DirecTV announced recently that voice assistant Amazon Alexa is now compatible with its set-top boxes Genie HR44, HR54, Genie 2 and Genie Mini.
Users can play, rewind, change channels or record shows with voice command. They may also search shows based on actor names.
Users will first have to connect their DirecTV account to Amazon Alexa, so that they may control the TV with an Echo, a mobile app or the Fire TV Cube.
DirecTV’s Alexa update is not something new. Amazon updated its Video Skill API in March. DISH, Verizon and TiVo have all endorsed the updates to introduce Alexa voice control.
Making the voice bots to work seamlessly is not easy, however. In an earlier DISH menu, the top level “Guide” could not be opened, and also, Netflix was not a recognized channel.
There are also the accuracy, ambient noise and accents issues. Surveys have shown that users tend to give up using voice assistants after trying them for a while.
Amazon says TV service providers have achieved success after integrating the Alexa voice. The company has gathered some positive feedbacks.
“DISH customers love the convenience that our Alexa compatibility brings to their home entertainment,” said Niraj Desai, DISH vice president of product management. “With Amazon’s updates to the Video Skill API, DISH has the ability to deepen our Alexa integration and continue working toward providing our customers with a completely Hands-Free TV experience.”
“By integrating with Amazon’s Video Skill API, TiVo is making it even easier to control entertainment with your voice,” said Ted Malone, VP of Consumer Products and Services, TiVo. “Simply ask Alexa to change the TV channel using either the channel name or number. Pause, fast forward or rewind any of your live TV, DVR recordings and popular Internet streaming services.”