Cable companies offered an alternative to the branded Apple TV remote

Universal Electronics offers its own version of an easy-to-use “button-style” remote control for Apple TV, a remote that it hopes to sell to cable companies to be included in a streaming video package.

Apple TV has been offered as a bonus by some cable companies for a few years, the Apple set-top box being used as an alternative to the usual cable set-top box or DVR. Now, a company is trying to capitalize on the concept by allowing cable providers to further customize their Apple TV-based plan, which also does away with the Siri Remote.

Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI) announced on Friday that it was producing its own Apple TV remote control, which is intended to be acquired and distributed by cable providers, reports The edge. Following a similar path to Button Remote for Apple TV, its own version offers more buttons that users can press, rather than relying on a trackpad.

Instead, the remote uses a directional control pad, as well as media navigation keys, menu and home buttons, a power button, and channel and volume up and down buttons. The remote also includes a button for making Siri requests.

Billed as enhancing the “live TV experience,” the remote also has a dedicated button labeled “Guide”, which will automatically open the cable operator’s electronic program guide in its tvOS app.

Using Bluetooth LE to communicate with the Apple TV itself, with support for Apple’s MFi authentication, the remote also uses infrared to provide universal control function for the TV. Finally, cable operators can add their own brand to the remote.

UEI advises that remote control orders can be placed from December, but only by “multi-channel video program distributors”, not by consumers. The intention is that it is acquired and then delivered with an Apple TV or Apple TV 4K to consumers.

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