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Use (almost) any remote with an Apple TV Other Hardware
While the small, sleek aluminum remote that comes with the Apple TV is nice, it may be one too many. The Apple TV can work with many other infrared remotes, and an Apple technical document outlines the procedure for having the Apple TV "learn" your remote.

You'll need to use the Apple remote to set this up, and you do so by choosing Settings > General > Remotes from the Apple TV's interface. Choose Learn Remote, and press the six buttons that the Apple TV needs to learn.

Some remotes may not work, so read Apple's technical document for more information.
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Use (almost) any remote with an Apple TV
Authored by: pwsloss on Apr 02, '12 07:48:42AM

Works pretty well with a Comcast cable-box remote, but some functions like "Menu" also then trigger the same response from the cable box. Remapping some of the other buttons would solve that, but then you have to remember which does what. Perhaps this is really a use for remotes from otherwise dead devices like VHS recorders?

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Use (almost) any remote with an Apple TV
Authored by: dilvish1984 on Apr 02, '12 11:38:16AM

My use of this feature is to get my universal remote to completely control my Apple TV (and I suspect this may be along the lines of what Apple was thinking in adding this feature, in addition to allowing the use of otherwise obsoleted remotes as you mention). I just set up my universal remote to control a device that I actually don't have (to avoid the problem with multiple devices responding to commands) and then taught the Apple TV to respond to those commands. Be sure to choose a device that has all the buttons you want to use (I found that an advanced cable box fit the bill nicely, since it included all the media buttons, apparently for VOD purposes). A bonus to this Apple TV feature is that you actually get more functionality than is available with the included remote specifically finer control over fast-forward/rewind and next/previous chapter!

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Use (almost) any remote with an Apple TV
Authored by: Interactive on Apr 02, '12 01:55:18PM

dilvish1984 - Please let us know the brand name & model of your universal remote.

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Use (almost) any remote with an Apple TV
Authored by: wgscott on Apr 03, '12 07:13:15AM

I've been doing this for several months with a Logitech Harmony 650 -- $50 at Costco. I have a seldom-used DVD player, so I just used that remote, trained the AppleTV with it, and then over-rode (trained) the Harmony's ATV2 settings. I also paired the seldom-used DVD remote with the ATV2. Doing all this allows me to use those remote settings for the ATV2 and use the Apple remote settings to control a mac mini in the same cabinet.

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TiVo remote
Authored by: rhowell on Apr 03, '12 01:35:35PM

Been doing this for years with our TiVo remote, which has a physical switch on the front to toggle from 1-to-2 and back. I set TiVo to ignore input from 2, letting AppleTV capture it instead.

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