This is the meaning of the coloured buttons on remote controls

by Mike

Not everyone knows the meaning of the coloured buttons on their remote control. However, they can be very useful if you know what they are capable of.

This is the meaning of the coloured buttons on your remote control

Most remote controls have a row of buttons that stand out in colour from the other buttons – usually these are red, green, yellow and blue. On modern TVs, they are used to access smart functions.

  • Of the four coloured buttons, the red button is particularly important. This is often referred to as the Red Button and starts the HbbTV function (Hybrid Broadcasting Broadband TV) of the currently running channel.
  • Pressing the button opens an overview where the broadcasters offer a range of different information and functions. These include details about the current programme, programme notes or a programme preview. Roughly speaking, the offer can be described as a modern version of the classic teletext.
  • Many broadcasters also offer information that has nothing to do with the actual TV programme. This includes the latest news, the weather report, lottery numbers or sports results.
  • If the broadcaster has a media library, this can usually also be accessed via the function.
  • The green, yellow and blue buttons can always perform different functions depending on the channel or the programme being broadcast. For example, the blue button on ARD makes the programme currently running start again from the beginning. The current function of a button is sometimes shown in a small pop-up window – otherwise the only thing that helps is trial and error.

Coloured buttons on the remote control – what you should know

  • If you want to use the buttons to access the smart functions of your TV, it is essential that it is connected to the Internet
  • No costs can be incurred by pressing the buttons, and you cannot adjust any important functions of the set – so you can safely try out the colourful buttons.
  • If you find yourself in the HbbTV overview after pressing the red button, you can use the other colour buttons for navigation. You can usually see which button takes you where at the bottom of the screen.
  • The colour keys are also often used for navigation in other places, for example in the settings of the TV set.
  • Other devices such as satellite receivers, hard disk recorders or streaming boxes also use the coloured buttons for completely different functions, for example to quickly start apps or to take screenshots. A look at the manual will help here.
  • Those who wonder why old TV remote controls sometimes have these colourful buttons: They were already used in the past for simple navigation in teletext – for example, to quickly switch to certain topic pages.

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