Dish Adds Alexa Voice Control to Hopper DVR

Dish in the US has added Alexa voice control to its Hopper DVR that will allow voice control for the Echo or Echo Dot.

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 (all generations) based on channel, title, actor and genre. Examples of spoken commands and questions are included below.

  • “Go to ESPN”
  • “Show me football games”
  • “Tune to AMC”
  • “Play the Warriors game”
  • “Change the channel to NBC”
  • “Watch Game of Thrones season 1, episode 2”
  • “Turn on channel 200”
  • “Find Matt Damon movies”
  • “Find The Voice”
  • “Find comedy movies”

Analyst Comment

There were some great stories recently about users who didn’t realise that purchasing automation is automatically enabled on the Echo, so children have been able to place orders. Even better, a new programme in the US that repeated the commands caused viewers’ systems to try to place orders!

I have written about the dramatic improvement in voice recognition in recent years using the cloud, and one of the big stories of CES was the success of Amazon in getting companies to support its API and devices. It’s a shame that, at present, the Echo doesn’t have a display. The biggest danger of this move to audio is that really good voice may turn out to be a better HMI than a display for many applications.

In other ‘unintended consequences’, the success of Amazon has irritated a friend of mine who, long ago, christened his daughter, ‘Alexa’. The novelty of the jokes is beginning to wear thin for her! (BR)