All-in-one remote controls come with the ability to control multiple digital and electronic devices, such as a TV set, cable TV box or stereo system. In addition to universal capability, some remotes come with enhanced features, such as PC connectivity, RF extenders, touch screen and voice command.
The all-in-one remote control, alternatively called a universal remote, is most often used as a way to cut down on clutter that results from owning multiple devices. However, it is also sometimes used as a replacement for a remote control that has been lost or broken or as an alternative for those with visual impairments and those with poor dexterity.
A basic universal remote normally supports up to three devices (such as a TV set, DVD or VHS, and cable set top box). However, more advanced models support stereos, home theater systems and other devices with remote control capability.
For an all-in-one remote to control a specific device, it must be programmed with a code corresponding to the device's type and brand. This code is usually provided along with the remote in a manual or reference sheet. Because the process of programming an all-in-one with a code can be cumbersome, some models come with a "learning" feature. With it, the universal remote can imitate the signal from a pre-existing remote control, eliminating the need to look up and input a code.