Netflix Gets ‘Framed’ by Google Nest Hub

In the battle to bring Netflix to connected devices in the home other than the television, portable media players and desktop computers, Google has licensed the subscription streaming behemoth to its line of Nest and Nest Max smart picture displays and speakers.

Netflix subs can now stream content through the Google Home or Assistant app, which then appears on the 7-inch Nest or 10-inch Max displays. Google reportedly outbid Amazon’s Echo Show for the initial streaming rights. Key to the distribution deal is the fact Nest users also have access to YouTube and Google Photos, among other features.

Nest devices also offer Ultrasound sensing, which allows the display to show text and content in larger format when the user is far away and smaller when closer.

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Nest and Max also offer users access to Hulu, CBS All Access and Dish Network’s Sling TV. Amazon Echo Show affords users streaming access to Prime Video, Hulu and other third-party streaming services marketed via Amazon Channels.

Roku Devices Link With Amazon Alexa

Roku streaming player and Roku TV owners in the United States can now control their Roku devices using Amazon’s Alexa, Roku announced.

“Consumers often have multiple voice ecosystems in their homes. By allowing our customers to choose Alexa, in addition to Roku voice search and controls, and other popular voice assistants; we are strengthening the value Roku offers as a neutral platform in home entertainment,” said Ilya Asnis, SVP of Roku OS at Roku, in a statement. “Roku customers can get to the entertainment they love faster so they can enjoy more of it.”

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Roku users with Alexa-enabled devices — including Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Dot, Echo Spot and Echo Plus — can pause a show, launch a streaming channel and search for entertainment with such voice commands as, “Alexa, find comedies on Roku,” “Alexa, pause Roku” or “Alexa, open Hulu on Roku,” according to the Roku press release. Additionally, Roku TV users can turn on the TV, change the volume, mute the TV, switch inputs and change channels if there is an OTA antenna connected by saying, “Alexa, turn on Roku” or “Alexa, turn up the volume on Roku.”

Customers can control Roku devices running Roku OS 8.1 or greater using their Alexa-enabled devices. To access the feature, customers open the Alexa app, go to settings and select “TV & Video,” enable the Roku skill, and link their account.

The Roku OS offers access to 500,000-plus movies and TV episodes via thousands of free or paid channels, according to the release.