American satellite service Dish Network announced its customers can soon watch TV hands-free by giving voice commands, making it the first Amazon Alexa-enabled TV provider.
Dish Network is pairing a Hopper DVR with the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, both Alexa devices. Starting in the first half of this year, users can ask Alexa to navigate, search and quick play TV content on a broadband-connected Hopper DVR based on channel, title, actor and genre.
Examples of spoken commands and questions include “Go to ESPN,” “Show me football games,” “Watch Game of Thrones season 1, episode 2,” “Find Matt Damon movies,” “Turn on channel 200” and “Play the Warriors game.”
“We constantly evaluate emerging technology, like Alexa, and its potential to improve how people watch and control their TVs,” said Niraj Desai, Dish vice president of product management. “This allows us to design strategic roadmaps and deliver products that make TV more valuable, at no extra cost to subscribers.”
“Amazon is excited to be working with Dish to develop an Alexa skill that offers a hands-free television experience, expanding the ways that our customers can use Alexa devices like Amazon Echo to make their lives easier,” said Rob Pulciani, director of Amazon Alexa. “You no longer have to set down your popcorn to change the channel, or spend time searching for what channel the game is on – just ask Alexa to do it for you.”
Dish also unveiled Dish Music, a Hopper-driven feature powered by DTS Play-Fi technology to gives customers the ability to sync music throughout their home using one central control. DISH Music offers a complete, room-to-room music entertainment experience by enabling users to play content from popular streaming sources via TV audio systems connected to Hopper 2 or Hopper 3 DVRs.