Use a GE Universal Remote as an Apple Remote

Dec 23, '09 07:30:01AM

Contributed by: lostsync

My father-in-law gave us his old TV after buying a new set. With it came a very cheap GE Universal Remote (silver and blue, no visible model number) which, knowing him, was the cheapest available option among remotes at the store.

After my dog chewed up the remote to the stereo (Aiwa) that drives audio for my home theater, I decided to look up the programming codes (via this PDF) for the remote.

While punching in the various Aiwa codes, looking for the one that worked, I saw Apple iPod beneath the Aiwa section. After getting my stereo to work, I decided to punch in the Apple code (the iPod code is 0885) and assign it to the VCR button on the remote, which wasn't being used. It worked!

For this specific remote, you just hold down the Setup button until the red light stays on, press the button corresponding to the device you'd like to program (i.e. TV, CABLE/SAT, VCR, DVD, etc), and then punch in the code you want. Some people don't realize it, but you can punch in any code for any button -- the remote doesn't care; they're just arbitrarily-labeled memory locations.

After programming, the remote works to control an iPod in a compatible dock, or any Mac with an IR sensor. I don't know about an AppleTV, but I have to assume it works there, too.

The button layout is a little awkward, and it doesn't work perfectly for some things (third party apps that require that you hold a button down, like Lockdown), but it's pretty nifty nonetheless. On a Mac, you can control system volume, iTunes, sleep/wake, etc.

I'm sure several other universal remotes can be programmed similarly as well.

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