TIP: Keep a second remote around

Is there a device in your home that gets as much use as the remote? Your cell phone probably does, but if it goes out you probably have a land line or at the very least a friend with a cell phone. How about looking at that remote?

It’s a good idea to have a spare remote around, even if it’s just in a drawer. A lot of things can happen to a remote, not just dead batteries or getting sat on. Solid Signal sells the DIRECTV RC65 remote for $9.99 and you can’t beat that for a universal remote.

Here are some great reasons to have a spare remote around.

Remotes sometimes don’t work when you need them. This happened to me recently. I was changing a remote back from RF to IR when the remote stopped working. To make matters worse, I didn’t realize that at some point the front panel buttons stopped working. If I didn’t have a spare remote I’d still be watching ESPN.

Most DIRECTV receivers can’t use RF and IR commands at the same time. If you use the DIRECTV RC65R remote so that you don’t have to point it so carefully, there are times you may also want to use IR, like for example when away from the house and using a Slingbox. Keeping one remote set to IR and one to RF makes switching back and forth easier

Marital bliss. One remote on each nightstand may occasional mean that your spouse overrides your choice of programming, but look at it this way… at least there won’t be a fight for the remote.

You got the remote in the first place because you don’t want to get up. My living room has two seating areas and I keep a remote at each of them. I also keep a remote on one side of a long hallway that’s got a line of sight to my receiver so that if I forget to turn the box off, I don’t have to go that far.

Sometimes, you just want to two-hand it. I like universal remotes. They cut down on clutter and you don’t have to learn where all the buttons are on multiple remotes. But, sometimes there’s no substitute for using two remotes. You might be adjusting menus on your TV and DVR at the same time. Sliding the switch from DIRECTV to AV1 gets tiring. It happens. Rather than try to remember where you put the factory remote, and then trying to remember where all the buttons are, get a second remote and go crazy.

Really, the list goes on and on. Why not put out a little cash for a lot of satisfaction and get a spare remote?

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.