Sync a TV Remote with an Apple TV

Mar 12, 2011 - 3 Comments


If you’re not a fan of the AppleTV remote, or you just don’t want yet another remote control laying around your coffee table, you can sync a standard TV remote with an Apple TV. This should work with virtually any TV remote, cable remote, DVD/Blu-ray remotes, and universal remotes.

How to Sync a TV Remote with an Apple TV

This works the same on Apple TV 2 and Apple TV1:

  • Turn on the Apple TV and have your remotes ready (including the Apple TV remote)
  • Using the original Apple TV remote, select “Settings”
  • Select “General”
  • Select “Remotes”
  • Choose “Learn Remote”
  • Set your TV remote setting to something it currently doesn’t control that can be programmed, like a VCR (remember those?) or the auxiliary option
  • Still using the original Apple TV remote, select “Start”
  • You’ll see a series of buttons on screen that represent the up, down, back, forward, select, menu options, etc, you will sync these to your new remote
  • Start the syncing process by pressing and holding the buttons on the TV remote you want to correspond with the Apple TV buttons, you will know it’s working by looking at the blue progress bar at the bottom of the screen
  • Complete the syncing for each button

After the initial control buttons are synced you will be able to use the TV remote to control your Apple TV, you’ll also be able to set additional buttons for things like chapter selection, skipping, and fast forward and fast rewind.

Advanced: Get the most out of your Apple TV
If you really want to maximize your media experience, sync your remote and then try installing XBMC on the Apple TV 2, XBMC is great software and it really excels on the ATV platform. While pairing the remote doesn’t require a jailbreak, using XBMC on the ATV2 does, this might seem to make the setup intimidating but Seas0nPass makes jailbreaking the Apple TV extremely simple.

Apple TV Envy: What about the Mac?
Don’t have an Apple TV but still want a sweet media center? No problem, your Mac will do just fine. You can setup any Mac as a media center, we simplified that guide so it’s very easy and a lot of fun. If you want a more advanced setup or a dedicated computer for this purpose, check out how to setup a Mac Mini media center and remote torrents box instead, it’s focused on a Mini but it will work on any other Mac too.


Related articles:

Posted by: William Pearson in Apple TV


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. […] Sync a TV Remote with an Apple TV (tags: apple appletv) Categories: Links LikeBe the first to like this post. Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback […]

  2. I like it! Can you do this with another remote and XBMC or Plex on a Mini?

  3. anorak says:

    I had no idea you could do this, awesome! Remote consolidation FTW!

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site