What Are the Different Types of Remote Controls?

Remote controls make it very easy to operate a wide range of electronic devices from a distance. They rely on low-frequency light to send out a signal that will instantly perform an action like turning on the TV or starting or stopping the blue-ray player. There are now many different types of remote controls that…

Remote controls make it very easy to operate a wide range of electronic devices from a distance. They rely on low-frequency light to send out a signal that will instantly perform an action like turning on the TV or starting or stopping the blue-ray player. There are now many different types of remote controls that offer a choice in functionality.

Let's take a look at the different types of remote controls:

Dedicated – the dedicated remote is simply intended to work with a specific device and typically packaged with the product.

Brand-based – the brand-based remote is designed to work with a variety of products that are all made by the same manufacturer. Any remote that is designed to support multiple products will be larger than a dedicated unit and have buttons to match the needs of the different device, such as a plasma TV, Blue-ray disc player and home theater system.

Third-party – the third-party remote is a practical option for those wishing to control multiple devices by different manufacturers. The remote most will be programmed to work with a specific device by entering the right code into its on-board database. Many of these remotes do not offer a wide range of functions, but will do the basics of starting or stopping a particular action.

Learning – the learning remote is a high-tech piece of equipment that is designed to instantly learn the operational codes of any existing remote. This type of remote simply needs to be pointed to another unit and it automatically picks up the necessary codes to operate your particular device.

They are a more reliable option compared to the third-party remote because they can accept any operational code and not limited by what is available in its on-board database. Also, the learning remote does have a downside. For instance, it is essential to have the existing remote available in order to program the learning remote. If the existing remote is lost or damaged, it would not be possible to transfer codes and train the learning remote.

Programmable – the programmable remote is a very flexible and intuitive option that makes it reliably easy to input the desired controls. They are designed to work with macros which are essentially a series of commands that reach a specific action. Additionally, a single button can be programmed to perform multiple actions. For instance, one button can be programmed to switch on the Blue-ray player, receiver and TV, find the right output modes, and start playing the movie.