Advanced Television

EE TV offers Amazon Alexa hands-free

August 17, 2017

UK OTT service EE TV has become one of the first operators to offer a skill for Amazon Alexa via its set-top box. EE TV will support Alexa voice control through Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, meaning customers can just ask for information on what’s on, or to record their favourite shows.

Customers can ask: “Alexa, ask EE TV what’s on tonight?” and Alexa will respond with three recommendations provided from the same source that supplies Freeview Picks. Users can also ask about shows on any Freeview channel for either now or the following day.

The user then has the option to record any or all of the recommended shows using just their voice. This skill works whether EE TV is on or in standby mode, which ensures customers never have to miss out on their favourite programmes. It also allows them to quickly set up a recording, even as they head out the house.

The EE TV skill for Alexa is the first in a number of commands being reviewed for the EE TV platform. This includes reviewing Amazon’s Alexa Video Skill APIs for integration with the service.

“We’re continually looking for ways to further enhance the accessibility and usability of EE TV – so we’re pleased to work with Amazon to launch the first Alexa skill on a set-top box in the UK,” commented Max Taylor, Managing Director of Marketing. “The new skill will allow users to discover new content and help to enrich their TV experience, so they can make the most out of it.”

“Alexa integration with EE TV creates a truly hands-free TV experience,” added Fabrice Rousseau, General Manager, Alexa Skills Kit EU. “Customers can now ask Alexa to find things to watch and record the shows they want—no remote required. This is much more natural, and an experience that will get even better in future.”

Customers can link EE TV to their Alexa account by enabling the EE TV skill via the Alexa app.

“EE continues to push the boundaries with its TV service,” noted Paolo Pescatore, Vice President, Multiplay and Media, CCS Insight. “Given the fragmented nature of TV services today, we believe that voice will play a pivotal role in finding the programmes consumers want to watch. More importantly the support for Amazon Alexa goes one step further than Sky Q in supporting additional voice features.”

“Credit should go to its partner Netgem for further differentiating EE TV over rivals. This latest move clearly underlines the importance of software in enhancing a TV service.”

“Undoubtedly EE TV is a great option for consumers who are looking for a good set-top box with access to a wide range of programming including free-to-air, on demand and a la carte purchases to premium content.”

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