best universal remotes for netflix

7 Best Universal Remotes for Netflix in 2020 [Samsung, ATV, Roku, Fire TV, Etc.]

In Recommendations by Tim BrennanLeave a Comment

In this long-overdue article, I’ll lay out my picks for the seven best universal remotes for Netflix regardless of whether you are accessing it via your Samsung Smart TV, Fire Stick. Fire TV Cube, Roku box, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, or some other method.

The seven best universal remotes for Netflix in 2020 are:

  1. Logitech Harmony Elite [Best of the Best]
  2. Harmony Companion [Best Overall Value]
  3. Logitech Harmony Ultimate [Premium Option]
  4. Caavo Control Center [Best Cross-Streaming]
  5. Harmony 950 [Best for Entertainment-Only]
  6. Harmony Hub [Best Smartphone Remote]
  7. Harmony Express [Best for Voice Control]

best universal remotes for netflixA Netflix Mega Nerd

I love me some Netflix.  Over the past few months, I’ve binge-watched The Witcher, Ragnarok, Lost in Space, Mad Men, and The Umbrella Academy. I’m currently watching Locke and Key. It’s pretty awesome so far.

Before that it was Stranger Things, Peaky Blinders, Ozark, The Last Kingdom, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Iron Fist [my Wi-Fi network name is Kun-Lun], and a whole ton of others.

Yeah, I’m a bit of a sci-fi and fantasy nerd, I suppose. But Peaky Blinders is cool, right?  Right??

My girlfriend and I freaked when N etflix suddenly dropped Californication from the lineup last year after we were just two seasons in. We are now watching it on Showtime.

As an avid blogger about universal remotes, it hit me that I have been remiss about writing an article about the best remotes for the service that I watch the most! Netflix!

Maybe you should spend a little less time in front of the tube and more time writing, Tim. LOL.

But apparently, I’m in good company. According to Statistica, the number of Netflix subscribers has grown from 22 million in 2011 to over 150 million today. Wow.  Also, according to an earlier study by BusinessofApps, more than 50% of all Netflix users use it several times a week.

Phew.


Do All Universal Remotes Work with Netflix?

The good news is that nearly all popular universal remotes work with Netflix.  I mean, if you can’t control Netflix with your remote, what’s the point, right?

There are few really lame ones that aren’t compatible, but we won’t talk about those. Most universal remotes will do it, and most manufacturers will list the ability to control Netflix as a selling point.

But some do it better than others. And some do it much better. I’ll explain why in my mini-reviews of what I feel are the seven best remotes for Netflix [and just about anything else] below.

First, let me start with a quick comparison table of the best remotes for Netflix from Logitech and Caavo.


Best Universal Remotes for Netflix Comparison Table

Note: You can click on any remote in the table to jump down to my mini-review for it.

RankProductImageCoolest Netflix FeatureMy Score
1Logitech Harmony EliteWatch Netflix activity powers on all your favorite entertainment devices and smart home tech.A+
2Harmony CompanionSame as Elite.A
3Harmony Ultimate One
Launch Netflix using a cool color LCD screen.B+
4Caavo Control CenterSearch for content across Netflix and other streaming services.B+
5Harmony HubLaunch and control Netflix using your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.B+
6Harmony 950Program a Watch Netflix activity to control your home entertainment devices only [TV, receiver soundbar, etc.).B
7Harmony ExpressWatch and control all major Netflix functions using your voice with Alexa built into the remote.B

1. Logitech Harmony Elite [Best of the Best]

best universal remotes for NetflixWith its full-color LCD touchscreen, haptic feedback, backlit buttons, and support for up to 15 entertainment and smart devices, the Harmony Elite is the Rolls Royce of remote controls.  I have been the proud owner of the Elite for a couple of years now and quite frankly I don’t want to go back to life without it. The best thing about the Elite with Netflix is that it can be used to fire off activities that group multiple devices together when I want to watch the Witcher. I created a custom “Watch Netflix” button that turns on my Smart TV [if it is off], tunes it to Netflix, turns on my receiver/ surround sound system, and sets the color of my smart lights to a cool blue. It isn’t cheap, but if you want the best remote money can buy for Netflix and pretty much everything else, this is it. You can read my full review of the Harmony Elite here.

SEE IT AT AMAZON

Matt Ferrell does a nice job communicating the value proposition of the Elite:

I agree family approval is huge!


2. Harmony Companion [Best Overall Value]

best universal remotes for NetflixNext on my list of best universal remotes for Netflix is the Logitech Harmony Companion. The Harmony Companion is a scaled-down version of the Elite but you get most of the same benefits.  This remote is a fan favorite of industry analysts and often comes out as top-pick over the Elite because of its more affordable price. It doesn’t have the cool LCD screen but it does include most of the same functions of the Elite, including smart device control, and activities like the example I give above.  You can read my review of how Companion matches up against Elite and other members of the Harmony product line here.

