A remote control replacement can add new functionality, consolidate control of a number of devices, or substitute for a lost or broken unit. Choosing the best replacement device will typically depend on which of these uses you are interested in. The simplest remote control replacement will typically be an aftermarket universal unit that can be programmed to control a single television or other device. This might be the best remote control replacement for you if your old unit is lost or broken. If you are looking to upgrade, then a remote that can control all of your devices may be the best choice.
When a factory original remote control is lost or broken, there may be a number of different options available. The manufacturer of your television may offer a replacement remote that is exactly like the old one, though this is not always the best option. A factory replacement remote may be costly and often must be ordered and shipped. If ease of use cancels out time and cost issues, you may want to look for a universal remote.
Universal remote controls are typically inexpensive and widely available. The simplest units can usually control a single television or other device. They typically have a wide variety of different command sets programmed in, allowing you to choose the correct one by inputting a code. More advanced units may have toggle switches or buttons that allow them to control multiple devices. A universal remote may also be your best choice if you need to consolidate the functionality of several misplaced or broken controllers into a single unit.
Units that are substantially more complex are considered more of an upgrade than a simple remote control replacement. Some universal remotes can actually learn individual commands, allowing them to control any device. This functionality requires you have the old remote on hand during programming. Several remotes may often be consolidated onto a single one of these devices, so if you have the old remotes and convenience is a factor, this may be the best choice.
Some higher end remote control replacement units may also have additional features, such as liquid crystal displays (LCDs) or touch screens. Others can integrate with a computer system that has been connected to a home theater, providing access to digitally stored audio and video. If you have one of these systems or are interested in getting one, then this may be the best type of remote control replacement.