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Joey Features Alexa Voice Control

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Dish Network has long been known to lead the TV industry in technical innovation. It has been shoring up this reputation lately with improvements to its Hopper-Joey system. One of the most important is Alexa Voice Control.

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Last April, DISH became the first pay TV system to offer Alexa Voice Control with its receivers. At the time, the satellite system offered Alexa only with the Hopper and the single-tuner Wally. The Hopper is the industry’s most advanced whole home DVR receiver, able to support up to eight screens at a time. The Wally, with a single tuner, serves only one TV set.

On November 2, DISH announced that Alexa Voice Control will be extended to the Joey. The Joey is a subordinate box that extends Hopper functions to additional TV sets.

The latest model of the Hopper, the Hopper 3, can be connected with up to six Joeys at a time. Previous versions of the Hopper could support up to three Joeys at a time.

With Alexa, you can tell your Joey to record, play, pause, fast forward, rewind, and search for specific content. It can find video based on channel, genre, title, or actor. For example, you might command, “Alexa, tune to Channel 202.” “Alexa, rewind thirty seconds.” “Alexa, find John Cusack movies.” “Alexa, search for The Big Bang Theory.” “Alexa, search for situation comedies.”

What is Alexa?

Alexa is Amazon’s artificial intelligence (A I) system. Amazon calls it an “intelligent personal assistant”. A I, or machine learning, differs sharply from other forms of computer software. In traditional forms, software functions exactly as it is programmed. A I or machine learning goes beyond initial programming. An A I device “perceives” its environment and mimics human mental functions such as “learning” and “problem solving”. Given enough examples of a particular problem or category, AI can recognize similarities and patterns. With this information, it can adapt its behavior to new information for which it hasn’t been specifically programmed. Advanced forms of it can process language.

The Alexa user can operate lights, appliances, and electronics via voice command. Over time, Alexa learns user preferences, and can adapt playlists and recommendations to them.

Amazon’s Alexa devices include the Echo and the Echo Dot.

For a limited time, DISH is offering free Echo Dots to qualifying new customers. The Echo Dot normally sells for about $50.00.

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