How to Use a Philips Magnavox Universal Learning Remote

By David Lipscomb

Philips Magnavox universal remotes streamline media system control.
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Created to address entertainment systems featuring a few components, universal remotes seek to simply operation by replacing multiple controllers with one. Philips Magnavox universal remotes use a code database referencing makes and models of VCRs, DVD players, televisions and other devices from a variety of manufacturers. If the code is not present, aiming the original remote at the universal unit teaches the device. Universal remotes might not replicate each and every function for all of your devices, but it should do enough to reduce coffee table clutter and remote juggling.


Philips Magnavox universal remotes such as the SRU5107/27 are backlit affairs, facilitating control in low-light conditions without having to turn on a lamp. These remotes offer a standard layout of common remote control features from any device, including Menu, Guide, Channel, Volume and others. Additionally, these units feature dedicated digital video recorder features, addressing the increasing use of these devices from television service providers. Buttons are laid out in a familiar manner, similar to that of any number of pre-packaged remotes from nearly all manufacturers. Hard buttons on this remote and others like it allow you to operate by feel in a dark room without having to illuminate the space with a large LCD screen.

General Use

Buttons on Philips Magnavox remotes control essential functions of your primary devices, such as your DVD and television. Universal remotes prove their worth when you're able to turn on all of your devices, start a movie and control volume without having to glance at the unit. A function known as "punch-through" allows control over universal applications like volume adjustment on your television or receiver without having to switch control from your DVR or DVD player.

What Does "Learning" Mean?

Nearly all universal remotes come equipped with a bank of pre-programmed codes spanning multiple manufacturers and devices. Learning remotes like the Philips Magnavox SRU5107/27 add another layer of convenience. By pointing your original remote at the Philips unit and pressing a specific button sequence, the code for "volume up" for example on the original remote is transferred to the corresponding button on the Philips device. Although you can only learn television codes in the "TV" and digital video recorder codes into the "DVR" banks for example, this function prevents the universal remote from being limited only by those codes programmed from the factory. The learning function is the key feature that separates inexpensive universal remotes from true learning devices.

Learning Process

Locate the "SETUP" button on the Philips Magnavox remote. Press and hold this button until the red light indicator stays lit. Press the button corresponding to the device, such as "TV" for television commands or "DVD" for those codes. Press the "LEARN" button on the universal remote. Press the command you wish to teach the learning remote. This can be "Power," "Eject," "Menu" or whichever code you need to transfer into the Philips Magnavox device. Lay both remotes button side-up on a flat surface approximately one inch apart, with the emitters on each remote facing one another. Press the appropriate button on the original remote. The red light on the universal remote will flash once and stay solid. Repeat the process for each command and device you want to teach to the Philips remote.