Can You Use a Universal Remote With Your Roku TV or Player?

control a TCL Roku TV with a GE universal remote

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control a TCL Roku TV with a GE universal remote

What To Know

  • Universal remotes work with Roku TVs and players; however, compatibility varies, so selecting a Roku-compatible remote is crucial.
  • Pairing a universal remote with Roku requires pairing codes, varying by remote brand and Roku model; note that some remotes might not have Roku’s advanced control buttons.
  • The top three recommended universal remotes for Roku are the GE Backlit Universal Remote Control, One For All Streamer Universal Remote Control, and Loutoc Universal TV Remote.

In this article, we’ll explore whether you can use a universal remote with your Roku TV or streaming player. 

Let’s get started!

Can You Use a Universal Remote with Your Roku?

You certainly can use a universal remote with your Roku TV or player! 

It’s a handy way to control your device without needing multiple remotes. 

But remember, not all universal remotes work with Roku devices.

If you’re using a Roku stick, this solution won’t work because the Roku stick doesn’t support IR sensor control, which is typically used by these universal remotes.

To make things easier, I’ve put together a list of the “Top Three Recommended Universal Remotes for Roku“. 

These are great options that should work well with your Roku. 

Additionally, it’s possible to use the remote you already have for your TV, like an LG TV remote, to control your Roku. 

a hand holding a roku remote and pointing towards an lg tv

This is a great way to simplify your setup and keep things easy to manage. 

If you’re curious about how to do this, we have an article titled “How to Control Your Roku With an LG TV Remote” that provides all the details you need. 

Check it out for more information and to get the most out of your Roku experience!

How to Pair and Use a Universal Remote with Your Roku

Pairing a universal remote with your Roku device is a straightforward process, although it can differ slightly depending on the brand of your remote.

If you’re using a specific model, it’s a good idea to look up a detailed guide online or consult the manual that came with your remote for the best instructions. 

In this guide, I’ll demonstrate how to set up a GE universal remote with both a TCL Roku TV and a Roku Express 4K.

The process is quite similar for both Roku TV and player.

holding a GE universal remote

How To Pair Two Devices

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: First, make sure your Roku device is turned on and your GE remote has fresh batteries. 

Step 2: Then, press and hold the Setup button on the remote until the red light activates, and let go of the button. The red light should stay on.

The process of pairing the GE Universal remote

Step 3: Next, press and release the TV button for pairing with a Roku TV; the red light will blink once and remain on.

If you’re connecting to a Roku player, press the CBL button instead, indicating you’re setting up a streaming device.

A hand is hold the pairing button on GE universal remote

Step 4: To pair with a Roku TV, enter the 4-digit pairing code 2891. You’ll know it’s successful when the red light turns off.

This code, along with others, can be found in your remote’s manual.

The manual list of code that for GE Universal remote to pair with any TV from the list

In case you’re pairing with a Roku player, try these codes: 2014, 0903, or 2894. From my experience, 2894 often works.

GE universal remote pairing codes for Roku player

Remember, various universal remotes may require different codes for Roku TVs. 

If you need more codes, check the section titled “Pairing Codes for a Universal Remote With a Roku TV” below.

Step 5: Finally, aim the remote at your TV or player and test the buttons. 

If they don’t work as expected, simply go through steps 2 to 4 again using different codes until you find the right one.

How To Use The Remote

When using a universal remote with your Roku device, it’s important to remember that it might not fully replace your Roku’s original remote.

Take a look at the comparison image below for a visual comparison between a Roku TV and the GE universal remote control.

comparison between the Roku TV remote and the GE Universal remote

The GE universal remote lacks some of the advanced buttons that the original Roku remote has, such as Back, Home, Up, Down, Right, Left, Replay, Options (or the Star button), Play/Pause, Reverse Scan, and Forward Scan.

From my personal experience, while using the GE universal remote with my Roku TV and player, I discovered that its functionality was limited

It only allowed me to use the Power, Volume, and Input buttons, which meant I could only turn the TV on or off, adjust the volume, or change the input source. 

A major limitation of this particular GE remote model is the absence of navigation buttons (the 4-directional arrows), which are crucial for moving around the Roku interface.

However, this inconvenience happened only to the remote model I used. 

There are other universal remotes available that can replicate almost all functions of the Roku’s original remote. 

