DISH subscribers using the company's Hopper set-top boxes should be excited, as Google has just revealed that its Assistant has come to DISH's voice remotes. This follows the ability to control your DISH Hopper remotely via the Assistant last year. Whether you have a Google Home or not, your remote is now an Assistant-powered smart device ready to control your home, look up pointless facts, and help navigate the increasingly complicated broadcast television experience.
There's a reason so many modern remotes have built-in voice controls: navigating modern menus across multiple apps, libraries, services, and titles is a bit of a nightmare with just a D-pad. Amazon and Logitech saw fit to bundle Alexa into their recent remotes, and DISH is giving its subscribers the Assistant. (We think it's better anyway.)
"With this update, we've expanded functionality to allow customers to not just control their Hopper, but to ask questions, get answers and control their smart home all through their remote," said Rob Sadler, DISH's director of product development, speaking about the Assistant integration.
The new feature is rolling out via a software update for all Hopper, Joey, or Wally DISH network receivers that are paired with existing voice remotes. If you don't have one, you can check here to see if you're eligible to pick one up for free. There's even a new Google-branded remote you can get to highlight that Assistant integration.
A new remote, revealed today, complete with bubbly icon and Google colors.
If you're updated and running compatible hardware, triggering the Assistant should be as easy as pressing the mic button and asking Google to do stuff. For some tips and tricks on what sort of stuff to ask, feel free to check out our guide on the subject. At a minimum, it should make it a bit easier to find something to watch on TV.