How do I Choose the Best Replacement Remote?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Securing the best replacement remote for your electronic devices is a process that requires a little time and effort. In order to find the remote that will control all your devices, require little maintenance, and come with a decent price tag, you may need to do some comparison shopping. Fortunately, there are several ways to accomplish this task.

Universal remote controls are widely available and can replace a factory remote.
Universal remote controls are widely available and can replace a factory remote.

One of the first approaches to consider is contacting the manufacturer of your electronic devices. Assuming your warranty covers a replacement remote, you may not have to do any comparison shopping at all. However, since many people do not buy televisions, sound systems, and DVD players from the same manufacturer, it is doubtful that you can secure a universal remote control by contacting the manufacturer. At best, you can get some recommendations for universal remotes that are configured to work with your devices.

Another strategy is to conduct an online search. There are many retailers that sell replacement remote controls via the Internet. One advantage to this approach is that you can limit your search by using the names of the companies that manufactured your electronic devices, and specifying how many devices you want to control with a single universal remote. If you simply need a TV remote, there will be plenty of options. Even if you want a replacement remote that will control your television, DVD player, and music system, you’ll still find a number of remote control devices to select from.

Don’t overlook auction sites as you search for a replacement remote. Today, many sellers purchase items in bulk from retailers that go out of business, and offer their products at discounted prices. You can often bid on a replacement remote for a fraction of the retail cost, and still get a quality product that is covered by a manufacturer warranty.

If nothing turns up online, try your local electronics shops and discount retailers. Make sure to read the packaging carefully to confirm that the remote you are considering will work with all the devices you have in mind. Also pay close attention to the programming instructions. While many replacement remote controls can be programmed with little trouble, some do require several steps to set up each individual device. Go for one that offers a simple solution, rather than a remote that requires multiple steps to lock in each device.

In all cases, consider the cost of the replacement remote you select. Some are very cheap in price, but work just as well as other models that carry a bigger price tag. Keep in mind that a higher price is not necessarily a guarantee of superior quality. Go with a name brand you know and trust, as long as the price is within your budget. The remote will last longer and you’ll be happier with your purchase over the long-term.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@mobilian33 - As you can see from reading this article, finding a remote control that will operate your TV, stereo or whatever is not a problem today. However, as you can also see, you still can't assume that every universal remote will be right for you.

When you go to a store to buy a replacement remote, you should always tell the salesperson how you plan to use it and ask whether it is what you need. I agree with the article that you should go online first and find the remote you need and then go find it in a store, or simply order it online. This will save time and eliminate any confusion about whether the remote will control your machine.


A TV remote control of mine got lost, or it stopped working. I don't remember which one, but either way, I needed a replacement remote control because having to get up, walk to the TV and push the buttons was out of the question. Isn't it amazing how technology has spoiled us?

Anyway, this was quite a few years ago, and a friend told be I could go to the store and buy a universal remote control that would take the place of the one I couldn't use anymore. This was news to me, but sure enough, when I went to the store I found a universal remote and I bought it.

I had my doubts as to whether the device would work, and when I got home and tried it nothing happened. I ended up going to the store two more times before I found one that worked. The universal remote still didn't do everything my other remote did, but I could turn the TV on and off and change channels. I never could adjust the volume with the new remote.

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