Amazon has been busy, and so has Dish Network. While the online retailer’s drone program has taken flight, the satellite TV provider announced a streaming box that combines old and new tech. Now, the two are joining forces to allow Alexa to control your Hopper. As if that weren’t enough, Dish also announced the launch of Dish Music.
This will be a busy article to say the least!
Dish’s Hoppers are a line of DVR boxes, delivering satellite TV service to your TV. They provide all the functionality of a modern DVR, with some really clever branding. How do you take that to the next level? You pair it with an Amazon Echo-like device, and ask Alexa to totally control your TV. Starting in the first half of this year, you can ask Alexa to change the channel, ask her to put the game on, search for a specific actor, and more.
Here’s a snippet from Dish’s press release:
“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,” said Rob Pulciani, director, Amazon Alexa. “You no longer have to set down your popcorn to change the channel, or spend time searching for what channel the game is on – just ask Alexa to do it for you.”
Voice controls for TV’s aren’t anything new. However, this is the first TV provider to develop an Alexa skill, providing totally hands free voice control. Will the multitude of Alexa device owners switch to Dish just for this capability?
As mentioned, the other bit of related news is Dish Music. It will allow multi-room music streaming via Hopper devices. Amazon Music will be available at launch, with Pandora and others following suit. The list of Sonos competitors continues to grow. Dish Network subscribers will be able to stream music in every room that they already have a Hopper in – simultaneously. No need to invest in a relatively expensive audio network. Not too shabby.
How do you geeks feel about Alexa invading every part of your home? Also, do you think Dish’s music capability will be a worthy competitor to Sonos?