CBS, NBC, Hulu, Showtime and PlayStation Vue apps can now be controlled by Amazon Alexa

Star Trek Discovery
“Alexa, play Star Trek Discovery on CBS All Access” is now something Amazon's digital assistant will recognize. (CBS)

An important voice in the digital assistant wars has expanded her vocabulary. Amazon Alexa is now integrated with the CBS, NBC, Hulu and PlayStation Vue apps on Fire TV.

The support, which also includes apps from Showtime and Bravo, was revealed this week and will allow users to use voice to search, control playback and change the channel within the app.

The functionality works by having an Amazon Echo paired with a Fire TV device, or through the Alexa voice remote or the Fire TV remote app.

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In a blog post, Fire TV product marketer Heather Dawson outlines a handful of phrases that can be used within individual apps as well as some more general commands that can control video content.

“Alexa, pause.”

“Alexa, fast-forward.”

“Alexa, fast-forward 5 minutes.”

“Alexa, rewind.”

“Alexa, rewind 5 minutes.”

“Alexa, play.”

“Alexa, next episode.”

“Alexa, last episode.”

“Alexa, start over.”

“Alexa, play from the beginning.”

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The new additions to Amazon’s Alexa video control integration arrive after earlier this year Amazon announced the addition of the Video Skills API to the Alexa Skills Kit.

“The Video Skill API is available at the same top level that Alexa uses to build video experiences on Fire TV. This means your customers can open their favorite app and then use their Amazon Echo or other Alexa device to issue commands like ‘Alexa, find comedies,’ ‘Alexa, tune to HBO,’ or ‘Alexa, play episodes of Modern Family.’ Customers can see the commands fulfilled instantly on their preferred streaming video devices,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Last year, Amazon expanded Alexa capabilities to allow it to search across multiple apps including Netflix. At that time, Amazon also added the Alexa control commands to its Amazon Prime Video app.