How to Change the Input Mode on a TV Without a Remote

By Dan Ketchum

To access external devices such as DVD and Blu-ray players, cable boxes, video game consoles and streaming media devices, you'll have to switch among your TV's audio-visual connections, commonly dubbed inputs. In addition to high-definition HDMI interfaces, these inputs typically include red, yellow and white composite jacks or green, blue and red component inputs. When you lose your remote to the unexplored depths of the couch cushions, you can typically change inputs via the TV's built-in buttons, but the exact method varies depending on the set.

Step 1

Locate the input button on your TV, a common feature of high-definition televisions in particular. This button often resides on the front, sides or rear of the television, usually alongside the channel and volume controls. Press the input button multiple times to switch between various inputs or press it once to display a menu of inputs, then use the channel or volume up and down buttons to select from the available connections. On older televisions, the input button may be labeled “AUX,” “SOURCE,” “TV/AUX,” “EXT,” “LINE,” “VIDEO," “A/V” or a similar variation.

Step 2

Press the channel up or channel down buttons located on the front or side of the TV to change your television's channels. Oftentimes, the TV will scroll through its various inputs once you reach below channel two or above the highest available channels.

Step 3

Press and hold the TV's volume up and volume down buttons simultaneously. On many older televisions, this opens the device menu without the use of a remote. Navigate the menu using the individual volume and channel up and down buttons, seeking any available input menus. Modern TVs may have an on-board menu button, which you can typically navigate in a similar fashion. Sometimes, you can manually select from a list of inputs via the device menu.

Tips & Warnings

  • Turn to your TV's manufacturer-provided user guide for device-specific information regarding changing inputs without a remote.
  • In some models, auto-detect features may automatically switch your TV to the input that is connected to an in-use device. Try powering up the device you wish to use -- your television may automatically switch to the appropriate input.
  • Some external devices connected to your TV may have the ability to change your television's input settings, if previously programmed to do so. For instance, you can change the input using the Nintendo Wii U video game console by pressing the “TV” button on the GamePad and tapping “INPUT” on the GamePad's display screen.