DIRECTV’s Genie Remote is awesome. Why? Because for the price of a drugstore remote it gives you the ability to aim the remote through walls and doors. It’s actually priced lower than nearly every replacement remote out there. But, as much as I love it, I admit it has its limitations.
Want a remote to control your Blu-ray disc player? It won’t do that.
Back in the 2000s everyone had half a dozen little black boxes in the entertainment center. Blu-ray disc or DVD player, VHS player, DVD recorder, AV receiver, there were plenty of things people used. Today it’s really down to TV receiver and maybe a streaming box if you don’t have a smart TV. There’s less of a need for a “universal remote” of the sort you used to see all the time. It used to be very common to see remotes that controlled 4-6 devices. Today it’s just not needed for most people.
However, if you’re still looking to use a universal remote because you have more than just a TV box and a streaming box… the Genie Remote isn’t the one for you. While it can do basic tasks for a TV or audio receiver, that’s all it can do. Luckily the Genie clients let you use an infrared remote and most universal remotes still use infrared.
Want to control multiple receivers? It won’t do that.
In the past, you could use an old-style DIRECTV remote to control multiple receivers in the same room. It was easy to do. The older remote for DIRECTV let you control up to four things and all of them could be different DIRECTV receivers with different codes. This can’t be done with the Genie remote. You can use an older DIRECTV remote, but you lose the RF function that lets you shoot through doors and walls.
The solution? If only there was another remote that supported DIRECTV RF.
At one time there was a One-For-All remote that supported DIRECTV RF but it wasn’t very popular. It wouldn’t work with the current Genie Remotes anyway since they use the RF4CE standard. RF4CE is part of a larger standard called Zigbee. Zigbee was going to be the next big thing… until it wasn’t. It didn’t catch on among home theater enthusiasts because the world started embracing Control4, which uses Wi-Fi as its control method. This left DIRECTV out in the cold and no other manufacturer was willing to build a universal remote that supported DIRECTV’s RF4CE implementation.
What’s the answer? Follow the leaders.
As I said, the world has moved over to IP remotes. IP remotes can be smartphone apps or dedicated control systems. They connect with the receiver over network wiring or Wi-Fi and that opens up a lot of options. DIRECTV receivers are supported by most IP remote systems plus AT&T’s own DIRECTV app which has a built-in remote control. This is where it’s all going. If the Genie remote isn’t enough for you, you’ll want to jump on the IP remote bandwagon.