Dish Debuts Google Assistant Voice Control

Dish July 9 debuted its integration with the Google Assistant for a hands-free TV entertainment experience.

Dish customers with a Hopper, Hopper Duo, Joey or Wally can control their TV using their voice when paired with an Assistant device, such as Google Home, Android phones or iPhones.

Dish is the first pay-TV provider to offer direct compatibility with the Assistant.

“Since we first introduced voice control technology, we’ve seen our customers really embrace the hands-free TV experience,” said Niraj Desai, Dish VP of product management, in a statement. “Our collaboration with Google is an exciting opportunity for us to continue meeting demand for voice and changing the way we interact with television.”

“We want to make it easy and fun for people to turn their living room into a smart entertainment center with the Assistant,” said Michele Turner, senior director, Google Smart Home Ecosystem, in a statement. “By working closely with Dish, we’ll ensure that customers can easily control their TVs through the Assistant, instead of searching for or having to share the remote.”

Customers can ask the Assistant to set recordings, adjust volume and launch apps such as Game Finder, Netflix and Pandora. Customers can also use the Assistant to navigate, play, pause, fast-forward, rewind and search content based on channel, title, actor or genre. When using search functionality, the results displayed include Dish’s live, recorded and on-demand titles, as well as Netflix’s selection of TV shows and movies.

Spanish-language support will be coming soon, according to Dish.

Dish Bows Hopper Duo Smart DVR

Dish Network Jan. 22 released Hopper Duo, a dual-tuner HD set-top DVR for one- and two-TV households.

The average number of pay-TV set-top boxes per household in the United States is 1.7, according to a recent study by Leichtman Research Group.

Hopper Duo supports a second HDTV when paired with a Joey (Joey, 4K Joey or Wireless Joey). With two tuners, Hopper Duo customers can watch or record two live programs simultaneously. If a customer is recording two live shows, they can still watch previously recorded titles from their DVR or anything from the OnDemand catalog.

The Wi-Fi-capable Hopper Duo includes a modern user interface with HD graphics and easy content discovery; a 500 GB hard drive for up to 125 hours of HD DVR recording; compatibility with Amazon Alexa voice control; universal search; Bluetooth audio support via adapter; Picture-in-Picture viewing; Remote Finder; and apps like Game Finder, Pandora and DISH On-Demand, with Netflix coming soon.

The device ships with DISH’s new voice remote.

“The average U.S.home has about two TVs connected to a pay-TV service,” Niraj Desai, VP of product management, said in a statement. “Hopper Duo is a feature-rich, high-value product for households that want DVR capacity for [up to] two screens.”

Beginning today, qualified new and existing customers can receive a Hopper Duo at no upfront cost. The Hopper Duo system requires a whole-home DVR fee of $10 per month, with an additional $7 per month required for an added Joey.