Even with some of the greatest universal remotes (read more here for additional info on remotes) known to man, changing the channel can still be an annoying process—especially if you are also trying to master a new TV, find a channel you’ve never tried before, or any other common holiday challenge.
Dish Network knows this, which is why one of their big new features is full voice command when surfing your satellite channels.
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Chances are good that – thanks to the rise of Cortana, Alexa, Google Home, and the others – that you are a lot more familiar and comfortable with voice commands now than you were a year ago. If the thought of changing your channels with a command rather than a traditional remote is appealing to you, here are the details: The voice command feature will be available on all second generation Hopper DVR models for free, but you will be able to purchase the upgrade on your current Dish system (assuming it’s a newer, compatible model) for a one-time fee of $20. Not too bad!
The voice command feature is tied to a new remote (top universal remotes reviewed here). The remote, which features motion activated backlighting (meh) and two customizable buttons (interesting), has microphones that turn on when you hold down the voice button. This allows you to change to a channel of your choosing, find out what’s on, and even browse Netflix, along with other basic commands.
Frankly, the remote is a cool upgrade just for the customizable buttons, since you can program them to go wherever you want and save time with the remote. However, it’s important to mention that the Dish voice command options are also available via other smart home devices like the Amazon Echo or Amazon Dot. You can link Alexa to a Hopper 3 or later model and use her to change the channel if you don’t like the idea of another remote to juggle.