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Apple TV, Video and Home Audio Remote Controls

Everything You Need to Know to Purchase the Right Apple TV Remote

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an Apple TV can provide hours of enjoyment! If you are just starting out or looking for a replacement remote, its important to understand the different features of each type of Apple TV remote.

What are the most common types of Apple TV remotes?

There are three common types of remotes available for Apple TV:

  • Siri Remote: The newest remote with Siri has a black aluminum casing with a glass "touch" surface. Its compatible with the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV 4th generation. Its also designed to work with the Apple TV app that allows you to stream content across devices, letting you view content between your TV, iPhone, and iPad seamlessly.
  • Apple Remote (aluminum): This common remote is aluminum with a silver casing, and its compatible with any Apple TV. This version comes standard with 2nd- and 3rd-generation units.
  • Apple Remote (white): This is similar to the aluminum version, but its white. It shipped standard with 1st-generation units although it works with other models with limited functionality.

How do Apple TV remotes connect?

The Siri remote is the most advanced and connects using Bluetooth 4.0 and an IR transmitter (an infrared emitter). Both versions (aluminum and white) connect via an IR transmitter. Bluetooth functionality allows connection with the app as well as transmission anywhere within range. Alternately, infrared requires line of sight between the remote and your Apple TV. The transmission range is also greater for Bluetooth vs. IR.

Are any of the remotes voice activated?

The only voice-activated remote available for Apple TV is the Siri remote. To activate this functionality, simply hold down the Siri button on the device, speak your command, and then release the button. Siri will then display viewing options or answer your question. Your favorite sports programming wont be interrupted because Siri wont talk back to you.

What are the button functions available?

All Apple TV remotes come with the following standard buttons:

  • Menu: The menu button allows you to navigate through the various options within your Apple TV.
  • Pause/Play: The pause and play button allows you to navigate within a program.

The Siri remote also includes the following:

  • Siri: The Siri button is used for voice control and searches.
  • TV/Home: If you are using the TV app, this allows you to open the app and go to the home screen. If not, this button will navigate to the main menu.
  • Volume Up/Down: This button is used to adjust the volume.
  • Glass Touch Surface: By moving your finger along the touch surface you can navigate around the TV screen, control your position on the screen by using traditional Apple "swipe" motions, and press to click on options.

The aluminum remote includes a circular button with up, down, left, and right surrounding a central "select" button. These buttons are used to navigate on the screen and to fast forward or rewind a program. The white remote also has a circular button, but the labels are simply different with the pause/play located in the center rather than a separate "select" button.

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