The Apple TV remote is so awful that cable companies will give you a better one

Even supposing the Apple TV 4K is a smart streaming field, its far flung keep an eye on is—to position it frivolously—polarizing.

The symmetrical design is simply too simple to carry the wrong way up, and it’s so skinny that it steadily slips between sofa cushions. In the meantime, the touchpad on the best rejects your feeble makes an attempt at precision; you steadily over- or undershoot no matter on-screen icon you had been making an attempt to press.

Now, a number one maker of far flung controls for cable firms is stepping in to mend the far flung itself. Common Electronics’s Apple TV far flung has a right kind directional pad as a substitute of a touchpad, at the side of devoted buttons for pause, rapid ahead, and rewind. It additionally appears so much heftier than Apple’s far flung, so it has much less of an opportunity of having misplaced throughout the sofa. (The inside track was once first reported via Matthew Keys of The Table.)

Common Electronics isn’t providing the far flung to current Apple TV customers, regardless that. As a substitute, the corporate plans to promote branded variations of the far flung to cable firms, a few of that have began distributing Apple TVs to their shoppers as a substitute of cable packing containers. (Spectrum, for example, now provides its streaming video services and products on Apple TV and lets in shoppers to pay for the $180 field in 24 per thirty days installments.)

[Photo: courtesy of Universal Electronics]

To that finish, Common Electronics has added some additional buttons no longer discovered at the common Apple TV far flung. There’s a button for mentioning the TV supplier’s channel information, buttons for flipping between channels, and a devoted mute key. The far flung additionally contains backlighting and makes use of an ambient gentle sensor to remove darkness from the buttons when any individual selections up the far flung in a gloomy room.

This isn’t the one third-party try at construction a greater Apple TV. You’ll be able to simply to find others with devoted directional pads, mute buttons, and playback controls, similar to this $25 far flung from an organization referred to as One for All. However the ones different remotes all keep up a correspondence with the Apple TV by the use of infrared, which is much less dependable than Bluetooth and calls for line of sight to the field. In addition they lack a Siri button for voice instructions.

Against this, the Common Electronics far flung is qualified below Apple’s MFi program and helps each Bluetooth keep an eye on and Siri. It seems that to be the primary one in all its type.

Individually, I don’t thoughts the common Apple TV far flung—or a minimum of, I acknowledge that the touchpad has its benefits for scrolling thru menus—however as any individual who writes so much about twine chopping, I’ve talked to numerous other folks who despise it. Basically, the minimalist remotes of streaming units generally is a turn-off to those who’ve spent many years controlling a cable field, and the Apple TV far flung is as minimalist as they get.

It’s the entire extra disappointing, then, that Common Electronics’s far flung might be bought to cable firms as a substitute of shoppers. However with a brand new Apple TV rumored for subsequent 12 months, we will be able to a minimum of hope Apple’s taking notes.

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