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Cable companies offered brandable Apple TV remote option

Universal Electronics offers its own version of a user-friendly “button-shaped” remote control for Apple TV, one that it hopes to sell to cable companies to be included as part of a streaming video package.

Apple TV has been offered as a bonus by some cable companies for a few years, with Apple’s set-top box being used as an alternative to the usual cable box or DVR. Now a company is trying to leverage the concept by allowing cable providers to further brand their Apple TV-based package, one that also removes the Siri Remote.

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

Instead, the remote control uses a directional pad along with media navigation keys, menu and start buttons, on / off button and the channel and volume buttons up and down. The remote also includes a button to make Siri requests.

Billed as an enhancement to the “live TV experience”, the remote also has a dedicated button labeled “Guide”, which automatically opens the cable provider’s electronic program guide in their tvOS app.

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

The UEI recommends that orders for the remote be placed from December, but only by “Multichannel Video Program Distributors”, not consumers. The intention is that it should be acquired and then delivered along with an Apple TV or Apple TV 4K to the consumers.

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