In consumer electronics, a remote control is a component of an electronic device such as a television set, DVD player, or other home appliance, used to operate the device wirelessly from a short distance. Remote control is a convenience feature for the consumer, and can allow operation of devices that are out of convenient reach for direct operation of controls.
Commonly, remote controls are Consumer IR devices which send digitally-coded pulses of infrared radiation to control functions such as power, volume, tuning, temperature set point, fan speed, or other features. Remote controls for these devices are usually small wireless handheld objects with an array of buttons for adjusting various settings such as television channel, track number, and volume. For many devices, the remote control contains all the function controls while the controlled device itself has only a handful of essential primary controls.
Earlier remote controls in 1973 used ultrasonic tones. The remote control code, and thus the required remote control device, is usually specific to a product line, but there are universal remotes, which emulate the remote control made for most major brand devices