Smart DNS Proxy l January 23, 2020

Best Universal Remote Control for Any Streaming Devices

There are times, when you lose your streaming device remote (btw, we have done separate videos on Apple TV, Firestick and Roku remote lost, if you haven’t check that out, click on the YouTube card).  Now, coming back, sometimes you lose your remote, and sometimes your remote just stops working. Either way, you have couple of options like: 

1. You can buy a replacement remote

2. Use the app on smartphone

3. Keyboard and mouse

4. Or even use airmouse.

But guess what, there is even a better option, use a third-party universal remote like this. We recently bought this from Amazon, and it claims to control all devices from this single thing. 

But is this thing legit? Do they actually work on all devices? You know what, let’s put it to test. 

So, we have 2 remotes - one has app, the other doesn’t. Let’s see how they work.

The universal remote looks a lot like TV remote. You get a key to program 4 devices i.e. TV, DVD, AUX, cable. The SofaBaton remote, on the other hand, looks quite futuristic; it's much heavier and modern looking remote. There is this display and slider on the top with fewer buttons compared to the previous one. 

So, on the surface they look cool and sleek and rigid, now, let’s see how to use them on different streaming devices.

Let’s start with this Universal remote. For the most part, it works automatically with your TV. We’ve tried it on Samsung smart TV and LG smart TV, as well as regular TCL and VU TV, and it worked right out of the box with Samsung TV and VU TV. But didn’t work with LG TV and TCL.

So, in case it didn't, you can program it by picking up your remote, pressing setup, followed by one of the 4 options on the top, like I want to configure my LG DVD, the code for that is 0907 (you can find all the codes in the manual, or in the link in the description below the video). Now, you can start using it. If it works at all, it should work with pretty much every TV. But what about streaming devices? We’ve tested it on Firestick and Roku stick, Android TV and it didn't work with them. But at the time, it worked for Apple TV. Why is that? Well, it depends on whether the streaming device or streaming box has IR receiver, then it'll work; otherwise, it won't since there no Bluetooth support.

And that's where SofaBaton comes in. The biggest highlight is that it supports both Bluetooth and IR, instead of just IR, as we saw in the previous universal remote.

It also has a scroller which lets you switch between multiple devices. We will come to that in a bit. And always ON screen just below the scroller.

Now, let's see how to set it up. First off, you will need to download the app one the phone and then open it. You'll see instruction animation on how to pair the remote with the phone. To do so, press the 'DASH' and 'E' button simultaneously on your remote. Once done, the app will take you to the next setup page. Tap on ADD. You will see most popular streaming devices like Apple TV, Fire stick, and Roku. Let’s set up Firestick and check if it works.

Make sure your Firestick is turned ON (in case you have lost the Firestick remote, you can use the smartphone app to navigate it to Bluetooth settings and turn it ON). Now, come back to SofaBaton app and tap on Fire TV, this should work. Now, you will be able to connect to your Firestick with the remote.

Apart from the Bluetooth mode, you also get IR learning and IR matching mode. In simple words, IR matching lets you program the SofaBaton based on your TV. Say, you have a Samsung TV, then go to 'IR matching’ then tap on 'TV' next pick 'Samsung TV' from the list. and then the app will show you IR commands that you test on your TV in real time. Once the commands start working, stop and now your remote is mapped to the TV remote. In case some of the keys don't map, you can pick up the old remote, place it in front of SofaBaton and remap it. However, it won't work, if you have lost the original TV remote.

So, now we have paired both the Firestick and Samsung TV, which you can switch using the scroller below the screen. The only caveat is, you can only add one Bluetooth device.

Similarly, you can follow the same steps for other Bluetooth and IR devices.

So, there you go, these were some of the most popular universal remotes on Amazon. It’s kind of cool. Either way, do check out our video on airmouse remote, which not only turns the cursor on your TV to a mouse pointer but also comes with a keyboard at the back. You can use this keyboard to type in to unblock geo-restricted content on sites like Netflix, Hulu Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, etc. You can unblock them with smart DNS or VPN. It’s only 5 bucks a month.

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