How Does a TV Remote Work?

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A TV remote works through an infrared emitter, and a pushed button on a remote generates an electric impulse that results in a flash coming out of the remote that can be picked up by a television sensor. Discover how many batteries are needed to power to average remote control with help from the owner of an electronics store in this free video on TV remotes.

Part of the Video Series: TV & Electronics
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Video Transcript

How does a TV remote work? First thing you have to do is load batteries into a Television remote control. Some take two or four batteries, some are AA, or some are AAA. That's the basic sizes. The remote control works by way of an infrared emitter, which is right here in the front of the remote control. When you push a button on the remote, it generates an electric impulse into the logics system of the remote, which generates a certain flash coming out of the front of the remote. This flash you can't see, cause it's infrared, but the Television sensor on the front of the Television can pick that flash up, so when you tell it to turn up the volume the TV understands that, just by the infrared signal coming out of here, the TV volume is increased and also turning it down as well, plus power on and off, channel up and down. If for some reason, the remote gets stuck behind your couch cushions, it'll stay on for a long period of time, because maybe some of the buttons will be pushed constantly, and then your batteries will drain a lot faster than the normal one to two years that you normally have to change the batteries in. So, if the remote doesn't work, just try changing the batteries.

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