Roku devices now play nice with Amazon Alexa

Roku's new 4K-ready streaming stick.
Roku’s new 4K-ready streaming stick.

Image: roku


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Own a Roku media streaming device or Roku TV? If you also have an Amazon Echo smart speaker or smart display, you can now control your Roku device with Alexa voice controls.

Starting today, Roku users with Alexa-enabled devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Show$129.99 at Amazon, Echo Dot, Echo Spot$129.99 at Amazon, or Echo Plus can pause a show, launch a streaming channel, or search for content using Alexa voice commands, Roku announced. To try it out, open the Alexa app, go to settings, select TV & Video, enable the Roku skill, and link your account. Note that your Roku device needs to be running Roku OS 8.1 or higher for this to work.

Once you get it set up, just utter a command like “Alexa, find comedies on Roku,” “Alexa, pause Roku,” or “Alexa open Hulu on Roku.” If you have a Roku TV with an OTA antenna connected, you can also use Alexa voice controls to turn it on, change the volume, switch inputs, and change channels.

You can already control Roku devices with other virtual assistants, including Roku’s own and Google Assistant. The addition of Alexa support gives Roku users another option.

“Consumers often have multiple voice ecosystems in their homes,” Roku OS Senior Vice President Ilya Asnis said in a statement. “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.”

This new voice control option should help users “get to the entertainment they love faster so they can enjoy more of it,” Asnis added.

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