NICE AND EASY: Can you use an RF Remote on a DIRECTV receiver without RF?

Yes, but you can’t use it in RF mode.

It’s true that many DIRECTV remotes can operate in RF mode, giving you the ability to control your receiver or DVR through walls and doors. But suppose you don’t want that feature? Suppose you have an older receiver or a standard definition receiver that’s not capable of RF remote reception?

If you have a remote where the model number ends in R or RX, that’s an RF-capable remote. If it’s set up in RF mode, initially it will only operate the receiver it’s paired with. You can’t necessarily tell it’s in RF mode because either way its signal is going to be invisible to you. You can essentially tell it works… if it works.

R and RX series remotes can also operate in IR mode so they can work with any DIRECTV receiver made since 2003 and most made before that. In order to reset your remote to IR mode, there’s a simple procedure:

  1. Press and hold {MUTE} and {SELECT} together for at least three seconds. You’ll see the light at top blink twice slowly.
  2. Key in 9 6 1 then press {PAGE DOWN}.

That should put your remote into IR mode. If it doesn’t, you can reset the remote if you go through the steps here. Be aware that this will completely remove all customizations from the remote and you’ll have to set it up again to control your TV and other devices.

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.