How to use any TV remote with an Xbox Series X

There are a range of Xbox TV media remotes you can buy to attach to your Xbox One, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S console, but if you have a relatively new TV, you might not need to. 

Thanks to the magic of HDMI-CEC, you may be able to ditch having multiple remotes entirely, and just use whatever remote came with your TV to control your Xbox. HDMI-CEC is a relatively new tech that stands for “Consumer Electronics Control,” and it allows devices to communicate over HDMI for adjusting TV controls, interacting with apps, and so on. For Xbox, it allows you to control the entire dashboard, as well as use media controls in apps like YouTube and the Blu-ray player.

It’s often not enabled by default, however, and the steps to enable it may vary by manufacturer. But here are the basic steps for enabling it for your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S.

Enable HDMI-CEC on your TV

Many TVs don’t have HDMI-CEC enabled by default.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

1. First, you’ll need to enable HDMI-CEC on your TV or monitor, which often isn’t turned on by default. Different manufacturers may even have different brand names for HDMI-CEC. Here’s what it looks like on a Samsung TV.
2. Press the home button on your TV remote, or the settings button if one is available.
3. You’re looking for a setting that refers to HDMI-CEC or external device control. On a Samsung TV, it’s under General > External Device Manager > Anynet+. I have no idea why Samsung branded it this way, but here we are.
4. Once you have enabled HDMI-CEC features on your TV, you should be able to enable remote control on your Xbox console.

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