Roku streaming players and Roku TVs are now compatible with the Amazon Alexa voice system. Through voice commands you can search for entertainment, control playback, and launch apps.
Alexa on Roku
Roku says that it welcomes voice assistants to its platform. By integrating multiple voice ecosystems into Roku OS, the company aims to offer its customers choice on a “neutral platform in home entertainment”.
- “Consumers often have multiple voice ecosystems in their homes. By allowing our customers to choose Alexa, in addition to Roku voice search and controls, and other popular voice assistants; we are strengthening the value Roku offers as a neutral platform in home entertainment,” said Ilya Asnis, senior vice president, Roku OS.
Other voice assistants for TV include Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Samsung’s Bixby. While some, such as Apple and Samsung’s voice assistants, are limited to devices sold by that particular company, Amazon and Google are pushing their respective systems as multi-platform voice assistants in order to reach more users. Roku has also announced Google Assistant support.
Download the Roku skill
To get started you should download the Roku skill for Alexa. You must also own an Amazon Echo device. The company says that you can pause a show, launch a streaming channel and search for entertainment by saying things like “Alexa, find comedies on Roku,” “Alexa, pause Roku” or “Alexa, open Hulu on Roku”.
If you own a Roku TV you will also be able to turn on the TV, change the volume, mute the TV, and switch input or channel. It requires Roku OS 8.1 or later.