With the way that cable tv works now, you can sometimes spend a lot of time selecting words in the guide with a very clunky remote. If you want to find episodes of Mad Men, for example, you have to use the up and down arrows to move through an on-screen keyboard. Not very easy to deal with.
So TiVo, taking a page from Blackberries and other smart phones, has rolled out the new Slide, an optional remote that includes a keyboard:
xcellent review of it in the Wall St. Journal.
This is just good common-sense design. I'm surprised Apple did not think of it.