TiVo debuts Alexa skill so you tell your Echo to change channels, skip commercials and more

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Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa can control nearly every aspect of our homes, from lighting to our thermostat and more. Today, that list of connected devices expands yet again, as TiVo has announced that it will finally be bringing highly anticipated voice-control features to several models of its DVR boxes.

Back at the end of March, we reported that Amazon had expanded Alexa’s video skill functionality to offer general DVR features and support. Today, TiVo has finally announced that it’d be one of the first companies to partner with Amazon’s voice assistant to bring control and content recording to a few of its DVR boxes.

Just about any of Amazon’s Alexa devices will do the trick here, but only certain TiVo boxes will be able to integrate with the voice assistant. Only the Series 4, 5 and 6 boxes like the TiVo Premiere, Roamio and BOLT will boast Alexa support, meaning that if you’re still using one of the older models, you’ll have to stick with a typical remote.

In terms of actual functionality, you’ll be able to say commands like “Alexa, watch ESPN” or “Alexa, go to CBS”, alongside other ways to switch channels and control your TV. This will definitely be extremely convenient for many homes that have already adopted Alexa, and will certainly be better than trying to find that pesky remote in the couch cushions.

But the real stand out feature for us is the ability to say “Alexa, skip commercials,” and have TiVo’s skip mode jump past those annoying ads. This is sure to be a fan-favotire and rounds out the Alexa skill’s functionality.

Amazon and TiVo have begun rolling out the feature today, meaning you’ll be be able to command your home theater with just your voice. You’ll first have to download the new skill to your Alexa-packed device, but then you’re new voice remote will be ready to go. Those who favor a Google Home don’t need to feel left out, as TiVo is apparently working on bringing its voice control support in the near future. The company hasn’t specifically stated a time frame here, but given the turn around time for the Alexa skill, we ought to see it by Fall.

All-in-all, while today’s release wasn’t out of the blue, it is definitely one that adopters of both Alexa and TiVo will greatly appreciate. This won’t be the first way for Alexa users to command their TV via voice, but for many it may end up being the most seamless.

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