Google today announced that Google Assistant users can now control Dish Network’s Hopper DVR devices using a Google Home speaker, Android smartphone, or the Google Assistant iOS app on an iPhone.
The new feature allows users to do things like turn to a specific TV show or channel, rewind or pause video with their voice, or say things like “OK Google, record SportsCenter on ESPN.”
Google Assistant control requires a broadband internet connection and will work with Hopper Duo, Wally single-tuner HD, and all generations of Hopper DVR or its Joey client. Spanish language support is planned in the future.
Google Assistant control for Hopper DVR devices comes weeks after the debut of the Fire TV Cube and Alexa expanded hands-free control of Hopper DVR boxes. Alexa control of Hopper DVR was first introduced more than a year ago.
Google and Amazon are jockeying for position with the makers of smart home devices that can be controlled hands-free with your voice, including televisions and popular streaming services, which is why both have attempted to brand their assistants as the TV remotes of the future.
A new report finds that smart speaker adoption is expected to increase sixfold in the years ahead, but the two current smart speaker leaders face a broad range of competition in the living room.
Roku, still a more popular video streaming device than Google’s Chromecast or Amazon’s Fire TV, is reportedly working on its own assistant. Spotify, fresh off its IPO earlier this year, has started testing voice control for its smartphone app and may also be creating hardware, like a smart speaker.
Samsung is bringing its assistant Bixby to its Smart TVs this year and is developing a chip that would put the assistant into every one of its devices through a cheap dongle add-on with a microphone.
Cable giant Xfinity also continues to sell its services to tens of millions of customers, based in part on the fact that its remote controls offer voice control.