Think about it: controlling your TV without ever having to use the remote, or getting off of your couch. Think it’s impossible? It’s not. Here’s how you can control your TV with Alexa and never leave your couch!
Technology is all about convenience. We have worked our way through the evolution of technology by eliminating major inconveniences, and now we’re at the point where we’re trying to use technology to help us be a bit,.. lazy. Nothing wrong with that! Voice control is the epitome of convinces.
How Alexa Controls Your TV
Alexa is Amazon’s artificial intelligence voice assistant that is probably the most powerful of its kind, thanks to skills. Skills are added components that help Alexa connect to a huge range of other devices and services. If you have a somewhat popular smart device, then Alexa probably has a skill for it. This means that you can interact with the device by sending a voice command alone.
So ideally, if you manage to get the right setup, you can simply tell Alexa to play whatever you want on your TV, simply with a voice command. You wouldn’t even need to use your hands. Let’s take a look at the TVs and TV compatible devices you can use Alexa on.
Amazon Fire TV devices
Amazon has a range of Fire TV Edition TVs that will work with Alexa commands. However, if you don’t have one of those, the best way to get Alexa to work with your TV is to use a Fire TV device.
Amazon makes the Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick 4K, that are HDMI devices to go along with your TVs. You plug one into your TV, and it instantly readies your TV to hear your screams!
Fire TV devices come with a remote that has a button to summon Alexa to listen to your commands. However, if you want to go fully hands-free, you will have to use Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled smart speakers in tandem with the Fire TV Stick.
They work directly with the Hey Alexa! Commands. The one-time setup will require you to use the Alexa app on your smartphone.
Just make sure your smartphone, the Fire TV Stick, and the Echo device are all connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and follow the steps:
- Open the three-dot menu in the Alexa app, found in the top left corner.
- Select Music, Video and Books.
- Select Fire TV.
- Tap on Link Devices.
You’ll now be able to yell at Alexa to do your bidding, hands-free!
Now, as I mentioned earlier, Amazon has some Fire Edition TVs. In addition to these, many modern smart TVs carry a “Works with Alexa” certification.
For now, certain models from Sony, LG, Vizio and Hisense come with this certification. The setup will require you to set up the Alexa app or equivalent version of it on your TV, and then link your account to the device using the Alexa app on your smartphone.
For LG TVs, it’s Set-Up TV for Amazon Alexa App, for Sony — TV Control Setup with Amazon Alexa App, for Vizio, the app is called TV SmartCast home screen.
Hisense has Alexa setup integrated into its setting app. Once you set it up, you will be good to go for your endless couch resting doing nothing but telling Alexa what to play!
We’ve put together a big portion of the best Alexa commands:
Third-party Alexa Enabled Devices
There are a lot of devices that support and run Alexa, and many of them can be used to convert your TV into a hands-free command system. Logitech’s Harmony Remote systems are a great example of Alexa compatible devices that will work with your TV.
Another great device is the Microsoft Xbox One S/X. If you’re looking forward to being a couch potato, it’s best to get an Amazon device, but if not, make sure you check Alexa works with the device.
More Things to Do with Alexa
Now, as we know, Alexa can do a lot more than just control your TV. With the right setup, you can control more aspects of your home.
Consider Philips Hue lighting, and even cheaper alternatives, most of which have Alexa Skills.
In some regions, you can even control your room temperature with a Nest thermostat hooked up to Alexa. The possibilities are endless – check out our list of Alexa commands right here!
Palash is a technology and entertainment journalist who loves to geek out over the latest gadgets, TV shows, and movies.