Latest in Entertainment

Image credit:

EE TV gets voice controls thanks to Amazon’s Alexa

Check what's on and set up recordings with your voice.
Nick Summers, @nisummers
August 17, 2017
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Bloomberg via Getty Images

While Vodafone has long abandoned its dreams of a TV service, rival network EE is pressing on with its strange Freeview-bundled-with-some-on-demand-apps box. The hardware now supports Alexa, Amazon's voice-enabled assistant, through an Echo or Echo Dot-equipped speaker. So you can ask, "Alexa, ask EE TV what's on tonight" and hear some suggestions from the Freeview-powered guide. The new Alexa "skill" also supports queries for specific channels and, more importantly, will let you set up recordings, regardless of whether the set-top box is on or in standby mode.

For EE, it's a neat trick. Amazon has long touted Alexa as a key part of its Fire TV and Fire TV stick, however those devices are for on-demand apps only. EE TV is designed to be a single solution for people who still like to tune in to live programming. Alexa, then, could be a valuable addition for people who are struggling to juggle both DVR recordings and VOD libraries. The problem, at least for now, is that the service requires an Echo speaker — with Amazon's Fire TV, you get a purpose-built remote in the box.

Amazon, of course, only cares about expanding the Alexa ecosystem. The company wants its voice-controlled assistant to be everywhere — smartphones, speakers, even washing machines. That proliferation will naturally expand the platform's user base and encourage third-party developers to create new "skills," which in turn will increase Alexa's functionality and encourage people to buy more Alexa-powered products. It's a smart strategy, and one that Google, Apple, Samsung and others have struggled to react to. The question, of course, is whether this will move EE TV units — probably not, but it's a nice gesture for Echo speaker owners.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

View
Microsoft is patching a dangerous Windows DNS Server exploit

Microsoft is patching a dangerous Windows DNS Server exploit

View
'Paper Mario: The Origami King' is the ideal 'Animal Crossing' break

'Paper Mario: The Origami King' is the ideal 'Animal Crossing' break

View
Lego's buildable NES console comes with a 'playable' game

Lego's buildable NES console comes with a 'playable' game

View
Facebook envisions using holographics for super-slim VR glasses

Facebook envisions using holographics for super-slim VR glasses

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr