Mitsubishi has integrated this technology into their HDTVs, enabling seamless control of FireWire-enabled devices through a single remote.

Crestron Control Systems

Crestron offers high-end control systems designed for sophisticated home automation. These systems use LCD touch screens, which can be wall-mounted or wireless, to control not only your A/V equipment but also lighting, curtains, security systems, and even environmental controls. Crestron systems are ideal for homes with multiple rooms requiring distributed audio and video control.


By investing in a universal, learning, or advanced control system, you can significantly reduce the number of remotes cluttering your living space. While there may be a learning curve, the convenience and efficiency gained are well worth the effort. For more information on advanced control systems, visit Crestron.

Interesting Stats

  • According to a survey by Statista, the average American household has 2.3 remote controls per person. Source
  • A study by the Consumer Technology Association found that 60% of consumers are frustrated by the number of remotes they need to use. Source
  • The global market for universal remotes is expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 4.5%. Source

By consolidating your remotes, you can simplify your home entertainment experience and reduce frustration. Choose the right solution for your needs and enjoy a more streamlined, efficient setup.