How To Program a DirectTV Remote: A Guide for Universal or Genie Remotes

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Updated January 25, 2023

If you use a DirecTV universal remote or genie remote, you can program that remote to also control devices like TVs and speakers because these are the best universal remote. It helps you save on remotes, and the process isn’t that hard if you know where to go. We’ll walk you through the process of how to program DirecTV remote models to connect both the universal and Genie remotes to other devices.

Universal Remote

Satellite - DirecTV Universal Remote
Your universal remote should look – at least a little – like this.

Note: DirecTV has gone through a lot of remotes over the years, so your universal remote may not look like any pictures we post. That’s okay! They still have the same general buttons and controls, so while you may need to study those lesser-used corners of your remote, the process should still work just fine.

Step 1: Find the right remote code. Devices have various remote codes used to program and connect new remotes. This code basically pairs the remote and the device, like an old-fashioned version of Bluetooth. Start by getting this code to speed the process up considerably!

Fortunately, DirecTV has made this process very easy. Start by heading over to this webpage. In the fill-out form, you will notice options to pick from Video/DVD, Audio, Satellite/Set-Top, and even VCR. Pick which most accurately describes the device that you are trying to pair, and then type in both the brand and the model number.

Hit search, and the tool should provide the most popular codes for your device. Note that this isn’t a full-proof method. The tool can’t always guarantee a match, and it doesn’t work well with newer set top boxes and devices, which may not be compatible with DirecTV remotes. But for all that, it’s still the best way to look for codes.

Step 2: Find the Menu button on your universal remote. It should say MENU, loud and clear! Press it to open up the Settings & Help menu. Note that this only works if your remote is already paired with your DirecTV satellite receiver, which must be plugged into your TV so you can get a picture of your Settings. Note that we’re talking about your receiver menu here, not the menu from your TV or other menus like the DirecTV app version.

Step 3: In the Settings menu, look for the icon that says Settings. At least, this is true of most new receivers. If you have an older DirecTV DVR or SD receiver – uncommon, but not impossible – then you will want to go to Parental Favs & Setup instead, and then choose System Setup. You end up at the same place either way for step 4.

Step 4: Select Remote Control from the new list. Then choose Program Remote. This will give you a familiar-looking list of device categories. Choose the same category that you chose when finding your remote code.

Step 5: You should now have some options to search for a remote code or input one manually. Since you (hopefully) found your code online, you can choose to input the code manually.

Step 6: Now test your remote by performing basic functions like changing the volume. If the device lights up with indicators that the volume, etc., really is changing, then your pairing process worked! If your DirecTV remote is not working, try using the next suggested code or looking up more information your device’s remote codes.

If you’re looking for how to program a remote to a TV, without connection to any major brand, you’ll want to use our guide.

Genie Remote

DirecTV Satellite - Genie Remote
The Genie remote has a slightly different setup process.

The Genie is a more modern DirecTV/AT&T DVR system with added smart features, a greater focus on internet apps, and a rounded remote with its own unique set of capabilities. That means both good news and bad news. The good news is that you can program the remote to control an HDTV, a compatible DirecTV TV, or compatible audio devices like sound bars and surround sound systems. The bad news is that the Genie remote won’t work outside of these device categories, so it’s a little more limited than a universal remote. The good news is that, if you’re worried about how to program a DirecTV Genie remote, the process is still quite simple.

Step 1: Make sure that the remote is in RF mode, which is the only way this will work. With your TV and DVR on, point the remote at your DVR and hold down both the Mute and Enter buttons for a second. The screen should flash a message saying that it is applying IR/RF setup. When it does this, you can move on.

Step 2: Once again, we’re going to suggest you look up your TV code using the tool that DirecTV has provided. Either the Television or Audio heading should be your first selection, based on what device you are connecting. Put in both your brand and model number – they should be visible on your device. As we mentioned above, this method may not work for more modern devices, but it’s generally reliable.

Step 3: Press the Menu button on your Genie remote, which will (as you may have guessed) open up the on-screen menu guide. Note that you absolutely have to have your Genie DVR on and connected to your TV for this step to work. Also note that if you are trying to connect to a separate audio device, it should also be connected to your TV.

Step 4: Look for the Settings & Help menu, and enter it. Here select Settings, and then select Remote Control.

Step 5: Choose to “Program Remote” and select the type of device that you want to program.

Step 6: Now is the time to either input the code you found on DirecTV’s site or allow the device to guess at what code it thinks will work (the answers are typically the same). When you finish, you should be able to control things like volume with your remote, so test it out and make sure that volume really does go up and down reliably. Then you’re done!

Note! There is a different process for “DirecTV Ready” TVs and Genie remotes. Fortunately it’s very easy. Turn everything on, then press and hold the Mute and Select buttons on the remote. Hold them until you see the green light at the top of the remote flash two times. Then, using the number pad on the remote, type in the right code. If your DirecTV Ready TV is Samsung, type 54000. If it is Sony, you need to enter 54001. If it is Toshiba, enter 54002 instead. That should do it!

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