Amazon Alexa will now help Dish customers watch TV without using their hands

Dish TV's hands-free Alexa controls make the jump to Joey boxes


If you’re going to live the couch potato life, you might as well embrace it. Here to help you do just that is the latest Alexa skill. It comes from Dish and it lets you watch hands-free, voice-controlled television, simply by pairing a Hopper DVR with your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, or with any other Alexa-enabled device.

With this new skill, Dish has become the first TV provider to feature direct compatibility with Amazon’s virtual assistant. The announcement was actually first made in January at CES and now, the waiting game is finally over. No longer will you have to rely on a pesky remote to change your channels — because really, don’t your fingers need to relax from all the texting they’ve been doing? Instead, just tell Alexa what you want to watch, and it will oblige.

Better yet, as of October, Dish TV has extended all Joey clients, including the regular Joey, 4K Joey, Wireless Joey, Super Joey, and Wally HD single-tuner receivers. Joeys are the satellite boxes that connect to the Hopper DVR, allowing you to have multiple TVs connected. The current Hopper 6 devices allow up to six Joeys to be connected, while previous generations support up to three.

Now that these devices all support Alexa, users can now use their Echo device — either an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show — to control all the Hoppers and Joey boxes connected in their home network. In order to enable the feature, each Hopper and Joey will need to be paired to the Echo device.

You can use Alexa to navigate, search, and play television content on any broadband-connected Hopper DVR based on channel, title, actor, or even genre. You can say things like, “Go to ESPN,” or “Change the channel to NBC.” Or if you want to get even more specific, you can tell Alexa to “Find The Voice” or “Watch Game of Thrones” and even specify the season and episode.

“Amazon is excited to be working with Dish to develop an Alexa skill that offers a hands-free television experience, expanding the ways that our customers can use Alexa devices like Amazon Echo to make their lives easier,” Rob Pulciani, director of Amazon Alexa, said in a statement. “You no longer have to set down your popcorn to change the channel, or spend time searching for what channel the game is on — just ask Alexa to do it for you.”

Update: Article updated now that all Dish TV Joey boxes support Alexa voice features.