Alexa's DVR controls will finally let you record a show

DirecTV, Dish, TiVo and Verizon will soon capture TV hands-free.

For all the recent talk of using Alexa to control DVRs, there's been a conspicuous inability to record to a DVR using the voice assistant. That won't be a problem for much longer: Amazon has bolstered Alexa's Voice Skill programming kit with recording features. Tell the AI helper to record a favorite show or sports extravaganza and you'll capture the show without having to touch a remote or your smartphone. You'll have to wait for TV and set-top providers to take advantage of this, but DirecTV, Dish, TiVo and Verizon are already lining up to provide support "soon."

There's more: Alexa now lets you launch directly into common navigation options, whether it's a DVR interface on a set-top box or a service (like, say, Prime Video). Video apps can also report their state so that you don't have to mention an app by name whenever you want to pause or skip ahead. You'll need to wait for developers to implement these features as well, but it's evident that Amazon wants Alexa to serve as a full-fledged video controller.