Snippet: How to Control Your Apple TV with a TiVo Remote ☍

Shared on January 17, 2020

With all the complaints about the Apple TV remote and introduction of the Salt remote, a discussion of alternatives has come up. One of the lesser-known features going back to at least the second-generation Apple TV has been the ability to have the Apple TV “learn” IR signals from any remote (as opposed to the remote learning for a particular device). This has allowed people to repurpose remotes from long-dead TVs, old cable boxes, satellite receivers, or anything else that uses IR signals. Obviously, the remote would have to be from a device not in service so you’re not firing off commands at the Apple TV and the device at the same time.

As the TiVo remote is often considered the gold-standard of remote design (comfort, layout, functionality), why not pair one with an Apple TV? After a little exchange on Twitter, Matt Haughey picked one up and did an excellent how-to:

It all started with the story of a swiss company making a better Apple TV remote, and what a bummer when I learned you couldn’t get one in the US. A few weeks later I tweeted about a new set-top box being developed by TiVo, and how much I wanted one just to use that great peanut remote again, and how much I hated the Apple TV default remote when someone said you can just pair and program a TiVo remote to an Apple TV and get the best of both worlds. So that’s what I did.

Personally, I’ve found the Apple TV remote to be adequate, but have had mine in an Elago R1 case since I purchased it. This has solved the symmetry problem (strap end is always away from the TV), protected it, and the magnets inside have allowed it to stick on the side of one of my tables.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.