I’ve listed my top 3 recommendations for such remotes below.

Additionally, if you happen to have an iPhone or Android phone, a convenient alternative is to use the Roku Mobile app. 

This app allows you to control your Roku TV or player and bypasses the limitations you might face with a universal remote.

For a more detailed guide on this topic, you can check out my instructions here.

open the Roku app on an iPhone

Pairing Codes for a Universal Remote With a Roku TV

When you’re trying to use a universal remote with your Roku TV, it’s important to know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all code for this pairing. 

The specific code you’ll need depends on the brand of your universal remote and the model of your Roku TV.

To help you out, we’ve put together a handy table of codes that you can use to pair various brands of universal remotes with a Roku TV.

Note: If you have a Roku TV made by Sharp, please use the Alternate Codes listed.

Universal Remote Brand Pair Code Alternate Code
GE 2891  
Inteset 10885  
onn. 2891, 3851 3201
Microsoft Xbox One T1756  
RCA/Voxx 11564, 12434, 387, 12049, 11756 10818

However, if none of these codes work for you, don’t worry! 

You can always reach out to the customer service team for your universal remote, or check the remote’s manual for more detailed guidance and additional help.

Top Three Recommended Universal Remotes for Roku

If you’re looking for a universal remote for your Roku, here are the top three recommendations that might interest you.

1. GE Backlit Universal Remote Control

GE Universal Remote Control for Samsung, Vizio, LG, Sony, Sharp, Roku, Apple TV, TCL, Smart TV, Streaming Media Player, Blu-Ray Player, DVD Player,...
  • Multi-device control – Operate up to four audio and video devices such as your TV, Blu-ray player,...
  • Best TV remote code library – Universal TV remote works with all major brands and supports...
  • Simple setup – Add two AAA batteries (not included) and enjoy easy automatic code search and...

Last update on 2024-07-10 / Paid Link.

First, we have the GE Backlit Universal Remote Control

This model is a step up from the one I mentioned in the earlier tutorial because it includes navigation buttons, making it easier to use. 

What’s really cool about this remote is its LED backlight, which is super handy in dark rooms. 

It’s designed to fit comfortably in your hand and is quite budget-friendly.

But, just a heads up, some users have mentioned that it’s not the most durable and can be tricky to reprogram. 

Plus, its curved back means it might wobble if you accidentally bump it.

2. One For All Streamer Universal Remote Control

One For All Streamer Remote (New, in Retail Packaging) – Controls up to 3 devices - (IR) - Control your Streamer box, TV and Sound bar – Learning...
  • 1 REMOTE TO CONTROL 3 DEVICES. Streaming boxes, TV and Sound bar, once your 3 devices are set up,...
  • FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE FEEDBACK COLOURS: The colour ring will tell you which device you are controlling...
  • 4 QUICK ACCESC KEYS: It features 4 handy shortcut keys to your favourite streaming services, you...

Last update on 2024-07-10 / Paid Link.

Next up is the One For All Streamer Universal Remote Control

This one is awesome for controlling a bunch of different devices like your soundbar, TV, and of course, Roku, all with one remote! 

It’s designed to fit nicely in your hand and has buttons you can customize, making it easier to use than many standard remotes. 

However, be aware that some people find it a bit tough to set up and have noticed that it doesn’t always work consistently.

3. Loutoc Universal TV Remote

Replacement Remote Control Only for All Roku TV, Compatible for TCL Roku/Hisense Roku/Onn Roku Series Smart TVs (Not for Roku Stick and Box)
  • 【TV SPECIFICATION】The remote ONLY suitable for all Roku TVs. It is NOT compatible with any for...
  • 【HIGH QUALITY】Our remote has been upgraded to give you a greater transmitting distance (over25...
  • 【KEY FEATURES】The Loutoc Universal TV Remote features shortcut buttons for Netflix, Disney+,...

Last update on 2024-07-10 / Paid Link.

Lastly, there’s the Loutoc Universal TV Remote.

It’s important to know that this remote is specifically for Roku TVs, not the standalone Roku streaming devices. 

This remote is a hit because it’s super easy to start using right out of the box. 

It has a comfortable design with rubberized buttons, offering a better experience than the original Roku TV remote. 

But, just like the others, this one might have some durability issues, as some users have reported problems with the buttons after a while.

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