Although the Apple TV’s remote control looks sleek, it leaves a lot to be desired. The tiny buttons on the awkward-shaped directional pad can make it difficult to browse through iTune’s library of thousands of movies and TV shows.

As you know, you can easily replace the remote with your iPhone using Apple’s Remote app. But did you know there’s another option? You can control your Apple TV with a third-party remote. And it’s actually fairly easy to setup…

If you have a universal remote, like one that came with your TV or cable/satellite box, you can perform these easy steps to program it to run your Apple TV. That way if you ever misplace your Apple remote, you’ll have a backup ready to go.

Step 1. Turn on your Apple TV, and navigate to Settings > Remotes > Learn Remote

Step 2. Select an unused device setting on your universal remote (for example, I used Aux on my Comcast cable remote).

Step 3. Click Start on your Apple TV to start the remote learning process.

And that’s it, that’s all there is to it. The software on your ATV will guide you through a few simple button presses that will have your universal remote programmed in no time. Remember, the Apple TV’s sensor is infrared, so you’ll need to point your remote directly at it for it to work.

Any questions?