What Frequency Do TV Remotes Use? (Explained)

TV remotes come in handy in navigating through TV sets, allowing for certain modulations and settings. 

It’s always such that the transmitters in the remote send signals to the receivers on the TV set. 

However, you may wonder about the frequency type in the transmission. Don’t worry; this article explains everything and gives you deep insights.

Typical TV remotes use infrared technology. And infrared remotes normally use wavelengths of about 940 Nanometres which equals a 318 Terahertz frequency. Remember that the 318 THz is the frequency of the emitted light. The diode itself is pulsed at a frequency of about 38 kHz.

What Kind of Frequency Do TV Remotes Use?

What Frequency Do TV Remotes Use

Different TV remotes work with various frequencies, so it depends. Nonetheless, the most common frequency is infrared, which you’ll find in infrared remotes.

Infrared remotes use infrared light waves to transmit signals to intended devices. 

And the signal is normally transmitted in the form of pulses, which translate into commands for the receiver unit. 

In the case of the pulses, they’re transmitted with a specific modulated frequency of about 38 Khz.

The reason is so that the receiver on the TV identifies the signal. Moreover, other nearby peripherals and devices may be emitting various signals.

The specific pulse frequency makes the receiver identify the transmission; it decodes immediately.

In addition, infrared light waves are usually in the range of 700 nanometers to 1 millimeter

You can find this frequency range on several devices, including TVs, DVD players, Blu-ray players, and more. 

The commonest light beam wavelength in infrared remotes is about 940 nanometres; this corresponds to 318 THz. 

Note the waves are always invisible to human eyes and cannot pass through thick materials.

Any slight obstruction can prevent the pulse from getting to the receiver. 

These obstructions can include light reflections from the wall or translucent materials.

Subsequently, another type of remote control frequency is radio frequency or RF; you’ll find this one in Bluetooth-enhanced remotes.

The operation is such that radio signals transmit commands to the intended devices instead of infrared light, as IR remotes do.

Just like you can’t see the transmitted pulses in infrared remotes, the radio waves are invisible. 

The messages are sent and travel through the air; the situation is akin to the transmission of music to Bluetooth headphones. 

The frequency of the transmitted wave is typically about 2.4 GHz.

What Type of Remote Uses Radio Frequency?

Though infrared technology is common, especially when it comes to remote controls, many devices still use radio frequency. 

Some radio frequency remotes include garage door openers and car-alarm fobs remotes. 

Even Bluetooth remotes that normally come with smart TVs use this frequency; the technology is gradually spreading.

The radio wave transmission mechanism in the RF remotes is similar.

With specific frequencies, the controls typically send codes to the receiver on the intended device through the signals.

The wave frequency typically ranges from about 315 MHz and 433 MHz to even 2.4 GHz.

One good thing is that it permeates thick materials and even most translucent substances.

RF remotes can transmit signals up to 100 feet from the receiver. This capability makes them useful in garage door openers and car alarms. 

Furthermore, radio waves are used for many technical purposes and are essential for communication and broadcasting.

Besides their usage in remote controls and other domestic applications, they come in handy in industrial, military, and medical applications.

Different frequencies carry different types of information, which is what makes radio waves so versatile.

They use similar principles of generating an electric current and sending it through a dielectric to create a transmission waveform. 

How the wave is transmitted is dependent on the type of material the conductor passes through.

Radiofrequency technology has a lot to offer society; however, people need to use it responsibly when using equipment or appliances that generate RF signals. 

Without strict guidelines, this technology could push the world towards a dangerous new era where everyone receives greater amounts of RF energy daily. 

It’s important to be aware of infrared technology’s working principles and downsides to create safer standards for our daily life.

So let’s look at the pros and cons.

It’s vital in radar for object detectionUncontrolled radiation affects children, pregnant women, and elderly humans.
It’s helpful in microwave communication systems. Unnecessarily interference issues may occur in a few scenarios due to careless radio waves.
It’s helpful in MRI for taking images of the human bodyThe spots near RF cellular towers have more lighting.

What Type of Remote Use Infrared Frequency?

Infrared remotes utilize infrared frequency to communicate with controlled devices.

Consequently, there’s always this data transmission to stereo systems.

They’re great because they can be used in any environment, even when there is a lot of sunlight or other interference.

These remote types are the commonest; you can find them in many devices, such as televisions, DVD players, and set-top boxes.

Additionally, infrared controls transmit signals picked up by the infrared receiver in the controlled device. 

The receiver then converts the signal into a digital code that it sends to the device’s CPU.

The CPU furthermore carries out the instructions of the code and acts on the device.

In some cases, the signals may bounce off if objects are in their path; they’ll return to the receiver on the remote.

The controls need a clear line of sight with your devices for proper propagation.

By implication, you cannot control any intended device anywhere in your room or house.

The transmission is so specific that the signals are transmitted with a particular frequency- the pulses normally occur with a 38 MHz frequency.

Likewise, a code is sent along with the signal; it specifies the product to be controlled. 

This coding ensures the remote control doesn’t control other close peripherals and stereo systems.

Moreover, only one remote control unit can operate a TV brand model.

Notwithstanding, in rare cases, certain remotes can control more than a device. These controls are called universal remotes.

Instead of sending only signals specific to one brand, they typically manipulate codes that many TVs and stereo systems understand and respond to.

Altogether, infrared frequency is a vital signal for modulating devices remotely. In addition, it’s essential in wired and wireless transmissions.

Remote controls use near-infrared light, conveyed through light-emitting diodes (LEDs), to transfer focused signals to stereo devices, such as televisions.

What Wavelength Does a TV Remote Use?

The wavelength of your TV remote largely depends on the remote type.

For example, most infrared remotes emanate infrared light at about 940 nanometres using the diode.

Infrared light is an electromagnetic emission that has a longer wavelength compared to visible light but, in the same way, shorter than radio waves. 

On the other hand, infrared wavelengths correspond to a range of roughly 700nm to 1mm, between the invisible infrared and the visible red end of the spectrum.


Remote controls are a great way to modulate our TV, DVD player, or other home entertainment devices. 

On the other hand, frequency transmission is one property that makes the modulation and signals transmission on these devices easy. 

The frequency makes it possible even from a distance in some cases.

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