NICE AND EASY: Can you use a universal remote with DIRECTV Stream?

directv stream

So you’ve decided to cut the cord but you still love live TV. Who doesn’t? The lack of traditional live TV channels has kept many a cord cutter tethered to a pay-TV subscription. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

DIRECTV Stream to the rescue

DIRECTV Stream is a cord-cutter’s delight. It’s a package of live channels along with cloud-based DVR service. You can watch on your phone, tablet, or computer but more importantly you can use DIRECTV Stream on most streaming devices and smart TVs. That makes it a great complement to the streaming services you already have.

The best way to watch DIRECTV Stream, though, is with its dedicated box. With the DIRECTV Stream device you get a cable-box-like experience with a dedicated remote control. The big difference is that you don’t need a satellite dish or fancy extra wiring. Your home Wi-Fi does just great.

The DIRECTV Stream device

This isn’t just a cable box replacement, though. It’s a full-featured streaming device. You don’t have to choose one or the other. This device lets you have it all with the same remote control and a friendly voice-control system on top of it. It’s the cream of the crop for cord-cutters who want live TV too. You can even enter channel numbers like you did with your DIRECTV system– and they’re even the same channel numbers!

Using a universal remote

A lot of folks like having a spare remote around in case they lose one. In the case of the DIRECTV Stream box, you can’t just buy the remote. It’s not something that DIRECTV’s doing. If you call their call center you can sometimes get them to send you one but it’s a hassle. There is a better way.

Most universal remotes will work

The good news here is that you can use any universal remote that supports DIRECTV satellite. The same remote codes work for both. I personally prefer the DIRECTV-branded universal remote you see here. For a really low price, you get a quality remote control that will work for your DIRECTV Stream device right out of the box. It will also control three other devices including most TVs.

What you need to know

You do need to know that this isn’t a perfect fit. It’s a great fit, but there are two limitations. This remote works with the DIRECTV Stream device in infrared mode. Although it’s an RF-capable remote, it doesn’t work in RF mode with the DIRECTV Stream hardware. That means you’ll have to point it directly at the Stream box in order for it to work. If you’ve hidden your DIRECTV Stream box behind a TV, this remote may not work for it.

The other is that there isn’t a way to do voice commands with this remote. The DIRECTV Stream box has a microphone built into its remote control. This remote doesn’t have a microphone so there really isn’t a way for the box to hear toy. That’s a limitation there’s no getting around.

However, this remote works really well as a spare, and it’s going to keep you watching TV while you’re scrounging around the couch cushions or whatever it takes. It’s a great value, and of course it’s available now at SolidSignal. We have the best selection of universal remotes, too, if this one isn’t to your liking. Most of them support DIRECTV as well, although they will have to be programmed.

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 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.