If you’re looking for a reason to choose Dish Network over DirecTV for your satellite TV service, you just got one more, as Dish announced that it is rolling out Google Assistant across many of its devices. If you’re wondering what this means for you, it’s simple: Now you can control every aspect of your Dish hardware, including your DVR, using just your voice.
Of course, this isn’t necessarily big news if you’re a fan of Amazon’s Alexa, as Dish has had support for Alexa since last year. It even added more functionality in June of this year as Dish added a new suite of voice commands to its Alexa skill. Still, if you’re an Android user or a Google Home fan, this is going to be much more useful for you.
With the addition of Google Assistant, your Dish hardware goes truly hands-free, with commands like “turn on my Hopper,” “mute my Hopper,” “pause,” “resume,” or “tune to channel 140.” While you can be that specific, you don’t have to be. Commands like “show me Tom Hanks movies” or “show me home improvement shows” are also supported, which can be handy when you have a vague idea of what you want to watch but don’t have anything specific in mind.
Google Assistant isn’t actually built into any Dish hardware or firmware, so you’ll need another device running Google Assistant to use it, but that shouldn’t be difficult. If you’re using any Google Home-enabled device, that will take care of it, but you can also use your Android phone or even an iPhone, so you should already have everything you need. When it comes to the actual Dish hardware, you should be fine as long as you’re running something relatively recent.
This new functionality is available on all internet-connected Hopper DVRs as well as the Hopper Duo, Joey, and Wally. If you’re wondering how to get started, see the instructions for setting up Google Assistant to work with Dish in the blog post the company released announcing the new feature. For more general information, see our guide to getting the most out of Google Assistant.