Dish Bundles New Voice Remote With Hopper DVRs

Dish Network has introduced a second-generation voice remote and will look to expand its avaialbity rapidly by bundling it with all Hopper DVRs that go out to new pay TV customers.

Existing Dish subs can upgrade to the new remote for $20. The second-gen remote is compatible with all generations of Dish’s Hopper DVR, as well as client boxes such as the Joey, Wireless Joey, 4K Joey and Super Joey.

Dish, which introduced its original voice remote in July 2016 for $30, said the new model includes enhanced capabilities and features, including motion-activated backlighting and two customizable buttons that can, for example, be used as shortcuts to the integrated Netflix app, Dish’s VOD library or access to parental controls. The new product also is equipped with a Remote Finder that emits beeping noises after the customer presses the “Locate Remote” button on compatible receivers.

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“Voice control will now come as a standard feature on DISH remotes shipped with our Hopper set-top boxes,” Niraj Desai, Dish’s VP of product management, said in a statement. “In the not-so-distant future, we’ll begin to navigate our TV experience the same way we navigate human conversations. Our new voice remote is not only a technological stepping stone as natural language processing and machine learning progress, but it’s also an effort to bring customers along in the process by increasing their familiarization with voice control.”

Dish’s service has also been integrated with Amazon Alexa.

Heading into the holiday season, Dish has also launched a humorous TV spot where its “Spokeslistener” helps Santa Clause find his favorite Christmas movie (hint: It’s not The Santa Clause).

Dish is upping its game in the voice remote area as it becomes an increasingly standard component of pay TV offerings as well as OTT streaming players.

Dish hasn’t announced how many first-gen remotes it has shipped. Comcast has shipped nearly 17 million voice remotes for its X1 platform so far.