WHITE PAPER: Program your DIRECTV remote for your TV.

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It doesn’t seem like so much to ask… the volume buttons on the remote should control the volume on the TV, right? If you are installing a new DIRECTV system or adding a new remote to an existing system, you’ll have to program it to control your TV. There are literally thousands of TV codes pre-programmed into the DIRECTV remote and with some simple button pushes, you’ll be well on the way.

STEP 1: Determine your remote model

Most people have a white DIRECTV remote like the one above. However, there are several models of DIRECTV remote, each with slightly different capabilities. Look at the upper left of the remote for its model number. If it ends with an X, that’s a self-programming remote. These remotes have been in use since 2010 and when used with an H24, H25, C31 Genie Client, HR24 or HR34 Genie, they will respond to signals from your receiver so you don’t have to enter codes. If it doesn’t end in an X, you will have to take a few more steps, but it’s not so hard.

If you have a Genie DVR (except HR34) or Genie Client (except C31):


Genie DVRs and clients comes with an RC71 remote that works very similar to the X-series self-programming remotes. The earlier white remotes can be used in IR mode with the Genie devices, but they will not self-program even if you have an X-series remote.

STEP 2: Use the menus

Start by pressing {MENU}, then arrow down to “Settings & Help,” then press {SELECT} once “Settings” is highlighted.

Arrow down to “Remote Control” and press {SELECT} then, with “Program Remote” selected, press {SELECT} again.

From here, the steps are a little different for self-programming and non-self-programming remotes.

STEP 3-A: Self-programming Remotes

If you have a self-programming remote, you should see this warning message pop up on screen. If you don’t, try making sure there is a clear line of sight between the remote and the receiver. If you also use a universal remote, you may need to turn the receiver off and back on again using the DIRECTV remote.

Press {SELECT} to continue.

Arrow down to “Setup TV” and press {SELECT}. Note that your DIRECTV remote (RC66 or earlier) can also be programmed to operate two other devices. The Genie Remote does not have the option to set up other devices.

Select the brand of your TV using the arrow keys. You can also use the numbers on the remote to select letters (like an old cell phone.) Press the number 2 once for A, twice for B, three times for C, et cetera. Once you have found the right brand, highlight it and press {SELECT}.

Find the model number for your TV. Highlight it and press {SELECT}. If you don’t know it, highlight “I don’t know my model.” This will make the process take longer but it may still work.

The receiver is ready to program the remote for you. Make sure the remote is pointed straight at the receiver (not the TV). If you use your receiver in a closed cabinet, it’s best to open the cabinet and hold the remote within a few feet of the receiver. When you are ready, press {SELECT}.

You may see the light on the remote flash quickly as it’s programmed. This is normal. The process takes between 5 and 30 seconds depending on how many codes need to be programmed.

After each code is programmed, you will have the option to test it by pressing the volume up button on the remote. If the TV gets louder, this is the right code. You have the option to press {SELECT} on “It worked” or try another model. You can also cancel setup from here.

STEP 3-B: Older remotes

If your remote is not self-programming, the steps are very similar. You will have to put codes into the remote to program it and test it manually.

The model selection screen is a little different but you can still use the number keys to enter letters. Press once for the first letter, again for the next letter. For example, pressing {5} once will give you a J; pressing it again will give you a K, and again will give you an L.

Once you have found the right manufacturer, highlight it and press {SELECT}. You will see the screen below.

This seems like a lot of work so let’s break it down.

irst, slide the switch at the top of the remote to TV.

Then, press and hold the {MUTE} and {SELECT} buttons. You will need to do this for about 3 seconds, and then you will see the light at the top flash twice.

Using the number keys, try the first 5-digit number on the list. Press slowly and carefully. When you have entered all 5 numbers the light at the top will flash.

Now, try making the TV louder using the volume button. If it works, you are done. If not, try the next 5-digit number on the list.

You have the option here to program the TV input button so it works no matter where the switch at the top is. If you want to do that, press {MUTE} and {SELECT} again until those lights flash again. Then type 960 on the remote.

When you’re done, slide the switch back to its leftmost position under the DIRECTV logo.

When you’re done programming your remote, the {VOLUME} and {MUTE} buttons should work to control your TV just as you want them to. You can also use the {D+TV POWER} button to turn both the receiver and TV at the same time on or off (except on RC71 remotes.)

If you have the RC65 or earlier remote, there are other “tricks” you can set your remote for, using the Advanced section of the Remote Control menu. For an idea of what can be done, check out our Remote Control Tips and Tricks.

We’ve produced a companion video for this tip… watch it here:

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 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.