Dish Network is pushing a software upgrade to all generations of its Hopper DVRs, allowing them to integrate with Amazon’s Alexa voice control devices.
Bluetooth pairing of the Hopper with either Amazon Echo or Echo Dot will allow users to bark commands such as “go to ESPN,” “find comedy movies” and “go to Warriors game,” and have their programming wishes come true.
“We constantly evaluate emerging technology, like Alexa, and its potential to improve how people watch and control their TVs,” said Niraj Desai, Dish VP of product management. “This allows us to design strategic roadmaps and deliver products that make TV more valuable, at no extra cost to subscribers.”
Comcast has offered voice control for its X1 platform users for nearly two years via proprietary technology. The Alexa arrangement allows Dish to enable voice control for its video systems with a simple integration deal and software update.
Dish usually has half-a-dozen or so big announcements heading into the annual CES show in Las Vegas, which unfurled this week. Although the satellite operator is not conducting its usual CES press conference, it did have a few other product news tidbits to throw out today.
For one, it’s launching a new certification brand around its Sling TV streaming service—The AirTV Player and Xiaomi’s Mi Box will be the first devices to bear the “Optimized for Sling TV” sticker.
“We have set a high standard with our device partners to continually improve Sling TV’s performance,” said Ben Weinberger, chief product officer of Sling TV, in a statement. “The ‘Optimized for Sling TV’ program is designed to elevate that standard and highlight our dedication to our device partners, including Xiaomi and AirTV, to develop new paths for improving Sling TV.”
Meanwhile, Dish also announced another new Hopper feature that allows the set-top to sync with other Bluetooth devices for multi-room music.