How to Use Voice Commands on Your TV (2022): Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Roku TV Voice Commands
Despite the wide availability AND major improvements in speech recognition, most people rarely use voice assistants. And when we talk to Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri, it’s often just asking about the weather. But there are some voice commands you can use today to improve your TV viewing experience because, let’s face it, navigating the remote is a pain.
Imagine you’re halfway through an episode of Andor or your current favorite Television show, and the doorbell rings. You can use a voice command to stop the action or go back to where you left off when you return. You can also use voice commands to launch a streaming app, check who hosted the show or even find out what the actor just said on screen.
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What you need
All the best televisions AND TV broadcasting equipment have a built-in form of voice control. The most versatile are the voice commands of Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Roku, but the others offer at least some of the same functionality. If your remote has a button with a microphone icon on it, then it supports voice commands.
You can also sometimes use one smartphones, smart speakeror smart screen to control your TV, provided it is in the same room and connected to the same Wi-Fi network. This is useful if you don’t want to have to pick up the remote and press that microphone button before issuing a command.
There’s usually some setup required to make this all work, like adding your smart TV to the Google or Apple Home apps, the Samsung SmartThings app, or installing the Roku app. With Amazon’s Alexa, you can pair smart speakers with your Fire TV by opening the Alexa app, pressing More > TV & Video, selecting your Fire TV, and selecting the Echo speaker you want to control the TV with. You may also need to link your streaming service accounts, but this is usually part of the setup for streaming devices such as Chromecast with Google TV.
Simple voice commands that will work with any service include things like:
- Play from the beginning
- Turn down the volume
- Turn up the volume
Choosing what to watch
Because it’s so hard to type anything using a remote, voice commands are great for opening apps, specific shows and movies, or finding content you might like. Here are some commands to try:
- Open Netflix
- Open Hulu
- Show me movies with Sam Rockwell
- Play Foreign things on Netflix
- Show me science fiction TV shows
- Find action movies in 4K
- Find all Martin Scorcese movies
With Google Assistant, you don’t even need to know the name of the movie, you can say things like, “Stallone, boxing movie” and Rocky will appear, or “funny vampire movie” to get What we do in the shadows.
Back and Forward
It can be tricky to fast-forward or rewind accurately using a remote control, but you can be precise with voice commands. Try these:
- Rewind 10 minutes
- Skip forward 30 seconds
- Come back in 10 seconds
- Fast forward three minutes
- Play the next episode
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