DIRECTV® Integrates Amazon Alexa Support on Set Top Boxes

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Amazon Alexa Support

DIRECTV® officials recently announced that users of many models of their set-top boxes would be able to choose programs, begin and stop play, and even control recording by voicing out related commands over Alexa, the digital assistant of Amazon. This support of Alexa on DIRECTV® set-top boxes looks like a leap for the cable TV provider, but it is not the first one to make the move.

Once Amazon launched a Video Skill API earlier this year for the digital assistant, several other service providers have taken advantage of the application programming interface, such as Verizon® and DISH®. Although, for established players in the cable industry it is even worth debating if there is even a first mover’s advantage.

It would now seem AT&T® is a touch late on this integration to DIRECTV®, but as the saying goes it is better late than never. The Dallas-based Telco giant knows that best – after all, they are the ones who fought a long-time battle in the court to win the acquisition rights of Time Warner®. Going by recent developments, the US Justice Department is appealing the ruling that favored the vertical merger.

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Time Warner® is now WarnerMedia, and AT&T® has made several moves after the acquisition to upgrade their portfolio. They include other acquisitions, the announcement of a skinny bundle, and a price hike of DIRECTV NOW® going by industry standards, etc. The integration of Alexa seems to be their next step to become a monopoly in the US entertainment segment.

Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant controlled by voice and one that supports with Amazon Echo speakers. They are not just speakers but smart speakers which, when connected with the assistant, lets users play music, find information online, and do a lot more with voice commands. The voice-controlled assistant of the e-commerce giant also supports their Echo Dot high-end technology.

For an uninitiated, Alexa’s capabilities are comparable to similar voice assistants namely Apple Siri and Google Assistant. Inarguably, the support of Amazon Alexa bodes well for DIRECTV® customers in the US market. Having said that, the customers of DIRECTV® cable service can also use the physical buttons on the remote to navigate and take control of the different menus shown on TV sets over set-top boxes.

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