How to Program a Cable Remote Control

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

Your cable company will give you a special remote device to control your cable connection when you sign up for a plan. Some companies preprogram the remote to ensure that you get the most out of the device without having to work on it yourself. Others, however, give you the choice of unlocking the remote so that you can program it to better suit your needs.

Things You'll Need

  • Locking number
  • Security code
  • User manual

Program a Cable Remote Control

Step 1

Identify what type of remote control you have. Some companies will give you a preprogrammed remote control that can only be slightly modified, while others will allow for complete reprogramming. Open remotes that can be reprogrammed come with a special locking number that you need to obtain from the cable company.

Step 2

Unlock the cable ID security device by entering the code given to you by the cable company. Once you unlock the remote, you will have to enter a different four-digit code in order to secure it again. The code should be given to you by the cable company, and you should have it on hand before you start the process.

Step 3

Look for a blinking light connected to a button that reads "cable" or something similar. Every time you make a change, this indicator light should blink to signal that changes are taking place. If nothing happens, then you are either not entering the right code, or you are pressing the wrong buttons at some point during the process.

Step 4

Restore your original programming (the one offered by the cable company) if you cannot get the new commands to work or if you find that they are simply too complex. Restoring the original programming should be as simple as entering a special code or pressing a series of buttons, depending on the type of remote control you have.

Step 5

Adjust your remote control so it can be programmed to operate more than just your cable TV. With the right connections, most cable remote controls should be able to control volume and picture quality. To do this, read the manual that came with your remote to learn how to activate the right program.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before you start working on reprogramming your remote, make sure the device has new batteries. If the battery is low and the remote control turns off during programming, you may lose the entered steps and run the risk of getting an error code.