How can you use one remote to watch DIRECTV and streaming TV?

A customer came to us the other day with a pet peeve. They were tired of the pile of remotes on the coffee table and wanted a way to use one remote to watch DIRECTV, Netflix, and Prime Video.The question came to me from our crack customer service team. How could we help this person?

Can you use the regular DIRECTV remote?

There are two remotes used for DIRECTV Satellite. The older one, which I tend to call the “white” remote, looks like this:

This remote was first used in the early 2000s and is still shipped out with non-Genie hardware today. It will control four different devices.

The other remote, which I tend to call the “Genie” remote, looks like this:

It’s been in use since 2014 and it’s used with all Genie equipment. It only controls the DIRECTV box, although it can turn on the power and control the volume of your TV. It can also control volume through an A/V receiver but cannot turn power on and off.

The problem

The problem is that the white remote hasn’t seen an update in years. While it does control hundreds of TVs, VCRs, DVD players, and A/V receivers, it doesn’t control a single streaming box. AppleTV boxes can use programmable codes but it’s a real pain to set up. So I tell people you just can’t control a streaming box with a DIRECTV remote.

Option #1: Expensive Universal Remote

You remember these universal remotes that were popular about a decade ago. You connected them to a PC and then programmed them to do what you wanted. Hard core enthusiasts still use systems like these but for most people, it’s an annoying waste of time and it’s easier to just switch remotes

Option 2: Switch TV services

Here’s what we did for this person. They’d been with DIRECTV for some time and had never gone to Genie hardware. So, there was an easy move to be made. We moved them over to AT&T TV. With AT&T TV you get access to your streaming apps and the full live TV experience. There’s a 500-hour DVR that sits in the cloud so you never have to worry about losing recordings when you lose hardware.

This was the perfect move for this customer. They changed from satellite to AT&T TV and ended up very happy. We even found that they were able to use the same “white” remote they loved, and since it was already programmed to their TV it worked perfectly. The AT&T TV remote sits in a drawer in case they want to use the voice search option.

If you’re interested in moving over to a single-box solution that includes all your favorite streaming apps and live TV, why not give AT&T TV a try? It’s got all the live TV channels you love, DVR, voice remote, and the box is small and quiet. You won’t lose picture even in the heaviest rain and the pricing is similar to DIRECTV satellite. When you switch you might even qualify for promotional pricing for a year or two! The first box is free, and additional boxes are reasonably priced.

If you’re ready to make the move, call the experts at Signal Connect. They’re AT&T TV dealers as well as being DIRECTV dealers, and they can talk to you about which service is best for you. The phone number is 866-726-4182. If it’s after business hours, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you!

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.