DIRECTV: Will multiple RF remotes cause a problem?

Every DIRECTV HD receiver, DVR, and client made since 2006 has allowed you to use an RF remote to shoot through walls and doors. It’s a pretty useful feature, especially since it’s so tempting to mount your receiver or client behind the TV.

How to tell if you have this capability

Most have the feature built-in. If your DVR or client uses the DIRECTV Genie Remote pictured above, you have this capability already. If you’re using an older receiver or DVR, you probably have it too… you just need to check the model number. It’s on a green sticker somewhere on the box. Or, you can press MENU then go to Settings, Settings & Help, then Info & Test.

If the model starts with HR or H, you have this capability built in already.

Do you need anything special to activate RF capability?

Most boxes have everything you need built in, but in some cases like the H25 you need one of our H25RFANT external antennas. It’s easy to install and works with all of the RC60-series remotes. Now, most folks know that unless you use special programming (like you’ll find in our White Paper) your remotes will interfere with each other in IR mode. You’ll point at one receiver and control more than one. What about when using RF mode?

Luckily, it’s not a problem. When you program the remote for RF mode, you link it to a specific receiver. This is true whether you are using a Genie Remote or one of the older remotes. Either way, when you program a remote for RF mode, you are sending a code to the remote that allows it to control only one TV at a time. There’s no need to worry that you will accidentally control all the TVs in the room.

Multiple remotes and Genie

It’s incredibly easy to program multiple remotes for Genie systems. This tutorial takes you through the steps of adding or copying a remote. It’s so easy you’ll wish you had done it before. You can program a single remote for a Genie even more easily by pressing MUTE and ENTER… the whole procedure is detailed here in this tutorial.

How many RF remotes can be used on the same receiver?

With older equipment, you can generally use only one RF remote per receiver. You can program one RC60-series remote to control four receivers in RF mode by programming the “TV,” “AV1,” and “AV2” devices to control DIRECTV receivers. You just have to remember which device is controlled by each position on the switch.

With Genie devices, there seems to be a limit of 4 RF remotes per device. This has been tested in the field although there is no word from AT&T on this issue.

It’s worth pointing out that Genie DVRs and clients can use both RF and IR mode at the same time, meaning that it’s very easy to have a remote in the same room as the TV and also have one in another room in case you’re trying to control two TVs from the same DIRECTV box.

So, no. Multiple RF remotes won’t cause a problem

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to use more than one RF remote on the same box or if you’re trying to use multiple RF-enabled boxes in the same room, you won’t run into the same kind of problems you have had in the past with infrared remotes.

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 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.