How to Use IR Blaster as TV Remote With Alexa and Google Assistant Controls

Featured Image of How to Use Smart Ir Blaster As Tv Remote

An infra-red (IR) blaster (or universal smart remote) is an small device that helps you control any remote-operated device at your home. We will demonstrate how you can use an IR blaster to replace the physical remote that came with your TV/set-top box. You will also be able to use your voice as a TV remote with Alexa and Google voice assistants on their respective speakers.


With a smart infra-red (IR) remote that integrates your voice, you can convert any dumb device to a smart one. The following requirements must be met to establish a successful pairing for a TV remote with the IR blaster apps and speakers.

  • Universal smart remote or IR blaster device (1 unit)
  • iOS/Android smartphone or tablet with IR blaster support
  • IR blaster/Universal remote app available with Alexa Skills and Google Assistant apps
  • Physical TV remote wth IR support (1 unit)
  • Amazon Echo or Google Home/Nest Mini range of speakers (for voice)

How to Use IR Blaster as TV Remote

IR blaster apps are easy to set up on Android and iOS phones. They support many different devices such as heaters, ceiling fans, LEDs, air conditioners, TV, set-top box, and music systems. Control any of your desired devices simply by taking over the functions of the original remote.

Smart IR Blaster/Universal Remote device and accessories unboxed.

As long as the dumb device supports Infrared connection, you can further wirelessly control them using Alexa/Google Assistant. The detailed procedure has been covered in the following steps.

1. IR Blaster App and Device Enrollment on Android/iOS

On your Android/iOS smartphone, you will find a relevant company app for your IR blaster device. This can be used to complete an initial enrollment of the IR blaster app on your phone.

  1. Connect the plugs and other accessories of the IR blaster so that the whole assembly can be connected to a socket.
Smart IR Blaster/Universal Remote hub device with plug connections
  1. Download the company app from Google Play/App Store and launch it.
  2. Finish the registration requirements to log in into the app.
Smart home app of IR Blaster company being launched in Android phone.
  1. Every smart home application has a “+” button to add new devices. Find the relevant plus button for your IR blaster app and click it once.
Add remote plus option in IR Blaster manufacturer app.
  1. Depending on your device instructions manual, add the universal remote device to your mobile application. In some cases, you may be asked to scan a QR code on the product. In other cases, the connection is established using Bluetooth, Zigbee, or other protocols.
Scanning QR code for device registration of IR Blaster on an Android phone.
  1. Once the smart IR app is successfully connected to your account, follow the next few steps.
Success status for IR blaster app adding to user account.
  1. To configure Wi-Fi on your smart IR blaster, you will be asked to provide your router and phone’s GPS location.
IR Blaster Android app accessing the device location using GPS.
  1. Enter your Wi-Fi SSID and password, and any other credentials to get connected to your home Wi-Fi.
Entering Wi-Fi SSID and password to configure IR Blaster app on Android.

Many consumer IoT devices have a configuration/reset button which needs to be long pressed in order for the device to connect to your home Wi-Fi. If your device doesn’t have this requirement, skip ahead.

IR blaster app Android instruction for long press configuration of LED switches.
  1. Power on the IR blaster by plugging it into a socket or power strip. It should illuminate with bright LED lights. (Refer your instruction manual to know the meaning of these lights used.)
LED light blinking with smart universal IR remote plugged into an outlet.
  1. If your IR blaster requires an initial configuration or reset, you should find a tiny button for that purpose. Press it to turn off the device or press it a number of times as indicated in the instruction’s manual.
Configuration or reset button in Smart IR blaster/universal remote control device.
  1. It can take 1-2 minutes for Wi-Fi to configure on your universal remote.
Ongoing configuration of home Wi-Fi in IR blaster device on its Android manufacturer app.
  1. You should see a success message once the IR blaster is connected to home Wi-Fi.
Home Wi-Fi configuration success message in IR blaster app for Android.

2. Adding Your TV Remote to IR Blaster App (Android)

Once the IR blaster is online, you can connect it to TV remote (or set-top box remote) via the company app. This will help you replace the physical remote that came with your TV/set-top box.

Original TV remote which will be replaced by universal remote of IR blaster.
  1. The app should allow you to add infra-red remote through a plus button or something similar.
Add infra-red remote option in IR blaster app configured on Android phone.
  1. Choose your appliance/device type for connecting with the IR blaster, whether set-top box, TV, AC, or any other.
Choosing device type to connect for IR remote among set top box, TV, AC and custom options.
  1. Here set-top box has been chosen as the device type for infra-red connections.
Set-top box chosen as device category for IR remote control in Android app.
  1. In just a few seconds, your TV/set-top box remote should easily connect to the IR remote app. You may be able to directly add voice assistant from here.
Set top box device visible in Infra-red app homescreen on Android phone.
  1. Your IR blaster company may have its own remote to replace your TV/Set-top box. Now you can use it.
TV remote visible for set top box on Infra-red remote app of Android.

3. Connect IR blaster account to Alexa for Voice Remote

If your IR blaster company supports Alexa, you can use its relevant skills to connect your registered account to Alexa.

