TIP: Keep an old-school DIRECTV remote around

Believe it or not, it’s a good idea to keep an old-school DIRECTV remote around, even if you have a new Genie 2 or other fancy DIRECTV system. The older remote has a few buttons on it that come in handy occasionally.

PLAY

The play button on the older remote acts differently from the new Genie Remote. Because the Genie Remote combines the play and pause buttons into one, pressing that one button will pause what you’re watching. Sometimes you just want to know where you are in a recording and pressing the play button on an older remote brings up the progress bar for a little while, and it goes away on its own.

FORMAT

Pressing this button cycles through the available resolutions and formats for your receiver. Unless you watch a lot of standard definition, the different format settings won’t do anything, but it can be useful sometimes to change to a different resolution and using the button is easier than using the menus to arrow around

DEVICE CONTROL

The original DIRECTV remote will control four devices including powering them on and controlling them directly. The new Genie remote won’t power on anything but the TV and DIRECTV box, and will only give you volume control on your sound bar or amplifier. The original DIRECTV remote is a fairly capable universal remote at a reasonable price. It will control nearly anything out there, too.

…what you can’t do…

The original DIRECTV remote won’t work with a Genie in RF mode, so you’ll need to point it carefully. Also, the color buttons on the original remote don’t do anything with the Genie’s new menus. The ACTIVE button technically works if you are interested in waiting 90 seconds to see a blurry standard definition picture.

The best part about the old remote is that it’s very solidly built and comes to you at a great price, courtesy of course of your friends at Solid Signal.