DISH Adds Google Assistant to DVRs

If you love to talk to your consumer electronics, it’s your lucky day.

DISH announced today that Google Assistant functionality has been added to all its current DVRs and clients. If you have a Hopper, Hopper Duo, Joey, or Wally you have everything you need to communicate using the Google Assistant app or Google Assistant enabled devices.

Some examples

According to DISH, here are some examples of things you can say to Google Assistant once you’ve set up the app:

  • “Turn on my Hopper”
  • “Mute my Hopper”
  • “Change the channel to ESPN”
  • “Tune to channel 140”
  • “Go to Food Network”
  • “Show me Big Bang Theory”
  • “Show me home improvement shows”
  • “Record Game of Thrones on Hopper”
  • “Show me Tom Hanks movies”
  • “Play This is Us”
  • “Play Top Gun on DISH”
  • “Launch Netflix on Hopper”
  • “Open Game Finder on Hopper”
  • “Skip forward on Joey”
  • “Rewind 30 seconds”
  • “Pause” and “Resume”

Of course, these are only examples and you don’t have to watch those specific shows or movies to get the full Google Assistant functionality. You do, however, need to make sure your equipment is networked. A full guide to installation and operation can be found on DISH’s Google Assistant Integration page.

What about older equipment?

If you have non-Hopper equipment such as the 211, 622, or any older DISH receiver or DVR, unfortunately you will not have access to Google Assistant. This is yet another reason to upgrade to the latest and greatest. This function probably isn’t coming to that older gear. If talking to your DVR is important to you, you’ll probably want to check out the latest and greatest.

Why choose voice?

2018 has seen a real rush toward enabling Alexa and Google Assistant on consumer electronics, and there’s a simple reason: people want it. There’s something kind of cool and futuristic about it. I will say that in many cases using traditional buttons can be faster, but in this case one real improvement is the ability to search by voice. Anyone who has tried to search by using the arrows and pointing at one letter at a time knows what I’m talking about.

Of course, one of the strengths of voice search is the ability to set scenes. In other words you can turn on more than one thing at a time. This means that if everything in your home theater is voice-enabled, you really have the power. Simply walk into the room and saying “Watch TV” could set the lights, turn on all the right equipment, and set the right inputs. This sort of integration has been possible to some degree with universal remotes but of course voice takes it to another whole level.

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