9to5Mac reports that Apple (AAPL) is finally ready to deploy Bluetooth into its Apple TV products, as an upcoming software update for the Apple TV will soon allow iTV owners to connect Bluetooth accessories, such as wireless keyboards and perhaps even third-party remotes, to their set top box.
According to the publication, once a Bluetooth keyboard gets connected to your Apple TV, the user can use a wireless keyboard to completely control the TV without using the included remote or an iOS device. The arrow keys function are used for navigation, the ‘Return’ key is the play/pause and the ‘Escape’ key acts as the “menu” or up “one level” functionality.
9to5Mac points out that the latest Apple TV developer beta makes the search for content “a thousand times easier when you can enter search terms with a hard keyboard.” Previously, it was only possible to pair the Apple TV with the iOS remote app in order to allow for keyboard entry.
We’ve included the following walkthrough video (via idownloadblog) that shows how this new feature works.
While this new Bluetooth support doesn’t work with speakers, mouse or Macs, 9to5Mac noted that they were able to successfully pair a Logitech diNovo Mini keyboard to the Apple TV, so the update, which is part of the upcoming iOS 6.1 release and will be available for Apple TV, iPhones, iPads, and the iPod Touch, isn’t limited to Apple keyboards.