How to Control Your TV with Amazon Echo and Alexa
Amazon has undeniably shaken up the market with the release of the Amazon Echo, its popular smart speaker. With the help of Alexa, its virtual assistant that you can issue voice commands to, it becomes quite a powerful voice interaction tool.
However, not only does Alexa work with the Amazon Echo but it can also work with other Amazon devices, notably the Fire TV. It can help you control your TV this way. Keep reading to see how.
As already mentioned, you can use Amazon Alexa with Fire TV devices. The Fire Edition Smart TV even has integrated Fire TV capabilities. If you don’t have it, but have an external Fire TV device, you need to plug it in and set it up. To plug the device in:
- Take the Fire TV device’s power adapter and plug it in.
- Insert the USB cable into an available HDMI port. The ports are usually on the back of the TV.
- Turn your TV on.
- Locate the Fire TV. The button that usually changes the signal is labeled “Source.”
The next step is setting it up:
- When the device prompts you to, take your Alexa Voice Remote and press the “Play” button.
- Select the preferred language and Wi-Fi network.
- Enter the Wi-Fi password, if it has one.
- Choose “Connect.”
- See which Amazon account you want to connect with.
- Let Amazon know if you’d like it to keep your Wi-Fi password and if you want to turn parental controls on.
- Finally, select “Choose Apps” and see which app you’d like to get. When ready, press the “Play” button on your remote and wait for the process to finish.
If you’ve already done this, all that remains is connecting your Fire TV with your Echo or similar device that supports Alexa:
- Open the Alexa app on your smartphone.
- Tap the icon with three lines that’s in the top-left corner.
- Choose “Music, Video, and Books.”
- Select “Fire TV.”
- Follow the rest of the setup instructions.
- Tap “Link Devices.” This option should be confirmed.
Other TVs that Work with Alexa
A few other manufacturers have certain TV models that support Alexa, too. Here is how to configure them to work with Alexa.
- From your Sony TV’s home screen, launch the “TV Control Setup with Amazon Alexa” app.
- Choose or create a Google account.
- Give a name to your TV to identify it more easily.
- Enable Sony’s Alexa skill.
- Follow the other steps to link your TV with the Echo.
The easiest way to control your Roku with Alexa is by using the “Quick Remote” skill:
- Download the “Quick Remote for Alexa & Roku” app on your tablet or smartphone.
- Log in to your Amazon account.
Note: Your TV and Alexa need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Open the “Alexa” app on your smartphone.
- Go to the app’s menu.
- Choose “Skills and Games.”
- Search for “Quick Remote” by using the search bar.
- Enter it, then tap “Enable to Use.”
- From an LG TV’s home screen, start the “Set-Up TV for Amazon Alexa” app.
- This requires you to create an LG account if you don’t already have one.
- Name your TV for easier recognition.
- Proceed to the mobile setup page, while also launching the “Alexa” smartphone app.
- Enable the LG SmarThinQ skill.
- Link Amazon and TV accounts.
- Follow the rest of the setup steps that your TV will show.
Logitech Remote Control Systems
You can also control your TV by using some of the products from the Logitech Harmony line:
- Launch the “Alexa” smartphone app.
- Go to the menu.
- Select “Skills and Games.”
- Use the search bar to find the Harmony skill.
- If you want to customize the Alexa commands for Harmony, visit the “Select Activities” page.
- On the “Now for the Fun Part” screen, there will be a “Link Account” button. Tap it to finish the linking process.
- Start your Vizio TV’s “SmartCast” home screen.
- Take your remote and press the “Up” button.
- Go to “Extras.”
- Choose “Voice Settings.”
- Select “Pair Display.”
- Go to the following link on your smartphone and log in to MyVizio if you haven’t already.
- Enter the PIN. You will be able to see it on your TV’s screen.
- Open the “Alexa” smartphone app again to enable Alexa-related skills and link accounts.
Alexa Voice Commands
Let’s look at some of the most important commands you can give Alexa.
Changing the Channel
To change the channel, say some of the commands listed below and follow them with the channel number or network name:
- “Switch to”
- “Change to”
- “Change the channel to”
- “Go to”
- “Tune to”
- “Turn on”
Controlling the Video Playback
The most important playback commands are:
Play or Find a Movie
Again, say some of these commands and name the movie, TV show, actor, episode, or program category:
- “Search for”
- “Show me (program category) programs”
- “Find (with (actor name))”
Alexa, Turn the Lights Off
The great thing about Alexa’s TV controlling capabilities is that you can use it to control multiple different televisions from either your Android phone or your iPhone. However, keep in mind that there likely are even more devices you can control with it. See if yours is supported first. Also, look up other Alexa commands to get to know it better.
What do you use Alexa for the most? Which feature would you like Amazon to include in the future? Let us know in the comments section below.