Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI) has introduced its version of the notoriously unpopular Apple TV remote “specifically developed and designed” for cable, satellite, and MVPD (multichannel video program distributor) customers, the company announced.
The remote uses Bluetooth low energy or infrared to connect with the box, has a microphone to speak commands to Siri, and its universal remote function allows control of TVs and audio devices from any brand or manufacturer. It has backlit keys, which activate via an ambient light sensor, a button to flip through channels, and a mute button, according to UEI.
“We’re excited that customers worldwide will soon be able to enjoy this new remote, designed specifically for the growing number of MVPDs offering Apple TV 4K to their subscribers,” said Paul Arling, CEO of Universal Electronics, in a statement.
Universal isn’t the first company to introduce an Apple TV remote alternative; last year, Swiss TV and internet provider Salt developed a remote in collaboration with Apple after the touchpad controls on the native remote proved frustrating for users used to having standard buttons. And Function introduced its Button Remote for Apple TV in July. The Salt model has been difficult to buy in the US.
UEI’s remote will be available beginning next year, but consumers won’t be able to buy the remote directly from Universal. The company plans to sell branded versions of the remote directly via the cable companies.
The Apple TV remote has yet another alternate option that includes buttons The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ The Verge.