Universal remotes are a great choice for consumers that are unsure of the specifics of their television or want to make sure that their remote will still be usable if they switch televisions in the near future. Universal remotes also allow consumers to use only one remote to control both their television and cable box with the same remote instead of having to use multiple remotes to control the separate devices. As opposed to brand-specific remotes, universal remotes are designed to be used with a wide variety of televisions and cable carriers. In order to operate, however, universal remote codes must be used to program the remote.
Universal remote codes are specific buttons that are pressed in a particular pattern in order to set up the remote so that it can be used to control the television and the cable. Generally the remote will need to be set up using both set up codes and programming codes so that the remote controls both the television itself, such as to turn it on and control the volume, and the cable to change the channel or record programming. Many universal remotes can also be programmed to control other elements of a home entertainment system such as a DVD player or stereo system.