How To

How To: Program Your Media Center Remote Control

windowsmediacenterremoteIt’s no surprise if you’re a regular reader of this blog that I love Windows Media Center. One of the reasons that I love it is that it makes my life easier. If technology isn’t making your life easier then why are you using it at all? One of the ways that Media Center simplifies my life is that I now only need one remote in my living room. You are probably guessing that I’m using some really expensive programable universal remote, but if you are then you forgot the name of this blog! What many people don’t know is that standard Media Center remote is a proramable remote! What’s even better is that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to program it. You simply put the remote into learning mode, push the button you want to program, push the corresponding button from the remote it is learning, and you’re done. The only small downside is that there are only three buttons that are proramable: the tv power button, and the volume up and down buttons. Using just my Media Center remote I can control the Xbox 360 as my Media Center Extender, turn the power on and off on my television, and control the volume on my surround sound receiver. Its so much easier than trying to show people how to use the cable box remote to control the cable box, and the receiver remote to turn the tv on and control the volume. So if you have the remote that I have pictured here, pick it up, and lets get started!

  1. Put the Media Center remote into learning mode by holding down the “Ok” button and the “DVD Menu” button at the same time. Once the lights have gone out, you are in learning mode.
  2. Press the button the Media Center remote (TV Power or volume) that you would like to program. The light on the remote will flash once.
  3. While holding the two remotes so that their IR nodes are facing each other, press the button from the other remote for which you would like the Media Center remote to learn. If the operation is successful the lights on the Media Center Remote will flash twice. If it wasn’t successful then they will flash four times.

To program the other buttons just complete all three steps again for each button. If you accidently programmed the wrong command you can clear the settings by holding the “DVD Menu” button and the Left Arrow button until the lights on the remote turn off. Once they have push the “Ok” button. The lights on the remote will flash twice to confirm that the settings have been cleared.


About the author

Josh Pollard

Josh Pollard

Josh has been writing software since his parents brought home their first computer. His love for gadgets and technology eventually spurred a passion for home theater technology. After starting the DMZ, he received Microsoft’s MVP award for Windows Media Center. Even though the beloved home theater PC platform is all but dead he continues to tinker with consumer entertainment technology. He’s a life-long gamer and DIY smart home enthusiast. He co-hosts the Entertainment 2.0 podcast with Richard Gunther and the DMZ’s gaming podcast, Story Players, with Joe DeStazio.