Your DIRECTV Remote Control is Inexpensive to Replace

I was trying to change the channel with my DIRECTV remote control and it wouldn’t work. Naturally, I swapped out the batteries and tried again. Still nothing. I kept going through my internal troubleshooting checklist until I realized that it was probably time to replace the remote.

A Replacement DIRECTV Remote Control is NOT Expensive

The main reason I wasted my time on my “DIRECTV Remote Control Internal Troubleshooting Checklist” was because I’ve had to replace remote controls before and they were always super expensive. Of course, the last time I actually had one of these break was back in 2001, and anything with a satellite drawn on it anywhere cost a lot of money back then. I figured I was going to be out at least $50 for a new one, but much to my amazement, these are available on Amazon for much less, like 10 times less.

Who Knew There Was So Much to Know About Remote Controls

I had to do some research to fully understand my options. Here’s a pretty good overall guide on ebay. To summarize: these remotes come in an infrared (IR), radio frequency (RF) or both options. Remote controls with IR capability require line-of-sight visibility between the DIRECTV remote control and the DIRECTV receiver. This is the default or most common mode of communication between DIRECTV remotes and receivers. RF remotes will communicate with a receiver that’s around a corner or concealed inside an entertainment center. They are also designed to work with a certain set of DIRECTV receiver model numbers. The ebay article suggests considering used remotes, but the new ones are so inexpensive, why bother?

This is My Remote. There are Many Like It, But This One is Mine.

Eventually I plan to hide my DIRECTV receiver in a cabinet, so I figured I’d want a remote control that offered RF capabilities. From previous experiences I know that RF doesn’t always work that well, so I figured I should get a remote that had both IR and RF. Two is one and one is none, right?

  • Here are some model numbers I considered:
    • RC66RX. This is the one I ultimately purchased for my DIRECTV Genie HR44-700. It works like a dream. The “X” at the end of the model number generally means the remote is IR only. The “RX” means the remote will do both RF and IR. The difference between this one and the RC71 (and RC73 below) is that it’s a universal remote that will work with several different devices.
    • RC73. I wasn’t sure if this one worked with my receiver, and it didn’t look anything like the remote I was replacing, so I kept looking. As it turns out, this one may control your TV’s volume and power function, so it’s almost like a universal remote. But not quite.
    • RC73B. This one appears to be backlit (hence the “B” on the end of the model number), which would be nice to have. From what I can tell, it can control multiple devices, so this might have been a better option for me since I like the backlit feature. But since I’m afraid of things that are different, I stuck with the one that looks like what I already have.

Here’s a visual of the different options: