Since the arrival of voice assistants, there are already many devices that add their functions. Among them are televisions, which for years have been using and integrating the technologies of these assistants and which we can activate through the remote control or the mobile phone itself.
In this article we review all the functions available to us when using the Alexa voice assistant on our TV, as well as all the manufacturers that include this assistant.
Compatible and full integration is not the same
Amazon has built a vast smart ecosystem based on Alexa. To do this, in addition to integrating its technology into televisions, it is also possible to access the voice commands of this assistant through its Alexa application for mobile devices and tablets. And it is that thanks to the “competence” provided by each manufacturer, it is possible to control the TV from an external device such as an Amazon Echo or with the mobile itself.
Having explained this, it must be understood then that it is not the same as a television that fully integrates this smart assistant, or that it is compatible, because for the latter a smart speaker or a mobile phone will be necessary as mentioned above. In case we want to differentiate these designs, in the description of our TV we must find the ‘Alexa Built-in’ specification for TVs that have full integration of this assistant.
TVs that support Alexa voice assistant
Currently, a large portion of TVs that have a voice assistant and don’t have Android TV as their operating system use Alexa. Manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, Hisense, Philips, TCL or Panasonic, among others, have this assistant. However, there are some models with Android TV which, in addition to the Google Assistant, also include the Amazon Assistant in an additional way. The list is very varied and extensive, so we will have to pay particular attention to whether our television has full Alexa integration, or if, on the contrary, it is only compatible, as we have explained previously.
Samsung’s entire line of TVs from 2020 models fully integrates voice assistant Alexa, as well as Bixby and Google Assistant. For models prior to this year, we need to install the Alexa app on our mobile devices and add the SmartThings “skill” to be able to use this assistant externally through an Amazon Echo speaker or mobile device.
Starting with the 2019 models and with webOS 4.0 or higher, LG is integrating full integration with Alexa in its OLED and NanoCell TVs, being able to access this assistant without the need for a remote control. However, if you want to use it, just hold down the “Prime Video” button as we speak.
Additionally, LG also offers its ‘LG ThinkQ’ skill for Alexa in case we want to control the TV from an external device or if it is older than 2019 and has a webOS version lower than 4.0.
Sony integrates Android TV in its televisions. This means that its compatibility is limited with the Amazon assistant, and therefore, to use Alexa, it is necessary to have an external device such as an Amazon Echo smart speaker or a mobile. To do this, Sony offers its ‘Sony’s TV’ skill through the Amazon store.
The vast majority of Hisense televisions currently on the market integrate Alexa, and thanks to the RemoteNOW application we can send voice commands. In case TV compatibility is limited, we can still install Hisense skill for Alexa in our ecosystem.
TCL offers compatibility (but not full integration) with Alexa on a wide range of its TVs. Some of them offer Android TV and Google Assistant built-in, but they are also compatible with the TCL skill for the Alexa app, so we can control the TV through an Amazon smart speaker or our mobile device.
Although most current models have Google Assistant built-in, we can also use Alexa through the Panasonic Skill for Amazon voice assistant app. This allows you to control the TV from a smart speaker or through our mobile phone.
Depending on the operating system the TV has, it may or may not offer built-in support with Alexa. If it’s Android TV we’ll have Google Assistant built-in, while if it’s SAPHI we’ll have Alexa as the default assistant. Similarly, for televisions with Android TV, it is also possible to control them with Alexa thanks to the skill for the application on the phones. Of course, in this case, a smart speaker or our own mobile will be needed.
How to use Alexa functions on our TV
As we explained, if we move on to the most recent Samsung televisions, the manufacturer gives us the choice between three intelligent voice assistants; Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant. In the case of LG, more of the same, because in addition to the Google Assistant, it also offers compatibility with Alexa in a good part of its televisions with webOS. And the same goes for most TVs from major manufacturers. Fortunately, as consumers, we have a choice.
To access the voice assistant Alexa through a television that has its full integration, we will usually have a button on our remote control that allows us to interact with it. Sometimes it is enough to press it once, and in others we will have to keep the button pressed until we finish dictating the command, it all depends on the manufacturer. Of course, we will have to access the settings panel of our TV to check that the Alexa voice assistant is activated.
In the TVs we mentioned that have both Alexa and the Google Assistant, there’s also an option in the settings to choose the default assistant. Each performs the basic functions, but if you want to know the differences in depth, in this article we will put them face to face.
If the TV is compatible but does not support full integration, simply add the corresponding Alexa skill in the app, which will allow us to activate the assistant through our mobile device or our Alexa speaker. To do this we will have to download the Alexa app and link it to our TV. We can do this through the TV and video section of the application itself and follow the steps indicated.
Adding a voice assistant to a TV today makes a lot of sense, because Smart TVs have so much content that sometimes it’s good to find a quick and efficient way to find what you want. Alexa on TV works the same way as smart speakers or other Assistant-enabled products, but with controls optimized for the TV.
Raise, lower or mute the volume, change HDMI source, play a movie or series on a specific streaming service, and more, that’s what we can do with a TV that integrates the Alexa voice assistant. We’ll just have to tell you the command via the remote, or via the ‘Alexa’ voice activation command if the TV supports it. Below these lines, we leave you with some examples:
‘Alexa, recommend an action movie.’ ‘Alexa, open the YouTube app.’ ‘Alexa, put Stranger Things on Netflix.’ “Alexa, volume down”.
Other ways to enjoy Alexa on our TV
In case we have a TV in our house that is not compatible with Alexa, we also have ways to use this popular voice assistant on it. The most obvious option is to get a Fire TV Stick device from Amazon. For this we will only need an HDMI port on our television and thus be able to take advantage of the Smart TV functions, Internet connection, download applications or play streaming content, among others. In addition, the device is compatible with Alexa in all its versions, from the Fire TV Stick Lite to 4K Max.
Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (includes TV controls), HD streaming device
Another alternative is to acquire an Amazon Echo smart speaker. These types of speakers come with the built-in Alexa voice assistant, and through the app on mobile devices we can build an ecosystem around the technology provided by Amazon, linking our TV and using the speaker to it. -even to control it. Of course, in this case, the TV must offer compatibility with Alexa services.
Echo Dot (4th Gen) | Smart speaker with Alexa | Anthracite