How an Extra Attachment Turns Your Amazon Fire TV Into a Universal Remote
What's the Sideclick Remotes Attachment?
The attachments come in different variations and can be used with Roku or Apple TV (Gen 4) controllers. It can even be used with an Alexa/Echo Voice remote.
Additionally Sideclick Remotes can be arranged to control your sound bar, TV, receiver, and Blu Ray player all at once.
It's the perfect accessory for cord cutters and is an ideal way to get rid of excess remotes without having to spend heap-loads of cash on a universal remote setup.
- The product is available for $28-30 on Amazon.
Currently it has an excellent score of 4.4 out of 5 with over 1200 user reviews, and the Fire TV version has even been given the Amazon's Choice branding.
But if you still have questions about how it works and whether it's worth it, then please read on to see if the Sideclick Remotes Attachment is the right add-on for you.
Note: Fire TV Player remote is not included.
How to Turn Your Amazon Fire TV Into a Universal Remote
The Sideclick Remote was created for streamers and cord cutters whose current streaming remotes lack basic functionality (volume controls, mute, etc.), but you can also use it to power on/off your TV, switch inputs or change the channels of your cable box.
In fact the 8 programmable buttons have distinct indicators for volume, input, power, and channel switching, which could all be toggled in minutes.
How to Program Your Sideclick Remote
To program your remote, you'll need to have the original TV/cable/sound bar remote/s because the Sideclick has to learn which buttons to modify from.
- To begin, position your Sideclick and the remote you want it to learn from on a flat surface, facing head to head about an inch apart.
- Hold the Sideclick's power button and "B" button together until the red LED light turns on (solid light indicates program mode is on).
- Tap a button on the Sideclick that you want to program (LED should start blinking) with the corresponding button on your other remote. The LED will turn solid indicating it has learned that button.
- Repeat step 3 for the remaining buttons. You can choose whichever IR remote you want the Sideclick to learn from for the remaining 7 buttons.
- To exit program mode, press the power button and "B" button together until the solid LED light turns off.
Remember that the LED light has to switch from blinking to solid every time to successfully adapt the button. If it does not, then repeat the process again. You may also want to exit program mode (press power+B) and start over.
Furthermore, you don't have to go by the Sideclick's control indicators (power, +/- channel, volume) as those marks are merely there for guidance.
- Since all the buttons have the same roles, it's possible to control up to 8 devices at once.
For example; the volume buttons could control your sound bar, the power button could turn your TV on/off, the up/down arrows could change your cable box's channels, and the additional A/B buttons could be used for something else.
- The product also comes with two side-clip attachments, one for the Fire TV voice remote and one for the standard non-voice controller.
Since not every Fire TV owner has a voice remote, including the bonus side clip is a great way to satisfy numerous buyers. As an owner of both versions, I was pleased with how easily I could switch from one controller to the next.
The side clips helped eliminate the clutter and made my entertainment controls feel seamless.
5 Best Features
There's a lot to love about this product with plenty of exciting variations that will appeal to many consumers.
These are the 5 best features of the Sideclick Remotes Attachment:
- Controls up to Eight Devices
- Includes 2 Side-clip Attachments for Standard & Non-standard Fire TV remotes
- Easily Programmable Buttons
- Affordable Price Compared to Universal Remote
- Excellent for Cord Cutters
I'm sure customers can find even more to discover, but for me, those 5 attributes were enough to hook me in.
Controls up to Eight Devices
As I've mentioned, you can use those 8 programmable buttons to control up to eight different IR devices even if it's unlikely you'd do that.
Controlling that many devices could get complicated and you'd be limited to a single button per device, but I'm still happy that they included those options.
Perhaps the next version will include more buttons and give the top universal remote control brands a run for their money.
Includes 2 Side-clip Attachments for Standard & Non-standard Fire TV Remotes
While this accessory was intended for voice remotes, I'm glad that they included an extra side clip for standard Fire TV controllers too. On top of that I've been able to clip it to my Echo remote as well.
