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What is a universal remote control?

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Quick Answer

A universal remote control is a controller that is programmed to operate multiple different electronic devices of different types and manufacturers. A single universal remote control can functionally replace several individual device remote controls.

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Full Answer

A single universal remote control may be used to operate devices such as DVD players, televisions, CD changers, game consoles and cable or satellite boxes. It is typically larger than standard remote controls for individual devices, and it may have a large number of buttons to support numerous functions. One potential problem with a universal remote is that key functions may not be perfectly matched with those of the original remote control for some devices. Since programming a universal remote for multiple devices can be tedious, most manufacturers include flash memory or other backup capabilities that preserve programmed information if power to the remote control is interrupted.

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