Dish Launches Its Voice Remote

Dish Network has finally moved forward with the national debut of its Voice Remote, a $30 product that also features backlighting and a clickable touchpad for “swipe and scroll navigation.”

Dish’s new Voice Remote, which is about half the size of its traditional remote control, is compatible with the recently launched Hopper 3 whole-home DVR and 4K Joey set-top boxes and can control up to two IR devices. It features two touchpad models – the default setting allows for navigation tasks, while a numeric mode illuminates a keypad when channel or password entry is preferred.

Dish’s Voice Remote follows a similar voice-powered remote control that Comcast has rolled out for its X1 platform (Comcast has already rolled out more than 6 million voice remotes).

Dish’s version has been long in the making. The company introduced the Voice Remote at the 2015 CES and, at the time, had plans to launch the product later that year. Rovi announced in April 2015 that its Conversation Services platform would power Dish’s new voice-based TV interface.

Dish said its Voice Remote can interpret natural language and provide search results based on program title, actor or genre, and use contextual searches to narrow options. Voice commands can also be used to control basic functions of the set-top, including recording and changing channels.

“Voice Remote is simple to use, affordable and, most impressively, operates with incredible speed and accuracy,” Vivek Khemka, Dish’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, said in a statement. “Leveraging modern navigation paradigms like touch and voice, this remote represents a complete reinvention of the outdated remote control customers have come to expect from cable providers.”