Computers & Electronics

Reco on controlling a TV with Alexa

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 29th, 2018 4:56 pm
Jan 25, 2007
18 posts

Reco on controlling a TV with Alexa

Looking for some help in deciding on a TV setup for a bedroom. Max size that I can fit in the room is 43" . We've got an echo device in the room already and looking to use it to control the tv using voice commands.

After doing some research it doesn't look like there are a lot of TV's that have Alexa integration in Canada. Options are quite limited at the 43" size. So we've been looking at Vizio primarily and the RCA Roku TV's.

Preferably looking for a 4K panel. Is it better to just spend the extra $50 on a fire TV and buy a non alexa enable screen?
1 reply
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3859 posts
I've experimented with both Alexa and Google Home voice control for TV and media player, and I'm not sure this is a concept ready from prime time. Even assuming you can find the required hardware and software, there are inherent problems with the concept:

1. Voice assistants are not good at hearing your voice when something else is playing in the room, especially if the interfering noise source is too close and too loud, and you are too far away from the mic. You end up having to repeat yourself loudly to get any commands recognized. The Roku voice-command remote control is actually better at that because you can hold the remote up close to you so that your voice is much louder than the interfering external sound.

2. Simple commands like Stop/Play/Pause aren't a problem, but realistically, how does voice command help when you have the remote control ready to hand, and pushing a button is quicker and easier than saying something like "Voice Assistant, channel up on the TV".

3. It would be more useful if you could make complex selections directly by voice command instead of navigating a long menu, but when you start getting more complicated, like "Voice Assistant, tell Roku to Play Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 3 on the TV with surround sound", things start to go astray. Either complex commands aren't supported, or they're too picky about the exact format and pronunciation, or the assistant just doesn't know how to interpret important details like season/episode or channel name.

So at the moment I wouldn't invest much money in a dedicated voice control system for TV. If you can find a way to try an experiment with equipment you were going to buy anyway, that's a good start. But otherwise I would wait for this field to mature for another year or two.