SEE IT AT AMAZON

Here’s a solid video review of the Companion I found out on YouTube by Babbling Boolean:


3. Harmony Ultimate One [Premium Legacy Option]

best universal remotes for NetflixOK, I’ve said it before, this is one cool looking remote. I think it is actually even cooler than the Elite. For a while now, this remote has been discontinued by Logitech. However, it is a fan favorite and is still available for sale on Amazon, and Logitech will give you limited support if you buy it. This was Logitech’s premium predecessor to the Elite. You can get it a lower cost, and it will support activities. The main improvement that Logitech introduced with the Elite over the Ultimate was better button placement for some key functions. I write about those here.  If you can live with that design difference, you might be able to get a good buy. You can read my full review of the Ultimate vs the Elite here.

SEE IT AT AMAZON


4. Caavo Control Center [Best Cross Service]

best universal remotes for NetflixNow hold on. This isn’t a Harmony remote. Why is this on the list?  Haha. It’s true.  Harmony really has cornered the market on the best universal remotes.  I wouldn’t trade my Elite for Caavo anytime soon, but The Verge seems to think that Caavo is the best universal remote. But I recently put Control Center through the paces and I have to say I was impressed. Where Caavo shines is in its ability to integrate across multiple streaming devices, so if you like to stream on other services in addition to Netflix it may be worth a look.  It also has solid voice control that rivals Harmony’s (except for the Express).  If you are interested in learning more, you can read my full comparison of Caavo with Harmony Elite here.

SEE IT AT AMAZON

Linus Tech Tips provides a very thorough review of Caavo. I’ll embed it below.


5. Harmony Hub [Best iOS and Android Smartphone Remote]

best universal remotes for NetflixIf the Harmony Companion is like the Harmony Elite without the LCD screen, the Harmony Hub is the Harmony Companion without the remote! So how in the world do you binge watch Netflix without a physical remote? Well, Harmony Hub lets you do it using your phone. The cool thing is that you get most of the same functionality and a similar interface to the touchscreen on the Elite. This includes support for activities [including smart home integration] as well as the ability to customize up 50 favorite TV channels with colorful icons for each one.  You can read my latest review of the Harmony Hub here.

SEE IT AT AMAZON


6. Harmony 950 [Best for Entertainment-Only]

best universal remotes for NetflixWhen you look at the product image of the 950, you may think “hey, that looks familiar.” You would be correct. The design of the 950 is almost identical to the Harmony Elite. The key difference is that it doesn’t ship with the Hub. What does that mean? Well, it means that you only get to control home entertainment devices and not smart home stuff.  As far as watching Netflix, you can create the activity in my Elite example; the only thing it wouldn’t be able to control is the smart light.  You can always add a Harmony Hub later, but for my money, I would just go with the Elite. If you want to learn more about the 950, check out my full review here.

SEE IT AT AMAZON


7. Harmony Express [Best for Voice Control]

best universal remotes for NetflixThe Harmony Express is Logitech’s newest remote. It was designed to do one thing well. That is, work with Alexa. Customers who own the Harmony Express rave about its ease of setup, even customers who have owned other Harmony remotes in the past. The remote doesn’t have an LCD touchscreen or as many buttons or activities as the other Harmony remotes. But that’s the point. It was designed so that you can control your entire entertainment experience with your voice using Alexa, which is built into the device. After you set it up and want to watch Netflix, you can just say “Go to the Netflix app” with no annoying wake word required. You can read my full review of Harmony Express here.

SEE IT AT AMAZON

Thanks to Christian David for the thoughtful video review:


Will These Universal Remotes for Netflix Work with My Hardware?

All of these remotes will absolutely be able to control Netflix with the proper hardware and streaming services.

However, you should check each manufacturer’s website to make sure the streaming devices and hardware that you are using are compatible.

For example, I know that some older versions of Google Chromecast won’t support activities on the Harmony remotes.

To see if your devices are compatible with Harmony remotes, check the Harmony device compatibility database.

To make sure your devices are compatible with Caavo, visit Caavo’s compatibility support page.


Best Universal Remotes for Netflix: What Do You Think?

So what do you think about my seven best universal remotes for Netflix?

Do you agree that the Harmony Elite is the creme de la creme of remotes?  Or is it just too steep of an investment for controlling your Netflix experience?

What do you think about controlling Netflix using just your smartphone?

More importantly, what are you watching on Netflix these days? This Netflix mega-nerd is always looking out for a good sci-fi recommendation.

I hope you will please leave me a comment below and let me know.

In the meantime, happy binge-watching!


About the Author

best universal remotes for NetflixTim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger

Tim Brennan [a.k.a. “Tec Timmy”] is a senior technical writer with over 25 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this site, Tim is also a regular contributor over at oneSmartcrib.com, a smart home blog. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.

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