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I've Lost My Cable TV Remote! Help!
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (September 25, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I have Comcast and I lost the remote to my cable box. I'm guessing our toddler hid it somewhere, but who knows. What can I do? Our TV has been stuck on the Disney Channel now for two days. We don't know how to turn the channel without the remote. -- Harry, Arlington, Virginia.

I have good news for you. First, if you can't find the remote, you can go to your local Comcast office and get a new one for free. If don't have time to visit the local office, Comcast will send you one by mail for $10.

And I have more good news for you. Until you get your new remote, you can actually download a remote over the Internet. No, I'm not crazy.
You can download a TV remote over the Net.

Here's how you do it. Comcast has an app called the Xfinity TV Remote; it can be download on your computer, Android products, iPads and iPhones. Once downloaded, the app can be used like a regular handheld remote.

The app has a TV listings section which enables you to scan available programming and then tune to that channel by clicking on the show's grid on screen. The app even has a Previous Channel feature where you can click on one of several channels you may have recently watched.

I have used the Xfinity TV Remote app and it works pretty well. Occasionally, it serves up a glitch, such as an error message on your TV screen after you click on the channel you want to watch. When that happens, you have to get up from your chair, go to your cable TV set-top and hit the Exit button. It doesn't happen too often, but it's annoying when it does.

The Xfinity Remote app also an On Demand feature that enables you to search for programs in that category and then watch them by clicking on your show of choice. And the app has a DVR Manager where you can watch your previously recorded shows and/or record future programs.

If the app is not to your liking -- and you still haven't had time to get down to your local Comcast office -- you might be able to program your TV's remote to control the cable box. Consult your TV's manual for more information.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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