Audio/Video accessories vendor Universal Electronics (UEI) will soon be offering a remote control designed to integrate use of cable, satellite or IPTV services apps through Apple TV 4K media streaming devices.

The new remote, which is to be distributed to pay-TV service subscribers by their multi-channel video program distributors (MVPDs), was designed to make it easy to use and integrate functionality of an Apple TV 4K streamer for use with the live TV subscription service platforms and program guides.

Among the use benefits through the device are instant access to the electronic program guides and fast-access to specific streaming channel apps via dedicated service buttons.

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“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,” stated Paul Arling, CEO, Universal Electronics Inc. “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.”

The new remote combines Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity with infrared for additional flexibility of use in a variety of home theater setup configurations.

Other new Apple TV 4K accessory features for MVPD users are the following:

  • Advanced Search & Control: End users can control operation via Siri voice control in markets where it is supported to find and access content from live TV channels as well as streaming apps.
  • Enhanced Controls for Live TV: Dedicated program guide and channel keys are offered for instant access to key live TV viewing functions
  • Whole Entertainment System Control: Device interoperability is offered using modeless support and universal control of Apple TV as well as many brands and models of televisions and audio devices.
  • Secure Communication: An integrated design with UE878, UEI’s integrated BLE chipset optimized for voice control, together with Apple’s MFi authentication chip, provides secure connectivity and use with Apple TV
  • Premium Fit and Feel: An ergonomic form factor uses hard-capped keys on metal domes for enhanced tactile feedback
  • Automated Backlit Keys: An accelerometer and ambient light sensor automatically back light keys in low light environments when the remote is picked up or moved.

Service providers that offer Apple TV 4K streaming devices as part of their offerings will be able to add their own branding trademarks to the device, UEI said.

The company said it will begin to take orders from relevant MVPD companies in late December, meaning subscribers to such services that also distribute Apple TV 4K streamers should be able to get the remotes through their compatible local cable, satellite or IPTV service provider early in 2021. Pricing or leasing fees for the remote will be determined by the local service provider.

Proximus (Belgium), Vodafone (U.K.) and Eir (Ireland) are among some of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based UEI’s targeted international MVPDs that provide an app for use with an Apple TV 4K streaming box as part of their TV packages today.

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By Greg Tarr

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