Universal Remote Control Cheat Sheet


Universal remotes are great devices which simplify the control of home entertainment devices. They cut down the pile of remotes to one single remote, removing the need to use multiple remotes to do a simple task like watching TV. This also clears up space on the coffee table so that it can be used for better stuff like.. umm coffee.

While making life easier for the person who set up the remote, other family members or friends may become confused by it. All it takes when pressing the remote buttons is for a cat to walk by, or a coffee table in the way of the infra red signal to go walkabouts. There could also be configuration problems where the universal remote isn’t completely compatible with a device. This may result in some buttons needing to be inputed manually.

While the remote works correctly most of the time, when something does go wrong, my wife has no idea what buttons to press to get things up and running. Why should she need to know the inner workings of something that I set up? I continually tried to make minor adjustments to the remote configuration, and even rewired the equipment at one stage, to make life a little easier for her. In the end, there was only one solution.

I put together a cheat sheet for my wife so that she can do her own fault finding. The cheat sheet lists what devices need to be on for a certain activity, and what setting each device needs to be on. Using this list, she can look on the front panel of each device and figure out where the problem is. There are also additional notes describing what may go wrong, and how to rectify it.

I tested it out on my wife and the results were much better than anything else I had come up with. Feel free to download it here and alter it, or create your own. It isn’t a complicated document, but I hope it will save my wife from any continued frustration.

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2 comments so far »

  1. Tim said, on October 30, 2008 @ 10:09 pm

    Or use a Logitech Harmony remote and press the Help button that resends the commands for setting up for that activity and asks at the conclusion whether everything is okay. If it isn’t it’ll walk you through each command one at a time.
    of course, a new remote costs money and a cheat sheet doesn’t really.

  2. Chris Duckworth said, on November 1, 2008 @ 10:54 am

    Hi Tim, I tried teaching her the help features of the logitech remote. She couldn’t get her heasd around that easy either :(. The help is a bit slow, especially with my Samsung.
    When I get a new TV, my criteria will be one where the remote can flick it directly onto a set channel, instead of cycling through them.

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