Apple TV has a very useful feature that allows the device to learn remotes that control your TV, cable box or DVD player. The remote does not need to be a universal remote. In fact, it’s just the opposite of a programable remote. Instead of the remote learning to control your Apple TV, your Apple TV learns how to be controlled by other remotes.
This means just about any of your existing remotes can also control your Apple TV and it only takes a couple of minutes to set it up.
To use a third-party remote:
Step 1. Go to Settings -> General -> Remotes on your Apple TV.
Step 2. Select Learn Remote.
Step 3. Set your remote to a setting that doesn’t control any other devices or use buttons that do not already control a function on your TV or other device. Some remotes have an option to control different devices such as a VCR or DVD player, or have an auxiliary (AUX) option for an unspecified device.
You will need six basic functions to control your Apple TV: Up, Down, Left, Right, Select and Menu. The buttons on the remote do not have to correspond with the Apple TV function, but it will make it easier to remember for future reference if they do.
Step 4. Select Start.
Step 5. You should see icons for the six Apple TV main functions. Using your third-party remote press hold the button you would like to use to control the “UP” function until the blue progress bar is full.
Step 6. Repeat the process for the remaining functions. After you complete all six functions, you are ready to use your third-party remote to control your Apple TV.