Amazon announced that Amazon Echo owners who also own an Amazon Fire TV can now control their TVs by voice using the Echo.
Previously, customers had to use an included remote, which had to be held by a user. Now, you can just walk into your living room or bedroom and ask Alexa to start playing a show or movie on your TV. This means more people can control the TV — for better or worse.
“Alexa, watch The Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 6” might be one command, for example. You can also control the set, such as asking Alexa to navigate to the home screen or search for content, like comedy movies.
Alexa moves ahead
This puts the Echo ahead of other smart home assistants, such as Google Home, which can only search through Netflix at the moment and doesn’t allow users to control other third-party apps on their TVs. Apple TV has deep integration with Siri but users need to hold the Apple TV remote. It’s possible Apple’s HomePod speaker will allow users to control their TVs by voice, too, though Apple hasn’t confirmed that yet.
- Read more: Alexa Usage Jumps 325% in Monthly Users
Camera support coming soon, too
Amazon said users will soon be able to tap into third-party products, such as cameras, to pull smart home video camera feeds up onto their TVs, too.
The new feature is rolling out today for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick customers.