Amazon’s trying to kill your controller with a new Alexa skill designed to make watching TV super easy—but you’ll still need the right equipment.
Called the Video Skill API, it lets you search for and control video playback as well as change channels on your supported device. Searching by actor and genre is also supported.
The Video Skill API is designed to enable customers to easily find and consume video content without invoking a specific skill. For example, a customer could say, “Alexa, play Manchester by the Sea” without specifying a provider or device. Through the Video Skill API, Alexa is aware of video devices and services a user has or subscribes to, and enables the user to control experiences across these devices and services by voice.
If this means what I think it means, soon I’ll be able to yell “Alexa, play Terrace House!” at my Echo and watch it pop up on my TV. Of course, manufacturers who want an Alexa-compatible device (like cable box manufacturers) as well as video service providers will have to update software with the new Video Skill API to interact with Alexa, but the future of voice-controlled TV is looking a little better.
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The skill was previously available only in the US for Dish customers with a Hopper or Wally, and Netgem and YouView customers abroad. Amazon recommends developers associated with either hardware manufacturers or video service providers check out the video skill, but technically anyone can use its video skill API.
Of course, with Google Home and a Chromecast you can start talking to your TV already and pull content from your own Google library or from Netflix.