Astro has rolled out a new remote control for the Astro Ultra Box which not only has a new design and layout but also includes a dedicated button for Netflix. As you may know, Astro has officially announced a partnership with Netflix back in June.
This does not mean Astro customers are already able to take advantage of the union just yet though. At the moment, the integration of Netflix with Astro has not yet been completed which is why the dedicated button is not operational yet.
Once the integration is done, the button will allow users to quickly launch the Netflix app in the Astro Ultra. Aside from that, the new remote control also features additional dedicated buttons for Movies, Sports and Apps.
Speaking about the Apps button, it apparently will provide users access to the App Hub which is coming to the Ultra Box soon. On Astro’s website, the hub was described as a place to “explore and stream your apps on the Ultra Box” but despite that, the same button also exists on the remote control for Astro Ulti Box.
Since the current description of App Hub is very specific to the Ultra Book, it is not known for now whether the Apps button on Ulti’s remote will perform the same function or otherwise. To date, the company has yet to reveal in-depth details regarding the App Hub.
Aside from Movies and Sports just like the Ultra’s new remote, the other dedicated button that is present for Ulti’s remote is Store. When you put them next to each other, it seems like Astro has generally adopted the design and layout of Ulti’s remote for Ultra’s new remote.
For existing Ultra owners, fret not though as the rollout of the new remote control does not affect your existing remote or Ultra Box’s general UI. We have reached out to Astro and asked whether existing Ultra owners are able to obtain the new remote but we were told that it is currently only being provided with new units.
On a related note, the lack of dedicated buttons for Astro’s other streaming partners such as Disney+ Hotstar, HBO, and iQiYi does make us wonder if Netflix has a slight edge in its deal with Astro as compared to other players. After all, these are major players and not just some random names but somehow only one name appeared on the remote.