Universal Electronics launches Apple TV remote control for cable, satellite operators

Universal Electronics, Inc. (UEI) is introducing a remote control for Apple TV specifically developed and designed to meet the needs of cable, satellite, IPTV and other Multichannel Video Program Distributors (MVPDs). Available starting next year, this new remote offers controls to specifically enhance the live TV experience with Apple TV 4K available through MVPDs, including instant Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) access and channel buttons.

New Apple TV remote from UEI is optimized for live TV experiences, including quick EPG access and channel surfing
New Apple TV remote from UEI is optimized for live TV experiences, including quick EPG access and channel surfing

“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, Universal Electronics, in a statement. “This remote offers convenient features to quickly access the EPG or channel surf live programming available through the MVPD’s app on Apple TV 4K.”

UEI’s new remote combines Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity together with Infrared to provide universal control. Designed with consumers in mind, the new remote packs a range of innovative features and benefits to enhance today’s TV viewing experience.

In addition to integrating with, and optimizing, MVPD offerings, the new Apple TV accessory features:

• Advanced Search & Control: Customers can ask Siri to find and access content across live TV and streaming apps*

• Enhanced Controls for Live TV: Dedicated program guide and channel keys provide easy and instant access to key live TV viewing functions

• Whole Entertainment System Control: Modeless support and universal control of Apple TV, as well as televisions and audio devices from any brand or manufacturer

• Reliable and Secure Communication: Integrated design with UE878, UEI’s reliable and highly integrated BLE chipset optimized for voice control, and Apple’s MFi authentication chip for secure connectivity with Apple TV

• Premium Fit and Feel: Elegant and ergonomic form factor with hard-capped keys on metal domes for enhanced tactile feedback

• Automated Backlit Keys: Accelerometer and ambient light sensor to automatically backlight keys in low light environments when the remote is picked up or moved

• MVPD Branding: Service providers can add their own company brand on the remote

MVPDs that offer Apple TV 4K can begin placing orders for this remote in late December. MVPDs will be able to introduce the new remote together with Apple TV 4K subject to their individual roll-out plans.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s an idea: Make more units and offer them for sale to the general public. They – and we – would beat a path to your door! The need for a better physical remote control for Apple TV is huge and this device, from the looks of it, solves many of the issues with Apple’s rather horrendous (as exemplified by the need for a remote to replace the one in the Apple TV box for cable, satellite, etc. operators) Apple TV Siri Remote.


  1. A new chapter in the epic saga of AppleTV Remote suckage: we bought a new couch and were cleaning the old one to give to a neighbor when one AppleTV remote was discovered insanely deep along a side cushion and the previous gen AppleTV remote fell out of the felt in the bottom when we tipped it. The search for both had been abandoned long ago. Sometimes thin sucks. (Apple, “Find my AppleTV remote too difficult to swing?”)

  2. Sounds like you just need to clean your couch out more often. Or just do a better job of searching. Either way that’s not Apple’s fault you keep losing your remotes. Unless of course you are 5 years old.

    1. Curious how often you clean out your couch? Regularly is it? Deep underneath in the felt? That a regular occurance at the Newsome household? Yes of course we looked under the cushions but that paper thin remote migrated to lands unseen in that furniture. If my wife wasn’t so damn good at everything they’d both still be lost, quite frankly

  3. Hey, but I thought BUTTONS BAD, SWIPING GOOD 😉 For selecting video content and watching it without need for constant interaction, physical tactile buttons are not “archaic.” They’re simple, efficient, and intuitive. My older Apple TV uses old Apple Remote (with only buttons); I like it (except when I can’t find it because it’s tiny).

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