Can you use AT&T TV with a universal remote?

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Have you tried AT&T TV? It’s like cable or satellite, but it’s delivered over the internet. More than any other live TV streaming service, it’s a replacement for cable TV. No other service gives you a box that boots up to live TV like cable. No other service gives you a remote with number buttons, a guide button, and a list button.

That makes AT&T TV a good choice for people looking to move over to a pure streaming environment. Sometimes you just don’t want more holes drilled in the wall. Sometimes (like the moment I’m writing this article) you just don’t want an installer to come into the house. Some folks live in apartments or places that aren’t really suitable for cable or satellite.

AT&T TV isn’t the solution for everyone, but it’s a great fit for some people. Chances are you’re considering it, if you’re reading this article. Now, on to the real question.

Using a universal remote

Here in 2020, truly universal remotes are less common than they were a decade ago. The early 2010s were the heyday of the universal remote, that fully-customized solution that controlled all your devices. The best of them were configured by connecting them to a PC and doing all the work you needed there.

And then, a funny thing happened. People started cutting the number of devices in their home entertainment center. Blu-ray disc player? Who needs one? Most people never got to the goal of eliminating everything but the television. But, they stopped moving to the universal remote, because of a new technology.

HDMI-CEC to the rescue

A new technology called HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) makes it a lot more comfortable for people who want to use multiple remote controls. Equipment that’s compatible with HDMI-CEC (also called HDMI Control, AnyNet, and other trade names) takes away the biggest problem.

When you use an HDMI-CEC device, simply picking up the remote and using it will switch inputs on the TV and even turn on the TV if it’s not on. Some remotes can even control the volume without using infrared, making it easier to aim the remote.

AT&T TV and the universal remote

AT&T TV will work with universal remotes. It uses the same codes as the DIRECTV remotes.  It does not support IP control, so the newer app-based remotes are also off the table.

However, the AT&T TV remote has a killer combination of features that might just stop you from caring about a universal remote. Unlike most device remotes, it does have an INPUT button and volume control buttons. When you use the remote, it’s giving you all the control you need.

Using HDMI-CEC means that AT&T TV will turn on the TV, set the input, and control the volume. When you pick up that remote, you’re not likely to need to pick up another one. You won’t miss the universal remote.

When you go to use another device, pick up that device’s remote. If it’s equipped with HDMI-CEC, it will also control the TV and set the input.

Are you’re ready to get AT&T TV? Call the experts at Signal Connect at 888-233-7563. If it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.