As foreshadowed by yours truly and then announced at CES, Alexa has finally come to TiVo retail boxes. Well, sort of. Over the weekend, a placeholder app appeared – announcing the imminent arrival of Amazon’s voice assistant. Although TiVo has introduced their own native voice remote, it requires an additional purchase, vs those who already own Alexa gear, and is limited to units running the less desirable TiVo Experience 4 (Hydra) on a subset of TiVo hardware. By comparison, Alexa will be made available to a broad swath of devices, dating all the way back to the Premiere and running either Hydra or the HDUI Encore interface.
The TiVo Alexa skill isn’t live yet, but we know it’ll utilize Amazon’s beefed up media api. And, based on some of the documented commands that’ll be available to us, the delay will have been well worth the wait:
- “Alexa, pause”
- “Alexa, fast forward.” To fast forward at higher speeds, say “Alexa fast forward again.”
- “Alexa, previous” is like pressing the Instant Replay button (jumps back 8 seconds).
- “Alexa, skip” or “Alexa, next” will skip a commercial break on SkipMode-enabled shows.
- “Alexa, change the channel to <channel number>.”
- “Alexa, watch <channel name>” (e.g., CBS or ESPN). You must set up your Zip code in the Alexa app to enable this command. (Go to Settings, choose your device, then verify the Zip code under ‘Device Location.’)
- “Alexa, go to Guide.”
- “Alexa, go to Home” opens the TiVo Home screen.
- “Alexa, launch <app name>.” Available apps include Prime Video, Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu, YouTube, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Vudu, MLB.TV, Plex, and more.