Dish Network customers who have the company’s Wally, Hopper, or Joey DVR will soon have access to Hands-Free TV via Google Assistant support. The company announced the new integration today, though it isn’t yet available; Dish expects the feature to be available “in the coming months.” Once it does arrive, customers with a supported DVR will be able to control the device using voice commands as an alternative to the remote.
Voice control is the next big thing as far as consumer tech goes, and Google Assistant is quickly rising in popularity to challenge Amazon’s Alexa assistant. The appeal, for some consumers, is the ability to control a device by simply speaking rather than pulling out a smartphone or slapping around for the remote control.
Some time in the second half of this year, Dish Network customers will be able to do this via Google Assistant after pairing the DVR with a device that has the service; that includes Google Home devices, plus mobile phones. Google Assistant will then take over certain tasks, if you’d like, including the basic ones like rewinding, fast-forwarding, pausing, and playing.
Users will be able to give basic voice commands, such as telling Google Assistant to find a specific show or go to a specific network or channel number. The service will also be able to find types of shows based on categories, such as finding TV shows that fall into the “home improvement” category. Other examples include finding content that feature a specific actor or speaking the content’s title.
Hopper DVR owners in particular have access to a voice remote as part of Assistant’s voice control tech suite. Whether the Google Assistant support will arrive on all three DVRs at the same time isn’t clear.