Universal Electronics launches Apple TV remote for MVPDs

The Apple TV remote is an often reviled peripheral device. Universal Electronics has taken it upon itself to create a different option.

The company is releasing a reimagined Apple TV remote designed to better meet the needs of cable, satellite, IPTV and other MVPDs. The remote will be available starting next year and should enhance the live TV experience with Apple TV 4K devices available through MVPDs by including features like instant programming guide access and channel buttons.

“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. “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.”

RELATED: Apple plots new Apple TV device with updated remote: report

Universal Electronics’ version of an Apple TV remote – which supports Bluetooth Low Energy and infrared – still includes features like Siri but throws in control support for televisions and audio devices from other brands or manufacturers. It also includes an accelerometer and ambient light sensor to automatically backlight keys in low light environments when the remote is picked up or moved.

The company said that MVPDs that offer Apple TV 4K can begin placing orders for the remote in late December.

Cable operators including Altice USA and Charter have already been selling Apple TV devices directly to their subscribers who don’t want traditional set-top boxes. In the meantime, Apple has reportedly been developing a new Apple TV device with an improved remote.