Universal Electronics Offers Alternative Apple TV Remote to Cable Companies

Universal Electronics has announced its own take on Apple's divisive Apple TV Remote that's "specifically developers and designed" for cable, satellite, and MVPD (multichannel video program distributor) customers, according to the company (via The Verge).

uei apple tv 4k remote
The UEI Remote uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity together with Infrared to provide universal control, and offers ‌Apple TV‌ users content search and control via Siri and a program guide button for live TV viewing functions, along with separate volume and channel rockers and traditional media playback buttons.

In addition to featuring Apple's MFi authentication chip for secure connectivity with ‌Apple TV‌, the remote also packs an accelerometer and ambient light sensor to automatically backlight the keys in low light environments when the remote is picked up or moved.

"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 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."

Third-party alternatives to Apple's deeply unpopular ‌Apple TV‌ Remote aren't new. Last year we saw Swiss telco Salt launch an alternative remote control for the ‌Apple TV‌ 4K set-top boxes that it includes in its domestic broadband TV bundle. Then, in July, Function101 launched a $30 variant for U.S. the consumer market (there's no ‌Siri‌ button included on that one though).

UEI's remote won't be available for consumers to buy when it launches early next year. Instead, it's being offered directly to cable companies that include an ‌Apple TV‌ 4K as part of a streaming video package.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

Karllake Avatar
2 weeks ago


original remote is fine. people complaining are simply afraid of change. touch pad is far better than tapping directional buttons many times.

only thing Apple needs to do is to remove animations that block the remote input. i find it extremely idiotic i have to wait for the slow dumb fade-to-home animation or the multitasking animation to finish before my remote is usable.

100% disagree, the number of accidental movements using the touch pad is unreal, it moves up and down when you’re trying to move left to right and often over or under shoots when scrolling in any direction, it’s not the great user experience everyone expects from apple, you may not have this problem but that doesn’t mean you can extrapolate and theory that everyone else is just “afraid of change”
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NikoBeaR Avatar
2 weeks ago


original remote is fine. people complaining are simply afraid of change. touch pad is far better than tapping directional buttons many times.

only thing Apple needs to do is to remove animations that block the remote input. i find it extremely idiotic i have to wait for the slow dumb fade-to-home animation or the multitasking animation to finish before my remote is usable.

I love most Apple products as they bring me joy in my life. The AppleTV 4K remote is horrendous. Top 10 worst designs from Apple.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miniyou64 Avatar
2 weeks ago
I was such a hardcore defender of the Apple TV remote. It’s garbage. Impossible to select things accurately. Bloop, bloop...bloop, bloop, bloop and you’re 3 lines down from where you want to be.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
2 weeks ago


I love most Apple products as they bring me joy in my life. The AppleTV 4K remote is horrendous. Top 10 worst designs from Apple.

we have a few Apple TV’s here, same 4k. And no matter how many times I pick up the remote it’s always upside down.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NikoBeaR Avatar
2 weeks ago


100% disagree, the number of accidental movements using the touch pad is unreal, it moves up and down when you’re trying to move left to right and often over or under shoots when scrolling in any direction, it’s not the great user experience everyone expects from apple, you may not have this problem but that doesn’t mean you can extrapolate and theory that everyone else is just “afraid of change”

This guy nailed it. The AppleTV 4K REMOTE s a pile of pig crap. All design no function.

EDIT: Sorry I meant REMOTE is a POS; I am in love with my AppleTV 4K otherwise.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
George Dawes Avatar
2 weeks ago
I actually preferred the old silver one . Keep it simple
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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