Amazon's own Fire TV products have had deep Alexa integration for years. Just like with a Chromecast and Google Assistant, you can use voice commands like "Play The Office" or "Turn down the volume" from any Alexa smart speaker. If you're on #TeamRoku, Alexa can now control Roku TVs and streaming devices — at least, in theory.
Roku announced earlier today that it released an Alexa Skill, which allows users to control Roku devices with voice commands like "Alexa, find comedies on Roku" and "Alexa, open Hulu on Roku." If the connected device is a Roku TV, you can also tell Alexa to change HDMI inputs, mute the volume, and more. The skill should work on any device running Roku OS 8.1 or higher.
Unfortunately, early reviews claim the Alexa Skill is extremely buggy in its current form. The skill can't open certain channels, you can't select anything inside a channel, and only one Roku can be paired to Alexa at once. There are also reports of the skill being completely broken.
The functionality just launched today, so hopefully Roku will continue to improve it and fix bugs. Alexa support could be a major selling point for Roku devices in the future, once all the bugs are resolved.
LOS GATOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Roku, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROKU) today announced that Roku devices are now compatible with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices through the new Roku skill for Alexa. Roku® streaming player and Roku TV™ owners in the US can now control their Roku devices using Alexa. The new voice control compatibility further expands the flexibility and choice for how consumers control their Roku devices and get to their entertainment quickly.
“Consumers often have multiple voice ecosystems in their homes. By allowing our customers to choose Alexa, in addition to Roku voice search and controls, and other popular voice assistants; we are strengthening the value Roku offers as a neutral platform in home entertainment,” said Ilya Asnis, senior vice president of Roku OS at Roku. “Roku customers can get to the entertainment they love faster so they can enjoy more of it.”
Roku users with Alexa-enabled devices – including Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Dot, Echo Spot and Echo Plus – can pause a show, launch a streaming channel and search for entertainment by simply saying things like, “Alexa, find comedies on Roku,” “Alexa, pause Roku” or “Alexa, open Hulu on Roku.” Additionally, Roku TV users can turn on the TV, change the volume, mute the TV, switch inputs and change channels if there is an OTA antenna connected by saying, “Alexa, turn on Roku” or “Alexa, turn up the volume on Roku.”
Customers can control Roku devices running Roku OS 8.1 or greater using their Alexa-enabled devices. To get started customers open the Alexa app, go to settings and select TV & Video. Next, they enable the Roku skill and link their account.
The Roku OS offers access to 500,000+ movies and TV episodes via thousands of free or paid channels. Consumers can search across hundreds of channels and see results in order by price, including what’s playing live if there is an HDTV antenna attached. The Roku Channel offers 10,000+ free ad-supported movies and TV episodes. Currently an update is rolling out to The Roku Channel where customers can browse, trial and subscribe to Premium Subscriptions from popular services such as EPIX, SHOWTIME® and STARZ. Free content is also easy to find with Featured Free as it provides users with direct links to free in-season episodes from top network shows and full past-season catch-ups.
About Roku, Inc.
Roku pioneered streaming to the TV. We connect users to the streaming content they love, enable content publishers to build and monetize large audiences, and provide advertisers with unique capabilities to engage consumers. Roku streaming players and Roku TV™ models are available around the world through direct retail sales and licensing arrangements with TV OEMs and service operators. Roku TV Wireless Speakers are available direct from the company. Roku is headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif. U.S.A.
Roku is a registered trademark and Roku TV is a trademark of Roku, Inc. in the U.S. and in other countries.