One of the things I love about the Apple TV is that it is simple to use. The initial setup is simple, the navigation is simple... even the small silver remote that comes with the Apple TV is simple. The problem with a small remote like that (especially with small children) is that it can also be simple to lose (and we all know that when we lose the Apple TV remote, life isn't so simple anymore).
So what do you do when you lose your Apple TV remote? Well, you can either stop using your Apple TV (not recommended), use the free iOS Remote app (which actually works really well) or use a 3rd-party remote to control your Apple TV. Wait, what? Yes, you can actually use your DVD player remote or even the remote that comes with your DirecTV or Comcast receiver to control your Apple TV. This is also great for those who simply want to reduce the number of remotes in their Family Room to control their multimedia experience. Here's how it works.
On your Apple TV, navigate to Settings > General > Remotes. Next, click on "Learn Remote". The directions from here will be self-explanatory. Eventually, you will see a screen that looks something like this:
The Apple TV has a total of 7 buttons (up, down, left, right, select, menu, play/pause). During this phase of the remote configuration, you will be asked which buttons on your 3rd-party remote you want to use to mimic these 7 buttons. Once you have selected those buttons, the wizard will be complete, and you can now use your 3rd-party remote to control your Apple TV!