DISH today announced a number of its TV-based solutions now support Google Assistant, following on from the ‘Google Assistant coming soon’ announcement first made in January of this year. According to the company, this makes DISH the “first major pay-TV provider to offer compatibility with the Google Assistant.” As per the announcement, pretty much all of the company’s internet-connected Hopper DVRs (including the newer Hopper Duo), as well as DISH’s Wally HD Satellite Receiver and the company’s line of Joey Receivers -- used to piggyback a signal from a primary TV setup to an additional TV -- all now support Google Assistant. Allowing owners of any of these devices to forgo the use of a traditional remote control in favor of voice commands. Although for some DISH customers this will simply be an extension of an already available feature, considering select DISH hardware products already support voice commands through the remote control.
It’s important to note the announcement here is confirming support for Google Assistant and not Google Assistant as a built-in feature. Which means these DISH hardware devices are not on their own able to act as a hub and control other smart products. Instead, the support announced is for the control of a DISH device via an alternative Google Assistant-enabled device. In other words, DISH customers will still need access to the Google Assistant via a different device. For example, DISH customers could make use of the Google Assistant on their smartphone, a Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker (such as Google’s Home line of speakers), or any other device that also features Google Assistant as a built-in feature to control their TV.
The easiest way to get set up and start taking advantage of the Google Assistant support, is by downloading the Google Assistant app on a smartphone, and then connecting the Assistant to the DISH hardware product by heading to Settings, Home Control, clicking on the add sign “+” and then adding “DISH.” The user will then be able to manually pair the DISH device to the Google Assistant and activate it. At which point the device owner should be able to issue voice commands to control various actions related to the DISH product, such as turning on or off the DISH device, skipping forward or rewinding during playback, controlling the volume, selecting specific channels, recording content (if a DVR is in use) and searching for specific titles.