Use Your Old-School Remote
We’re convinced that the Siri Remote is the best way to use the Apple TV, but if you’ve got a favourite old-school infrared remote, you can actually set up your Apple TV to respond to it as well. This can be especially useful if you prefer using more advanced multi-function IR remotes like Logitech’s Harmony, but it will actually work with any old IR remote you have lying around, as long as it has enough buttons. To set up your old remote to work with your Apple TV:
- Make sure you have your old remote handy; if it’s a multi-function remote, set it to an unused device (e.g. DVD player)
- Open the Settings app
- Select Remotes and Devices
- Select Learn Remote
- Follow the on-screen instructions to pair your remote
The Apple TV will take you through the process of pressing several buttons on your remote in order to assign them to the appropriate Apple TV functions. Keep in mind that just about any button should work, so even if you’re using an older remote without arrow buttons, you can still assign any other appropriately-placed buttons to navigate your Apple TV — we’ve seen people use the number keys (2, 4, 6, 8) for example.
It’s also worth mentioning that as of iOS 12 and tvOS 12, it’s now possible to add supported remote controls directly to HomeKit, which can then be used to also control the Apple TV over your Wi-Fi network. However, we haven’t yet seen any actual remotes that take advantage of this function, although Logitech is said to be working on it.