The popular Amazon Echo lineup including Dot, Spot, and Show will soon provide DVR recording assistance via Alexa. The Amazon interactive voice program already allows owners to ask all sorts of questions or give commands. Among those commands were getting help with turning on the lights or ordering a pizza. However, owners were unable to ask Alexa to set up a DVR recording for them to capture that favorite show or other events.
As Engadget recently reported, an update was made to the Alexa Voice Skill programming kit which now allows for voice-assisted DVR recording. Owners of the Echo or other Alexa-enabled devices will soon be able to ask Alexa to record a show or event and it will do so without the use of touching a remote. This will probably include the Echo speakers and video products such as Spot and Show, as well as Fire TV devices, and the Alexa app. That has yet to be revealed, though.
There have yet to be any television providers that have linked up with the new Amazon Alexa skill yet, but they appear to be on the way. As Engadget mentioned, DirecTV, Dish, TiVo, and Verizon seem to be the first in line to provide support in the near future. The report also indicates that more video control options will be integrated including the ability to control “common navigation options.” These commands will reportedly work to control either a user’s DVR interface or a service such as Prime Video, among other apps.
There are DVR options on a variety of the channel streaming services that consumers are choosing from when they want to “cut the cord” and ditch cable or satellite. These include Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and YouTube TV, among others. Some of these may offer updates to their own apps in the future to take advantage of the new skill set, but it may not be immediately.
Amazon’s Echo products were previously updated to be able to control Fire TV devices including the Fire TV Stick. Among the options were to ask Alexa to find and start playing a certain show or movie. It could even open certain apps or channels at an owner’s request. To work, the Echo device would have to be linked up via the Fire TV device, through the Amazon Alexa app. In addition, there are certain smart TVs that allow for Alexa to control them, as well as a Logitech Harmony gadget which allows homeowners to control a variety of different products.
In addition, Amazon’s more recent additions to the Echo lineup feature video displays on them. They are the Echo Spot and Echo Show (seen in the video below). The Show features a 7-inch touchscreen on it which is also capable of playing movies or TV shows from Amazon’s library. It’s entirely possible that Amazon is looking into becoming even more competitive in the channel streaming world, by offering subscriber packages for a monthly rate, similar to Sling or YouTube TV. Time will tell on that speculation.
The timeframe for when TV provider services will begin using this new skill is unknown. Still, it seems that sky is the limit for future skills that the Echo products will offer. Alexa is capable of ordering a pizza for dinner, turning on a show, and even cleaning the house (sort of). As more companies begin to embrace the world of voice-activated technology, more smart-home offerings are likely to pop up.