The Nexus Player pumps TV shows and games alike to your TV, but for the latter, you're probably not going to use the included remote. Instead, you can consider springing for the Nexus Player gamepad to go with your set-top box.
You don't particularly need a Nexus Player to get use out of the gamepad. It works as a standard Bluetooth controller, so you can use it with any other Android device as well. The included home and back buttons let you navigate without having to leave your seat, along with a D-pad, two analog sticks, four face buttons, and four shoulder buttons. 2AA batteries ship with the device, so be prepared to replace those eventually rather than reach for a microUSB cable.
Links to both Amazon and Best Buy are available below.