  1. On your Alexa app in Android/iOS, go to “Skills & Games” from device home screen.
  2. Search for the required company name, if available.
Search your IR app as available skill in Alexa on Android phone.
  1. Click “Enable to use” for the smart home company name in Alexa skills.
IR blaster app skill enabled for use in Alexa app for Android.
  1. In the next screen, you will be asked to link the company account with Alexa. Click to “Agree and link.”
IR blaster app account linked with Amazon Alexa account on Alexa app for Android.
  1. Wait a few seconds for the smart home skill to enable itself with Alexa as account linking is under progress.
Enabling IR blaster app skill in Alexa for the Alexa app in Android.
  1. If the connection is successful, you will see a success message “Smart home account has been connected to Alexa.”
IR blaster app available as Alexa skill now linked to Alexa account on Android.
  1. Wait a few moments while Alexa is looking for other devices to connect to.
Alexa is looking for devices to connect message in Alexa app.
  1. You will see a message that the smart home app has now been found and connected to Alexa.
IR blaster smart home app found and connected to Alexa on an Android phone.
  1. In the “where is your TV” section, the setting lists out a room such as sitting room or living room. Add any room to this group here; the information can be changed later.
Alexa guiding you to where your TV is placed - sitting room selected.
  1. You can see a message that the TV device has been added to a room of your choice.
TV device brand added to Alexa app for voice-based remote control.
  1. Finally, you will see a message that the TV device is set up and ready to use.
TV device brand is set up and ready to use in Alexa app on Android.

You can see your new TV device in the list of all connected devices available with Alexa app. You can further tweak the settings by clicking on the device.

TV device visible in All Devices section of Alexa app for Android.

Alexa may or may not have the resemblance to a physical remote, but you can now use voice to serve as a smart Wi-Fi universal remote controller.

Smart Wi-Fi universal remote controller available in TV app settings for Alexa.

Some of the voice instructions that can be used with an Alexa speaker are:

  • “Alexa, turn on/off the TV.”
  • “Alexa, mute/unmute the TV.”
  • “Alexa, increase/decrease the volume buttons of TV.”
  • “Alexa, open YouTube app on my TV” (if your TV is an Android TV.)
Amazon Echo blue lights turned on in listening mode.

Are you having trouble connecting Alexa to the Internet? There are very simple troubleshooting steps to follow.

4. Connect IR Blaster to Google Assistant on Nest/Google Home Speakers

Lastly, we will connect the universal remote controller/IR blaster to Google Assistant on Google Home/Nest range of speakers. If the white lights are blinking properly, it means the speaker is in listening mode.

Google Nest Mini white lights blinking for listening mode.
  1. On your Google Home app in Android/iOS, click “+” on homescreen to add new devices in the network.
Clicking plus sign in Google Assistant Android app on the homescreen.
  1. Click “set up device” under “Add and Manage.”
Click set up device in Google Assistant's Add and Manage sub-menu.
  1. Choose “Works with Google” as the category of devices to be set with Google Assistant.
Select works with Google option in Set up a device for Google Assistant on Android.
  1. Locate your smart home app in Google Home by searching for it in the search bar. Click to add it.
Search for IR blaster app in Google Assistant's search button for Android.
  1. You will be asked to link your smart home account with your Google account.
Link IR blaster app account to Google account in Google Assistant app.
  1. Provide the necessary device permissions on your smart IR blaster so that it can be controlled via Google Assistant. Click “Agree and link.”
Press Agree and Link to connect IR Blaster app account with Google account in Google Home app.
  1. Wait a few seconds for the smart home app to link with Google Assistant.
Account linking in progress between Google Home app and IR blaster app in Android phone.
  1. You should be able to see your physical TV remote on the Google Home app’s home screen. Click on it for more details.
TV device app visible in Google Home app homescreen for Android.

Google Home may or may not have a full remote control to monitor your TV in lieu of the physical remote. However, you can use voice-based commands with Google Home/Nest mini speakers which is more efficient.

Various remote buttons including mute/unmute, power on/off and channels visible in Google Home.

Some of the voice-based commands that work for your TV through IR blaster remote are as follows:

  • “Hey Google, switch on/off the TV.”
  • “Hey Google, mute/unmute the TV.”
  • “Hey Google, go to YouTube app on the TV.”
  • “Hey Google, go to Gaming menu on YouTube on the TV.”
Using IR blaster voice controls in place of TV remote.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my phone as Alexa remote?

You can easily use your smartphone as an Alexa remote by using a Fire TV app (with a Fire TV device) or using supported IR blaster apps connected to your Alexa account, for which you need an IR blaster. Both are universal smart remote controllers that work with Wi-Fi.

What is the range of an IR blaster?

An IR blaster is a universal remote whose range should suffice a small apartment or studio easily. If you have a very large home, consider using infrared (IR) repeater systems.

How do I know if my phone supports IR blaster?

If you can download the necessary IR blaster apps from Google Play, and install the connection with the physical remote, that will prove that your phone has infra-red (IR) blaster support.

How do I fix when the TV does not respond to IR remote?

Try to position your IR blaster device in front of the IR sensor of your TV or set-top box. This is located inside the A/V receiver of your target device. So placing the IR remote in very close proximity would work well.

Image credit: ra2Studio at DepositPhotos (Editorial License). All screenshots by Sayak Boral.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Get the best of IoT Tech Trends delivered right to your inbox!

Sayak Boral

IoT-addicted since early 2016. Love to explore the challenges, opportunities and trend insights into what is becoming the third wave of Internet.