The best investment you’ll make (in your DIRECTV system)

Wondering what to do with a little bit of extra money this year? Granted, most folks have had a tough year but with some federal stimulus money and a tax refund, you may find yourself with a few dollars to spend. You might be the sort of person who feels comfortable traveling right now, or you might not. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to make sure your home entertainment experience is as good as it can be. After all, it’s sustained you for a while now. So, without further ado, here’s my suggestion.

Buy an extra remote.

Solid Signal has them for really cheap. This old-style white remote will work with every DIRECTV receiver made from 2003 until the present day. If you lose your remote or if you program it wrong, you’ll want a way to make it right. If you’d prefer the Genie-style remote, you can get that one cheap, too.

You’ll want to have a working remote on hand at all times. It’s a good idea to have a spare or too, because hey, things happen. Dogs chomp on them, they get lost, things spill. It’s part of life. Nothing to get upset about. It’s just going to happen.

This is especially important with the newest generation of clients and receivers. This happened to me — I had a DVR with a broken touch panel and I didn’t know it for a year or so. I just never touched the thing. And of course the latest clients and receivers don’t have any buttons at all except for power and reset. This makes it really hard to reprogram a remote if you’ve done it wrong. Of course there’s an easy way to reset a remote that’s giving you trouble, but if you need to go into the receiver’s menus for any reason you’ll need a working one.

Why not treat yourself

Another simple fact of life is that remotes get grimy over time. The DIRECTV remotes are pretty easy to clean with a little mild detergent or alcohol. Don’t get them too wet and they will continue to work with you. But eventually that grime builds up in places you can’t get to.

And yes, eventually the numbers will rub off. Nothing lasts forever. The nice thing about the DIRECTV remotes is that it’s pretty easy to figure out what the buttons do, based on their shape and position. But why make this harder than it needs to be?

And of course, let’s not forget that you could lose the remote or break it unintentionally. Just having a spare one in a drawer is an easy way to deal with the problem. There is absolutely no reason to go without DIRECTV entertainment while you’re waiting for a new remote to come in the mail, and there’s really no reason to pay the $25-$30 that your local big box retailer charges for a similar remote. Do yourself a favor, get the remote now, and stick it in the drawer. You’ll thank yourself later!

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About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.