Fire TV Remote

Fire TV IR Control

Fire TV now supports IR control. Here’s how I found out. So I recently got a new Fire TV Stick 4K, and I discovered a new feature added that I really enjoyed. I’ve setup several Gen 1 and Gen 2 Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks before, so I’m expecting a very similar setup. When opening up the package, I noticed that Amazon has updated the Fire TV remote again. Now the remote includes two volume buttons at the bottom.

During the setup, I’m asked if I have a Sound Bar. For those unfamiliar, a Sound Bar is a speaker you setup with your TV to provide better sound than the built-in TV Speakers. Generally they look like long, skinny rectangles, or like a bar, and it’s intended to sit right below your TV. They have been around for some time now, almost as long as flat screen TVs. These days, you can get Smart Sound Bars that also connect to the internet and provide easier control.

Sound Bar Example
Sound Bar Example

The Sound Bar I’m using is an older Philips variant and only has control support via a simple IR remote. IR, short for Infrared Remote, is an older technology for controlling devices via a remote. When working with IR Remotes, each manufacture went along and created their own language for communication with these remotes. This means that each remote you find only knows how to talk to a very specific device. I’ve had problems with controllers and my Sound Bar in the past, too. It’s an older Phillips variant and only has controller support with one of these IR Remotes, so getting replacements for it is an annoying task.

Here’s the interesting bit. While looking at the Sound Bar setup screen, I’m presented with a list of supported manufactures. 4 or 5 key brands, none of which are Philips. Then I see the final option: “Other”. I selected “Other”and found a surprisingly huge list — 100+ of manufactures — including Philips!

Finding the full exhausted list of supported brands is tough to do, so I created a list. Check it out here.

I selected Phillips, and then was presented with the “Test Control” Screen, where I can see if the volume buttons on the new remote work. And to my surprise, it worked!

Sound Bar Setup Screen
Sound Bar Setup Screen

So long story short, the new Fire TV 4K remote has support for IR control, and it supports a ton of different manufactures. It’s not clear on the product page, but it indeed does.

Nice job Fire TV Team.

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