As far as other controllers go (Roku, Apple TV), you'd need to purchase the other attachments in order for them to clip on properly unless you're okay with having unattached remotes. The Sideclick itself will work fine with any controller, the only thing that changes when purchasing other variants is the clip-on size.
I prefer attaching my Sideclick to my Fire TV controller because it makes it easier to keep track of.
And yes while the side clip does create one wide controller, I was still able to comfortably hold it in my hand. It never felt wider than holding my phone, and I give the company credit for their impressive streamlined design.
Easily Programmable Buttons
None of the the programmable buttons require a source code and all could be set in under 5-10 minutes. Not having to remember number sequences makes it very easy to program whichever TV/audio equipment you want.
The step by step guide is simple to follow, and anything can be controlled as long as you have an IR capable remote.
Affordable Price Compared to Universal Remote
The $28-30 price tag pales in comparison to other universal remotes especially those from Logitech Harmony. Even if you were to buy an attachment for every remote in your home, the price would still fall well short of an Elite Harmony package.
Yes a universal remote can perform many more tasks, but how many people are going to spend 100's of dollars on a full system. Sideclick Remotes feel like the best compromise between a cheap, single use item and an expensive framework.
Excellent for Cord Cutters
Most streaming players lack essential functions, and Sideclick wants to solve those unfortunate shortcomings. Finally I have an all-in-one product that can change the volume or mute the TV.
And although I realize that Amazon is trying to make voice the primary input with gadgets like the Fire TV Cube, voice control still pales in comparison to the standard point and click remote control.
In fact I'd argue that the Fire TV Cube and the Sideclick are an excellent combination for cord cutters. With those two you get the best of both worlds, a complementary controller to a voice-activated entertainment system.
How can you go wrong with that.
3 Worst Features
If you keep your expectations low, then you'll find few if any difficulties with this accessory, however; there are some key points that consumers need to know.
These are the 3 worst features of the Sideclick Remotes Attachment:
- Can't Replace a Universal Remote
- Only One Attachment Per Controller
- Very Basic Functionality
A hand full of users complained about the difficulties in configuring their devices, but from my own testing, I had no such troubles. Perhaps it's because they were trying to learn from non-IR remotes.
Can't Replace a Universal Remote
This is not a product for people who already own a universal controller from the likes of Logitech or other elite brands. This is particularly true if you possess a high-end item like the Logitech Harmony Elite, which can control almost any smart home gadget or entertainment system.
For those consumers, it wouldn't make sense to purchase a finite alternative no matter how many of them you get.
So if you're someone who has already shelled out cash for a supreme system, then I wouldn't bother with the Sideclick Remote.
Only One Attachment Per Controller
If you're looking for an all-in-one device for every remote in your home, then you're out of luck.
Certainly you can control several things at once with one Sideclick, but if you're someone who has several TVs, sound bars, etc. then you're going to need more attachments.
Thankfully the price point is low enough that getting 2-3 of these won't break the bank, but I can see how it might affect those on a limited budget.
More so, if you have numerous devices/remotes, then you're probably better off buying a universal remote control.
Very Basic Functionality
Because it's a cord-cutter's product, the Sideclick Remote was only built to control the basics; the 8 buttons made that clear.
I only use my Sideclick to turn on/off my TV, change the volume, switch inputs, mute the TV, and change the channel on my cable box. In fact those operations alone took up most of the available buttons, which I'm okay with.
However if you're looking to do a lot more, then this is not the gadget for you.
This product is one of my most useful accessories, and it serves its purpose extremely well.
I'll gladly award this item 4.5 out of 5 stars.
This apparatus is a terrific companion piece to my streaming layout, and I never had any problems setting up the controls, clipping the item to my existing Fire TV controller, or other technical glitches.
I particularly loved the designated buttons and the added clip-on for non-voice Fire remotes.
This is a low cost accessory that gets the job done, and while there are some negatives, they never made the item feel less practical/enjoyable.
I found that the 8 buttons were perfectly fine for my current setup, and I could always buy another attachment if I really needed it.
The Sideclick Remotes Attachment isn't for everyone, but if you're a cord cutter with a Roku or an Apple/Fire TV, then I highly recommend purchasing this convenient accessory.