What remote codes are used for DIRECTV receivers?

Let’s say for a moment that you’ve just upgraded your DIRECTV box. Let’s also say that it’s the first time in a loooooong while that you’ve upgraded. Your bedroom was rocking one of these bad boys, complete with its original, RC24 remote:

That’s right folks, I’m talking about the DIRECTV D10, the pride of 2003 technology. You’re meticulous about your electronics and the D10 probably would have lasted forever, except DIRECTV isn’t going to have standard definition programming at all starting next year.

So, you take the jump and move to the latest and greatest HS17 Genie 2 with its tiny Genie Mini Clients. They look great and take up practically no room. And then the technician says, “here’s your new remote…”

…and sure it looks all shiny and new and it works better even when you point it in the wrong direction. But, it just doesn’t feel right. In the middle of the night, you knew where all the buttons were on your old remote. It was an old friend, one you’d lived through Lost and Breaking Bad and This is Us with. You miss it.

Well, long story short, here’s the good news.

Every DIRECTV Remote made since 2003 will work with every DIRECTV receiver made since 2003.

(Except for the TiVos, and let’s not talk about that yet.)

That’s right, DIRECTV hasn’t changed its remote codes since that first receiver so any remote that looks like your old one or that new one pictured above will work with any DIRECTV receiver. You don’t have to give up that old remote after all!

Chances are if you point your old remote, or any old remote, at a new Genie Client, it will work. Chances are, if you take a new Genie Remote out of the box it will work with your old receiver. They all share the same basic codes, unless they’ve been programmed in a special way. That means you have absolute choice to do whatever you want, to use the remote you want to use. There are just a few things you need to know.

If the remote’s been used before, you may have to reset it.

In some cases, remotes have been programmed to be special. They may be paired with another receiver in RF mode, they may be set up with special codes for multiple receivers, or they may be part of some other special setup. Resetting a remote is easy and of course we tell you how to do it.

Once you’ve reset your remote, it’s going to put out the standard set of infrared codes that every DIRECTV receiver made since 2003 can get.

You may need to make a change to the receiver, too.

If this is an existing receiver that already had an RF remote paired to it, you might need to reset its capability. Follow this tutorial but instead of setting the receiver to RF, set it to IR. Or, if you still want to be able to make the remote work through walls and cabinet doors, you can use that tutorial to pair a new RF remote. Here’s what you need to know about that.

  • DIRECTV receivers H21-H25 and HR20-HR24 require the old white remote, the one at the top of the article.
  • DIRECTV Genie DVRs and clients require the new Genie remote, the black and white one shown above.

As long as you’re using the right type of remote, you can still control it via RF like you always have. If you want to use a new-style remote with an old receiver or vice-versa, it will still work in infrared mode. Non-Genies can only use infrared or RF mode, not both at the same time. Genies can use both at the same time.

OK Let’s talk about TiVos.

DIRECTV offered DVRs with the TiVo operating system from 2003-2006, and then again from 2011-2014. These DVRs don’t use the same remote codes as any other DIRECTV product, but the older-style white remote can be used to control them, using the instructions on the TiVo menus.

At this point, it’s pretty rare to see one of these TiVo DVRs in use, but if your playlist looks anything at all like this:

Then we’re talking about something different from the average DIRECTV box. It doesn’t mean that you can’t use any remote you want, but you should probably stay with the one that came with it.

Use what you want. It will probably work.

That’s the bottom line here, which is that in most cases you will probably be able to point any remote at any receiver and it will work. In fact in most cases you can have more than one remote in the room and they will all work.

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.