Dish Network said it is integrating its Hopper DVR platform with two Alexa-powered devices – the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot – in a way that will let subs navigate the TV service using voice control.
Dish, the first MVPD to announce direct compatibility with Amazon Alexa, said the integration will let subs to ask Alexa to navigate, search and “quick play” TV content on all generations of its Internet-connected Hopper DVRs, based on channel, title, actor and genre. Dish expects to launch the feature in the first half of 2017.
When launched, the feature will support a wide range of spoken commands, such as “Go to ESPN,” “Tune to AMC,” “Find comedy movies,” and “Watch Game of Thrones season 1, episode 2.”
“We constantly evaluate emerging technology, like Alexa, and its potential to improve how people watch and control their TVs,” Niraj Desai, Dish’s vice president of product management, said in a statement. 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,” added Rob Pulciani, director, Amazon Alexa.
Separately, Dish introduced Dish Music, a whole-home music service that runs on the Hopper platform and sources music from providers such as iHeartRadio, Pandora, Deezer, Napster, Amazon Music and Tidal.
The Dish Music app, which can be connected to DTS Play-Fi-enabled speakers from companies such as Aerix and Klipsch, will become available on all Hopper 2, Hopper 3 and connected Joey clients by February 2017, the company said. Those devices will display the metadata for the music being played, including the artists, song title and music service.