What is a Universal Remote Control | Its Advantages and Disadvantages?

At one point of time or another, you must have heard or even used a remote control. If yes, then you know what I am talking about. Remote Control is a handy device that lets you operate another device from a distance, without the need of any physical connection between them by the use of wires. Then what is a Universal Remote Control? In this article, we will explore more on the subject and check out its advantages and disadvantages as well.

Remote Control

A Remote Control is a handy device that lets you operate another device from a distance, without the need of any physical connection between them by the use of wires. Transmission between the devices takes place by means of radio or infrared signals.

Understanding the need for a Universal Remote Control (URC)

Let us assume that you a TV (made by LG), a music system (made by Sony), a Video Cassette Recorder (made by Samsung). Most likely, you would also get a remote control along with the device, at the time of purchase. In this case, as you have three devices, you will end up with three remote controls.

What the above means is that each time you want to operate a device you will need its own remote control, without which you can’t operate the device from a distance. Moreover, it will get messy as you need to handle three different remote controls to operate those devices. You also have to safeguard those different remote controls from mishandling and avoid breakage.

You also have to purchase multiple different batteries for each of those devices and ultimately spend more time and money on their overall maintenance. How cool and super-efficient would that be if you are able to get rid of multiple remote controls and handle all the three devices with just a single remote control? Enter URC.

Universal Remote Control

Universal Remote Control

Example of Universal Remote Control

A Universal Remote Control performs all the functionalities of a traditional Remote Control and more. It is a superior type of single remote control that can be used to control different types of devices regardless of the Brand that manufactured it. If you go for one of these, then there would not be any need for a separate remote control to operate most of the electronic devices at your place.

Types of Universal Remote Control

There are different types of Universal Remote Controls (URC). There are multiple companies that manufacture them and these URCs are available in many sizes and styles. If you are someone that likes things to be simple, then you can go for a URC that sports a simple design. Or if you feel geeky and can handle technical things well, then you might like an elaborated and sophisticated type of remote control.

The choice of URC that you would want to go for is highly dependent upon your need. What do you want to do with it? Do you just want a simple interface to control multiple devices or are you looking for a something that allows you to tweak settings in-depth, auto-start, auto-shut down and more functionalities? The choice is entirely yours and it is advised you make sure that you select the one that fulfills your criterion to make the most out of your purchase.

There are different companies that manufacture the URCs. Some of them are, but not limited to Sony, Samsung, Philips, etc.

Devices that can be controlled using a Universal Remote Control

There are several devices that can be controlled using a Universal Remote Control. Some of them are, but not limited to:

  • TV/LCD/LED/Plasma/OLED/Smart TV
  • Audio Player / Media Center / Media Player
  • Video Player / DVD / Blu-ray Player
  • Home Theatre PC
  • Game console
  • Air Conditioner
  • Amplifier / Tuner / Home Cinema / Soundbar / Hi-Fi
  • Freeview / TNT / TDT / DTT
  • iPod / iPhone / iPad / MP3 / MP4 docking station
  • Satellite / Cable / DVB-T / IPTV receiver
  • Video Cassette Recorder

Advantages of Universal Remote Control

  • Just one to rule them all: It’s highly likely that you may have different devices such as your TV, Audio system, Home Theatre, Blu-ray, etc. from different brands. This means that there will be a remote control to control each of them.A Universal Remote Control is your ultimate device that can be used to control multiple devices. You no longer need multiple remote controls. This makes life even more simple and there won’t be any need to handle multiple remote controls, thereby eliminating frustration from the need to operate multiple remotes.
  • Convenience and Simplicity: As the need to operate, handle and maintain multiple devices is now non-existent because of a single Universal Remote Control, this makes it really simple and convenient to access and switch between different devices very easily and quickly.
  • Ends the clutter: Eliminates the need to switch back and forth between the right remote control just to get the TV to turn on, thereby ensuring more peace of mind.
  • Easy to Setup and operate: It is very easy to setup a Universal Remote Control and once done, it is easy to operate thus making it an even more efficient device. A good Universal Remote Control always comes with an instruction manual that shows you step-by-step instructions on how to setup the device and pair it with multiple devices, so you don’t end up feeling left out and all alone to figure it out.
  • Single learning curve saves time: Just learn its interface once and you are done with the learning curve. You no longer need to learn the interfaces of multiple remote controls, thereby saving you much time in the process.
  • Saves money: Multiple remote controls need multiple batteries in order for them to work. So, if you have 3 remote controls, then that means you end up spending 3x times more on the batteries themselves. This can start to add up depending upon the number of remote controls you have.
    Buying the batteries for a Universal Remote Control once (till they last) ensures that your costs are very minimal. You can save even more by opting for rechargeable batteries.
  • Less Physical care: Simply handle the Universal Remote Control with care and keep it away from physical damage and you have a very powerful device that can control virtually any other device at your place.
  • Glow-in-the-dark: Some of the Universal Remote Controls have glow-in-the-dark feature. This helps in locating the device even in dark locations very easily, so the risk of losing it in the dark is very minimal.
  • Pre-programmed URCs: Even pre-programmed Universal Remote Controls are available in the market. The beautify of these devices is that using it enables hassle-free setup within 2 minutes.
  • Controls Smart TV: A Universal Remote Control can also be used to control a Smart TV and perform various actions on it for your viewing and internet browsing pleasure.

Disadvantages of Universal Remote Control

  • Risk of Physical damage: Similar to any other electronic device, the main disadvantage of Universal Remote Control is that if you lose it or it is broken, then you have no other option to control the devices universally other than getting it repaired or buying a replacement.This can be easily overcome by taking good care of it physi one to rulecally. Another option would be to buy protective cover/pouch that acts as a shock absorber to minimize any possible physical damages.
  • Lots of options could be overwhelming at first: If you opt for a sophisticated URC, then it can be pretty overwhelming the first time you operate it due to the sheer number of options that it has to offer. If you are someone who believes in simplicity, then going for a simple URC would be a solution.
  • Learning curve: Another disadvantage is the learning curve for learning the complete functionality could be a pain, considering that the device can control pretty much any other device, so it could be steep if you are not a technical user. Continued usage of the device is the only way to get around this issue and use it effectively. You might find the instruction manual to be your best friend in this regard.


Using a Universal Remote Control helps make your life easy, simple, efficient, convenient and more fun. The fact that all of your family members can also access it and thereby enjoy the same benefits of using it, as you do, is another great reason to get hands on one of them.

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