Amazon today confirmed its Alexa voice service is now available to DIRECTV satellite customers. Technically speaking, Amazon announced this feature back in March of this year when it launched new additions to the Alexa Video Skills API. As along with that announcement Amazon confirmed service providers including DIRECTV were already working on making use of the new features. Today, however, Amazon states Alexa is ready for customers to use with their DIRECTV set top box.
It is important to note this announcement is specific to DIRECTV satellite customers and not one which pertains to those who stream DIRECTV through the company's NOW service. In other words, customers will need a DIRECTV satellite set top box to make use of Alexa. On that note, Amazon has confirmed DIRECTV satellite customers who are using either a Genie HR44, HR54, Genie 2 or the Genie Mini set top box should be able to now take advantage of the newly available Alexa support. Specifically, Alexa will bring with it the option for DIRECTV satellite customers to utilize voice commands to control their TV viewing experience – forgoing the need for the remote control entirely. For example, once up and running satellite customers will be able to command Alexa to play specific titles on DIRECTV, search for content, switch to a specific channel, and control various playback options, including rewinding by a set amount of time, pausing and so on. As an added benefit, DIRECTV satellite customers can also command Alexa to record a show just by using their voice.
Of course, the newly added Alexa support will be entirely dependent on those satellite customers also owning a separate Alexa-enabled device, such as one of the company's many smart speaker-based options, or the new Fire TV Cube. For those who do already own one, the setting up process comes down to pairing the Alexa device with the customer's DIRECTV account within the Alexa app. At which point the DIRECTV set top box should be good to go and ready to respond to Alexa voice commands. One last point to note, this will only work if the satellite set top box is also connected to the internet.