Amazon has added a new option to the Alexa app that allows you to select your specific TV provider. Doing so enables Alexa to answer questions about your TV service. Questions about TV shows or networks will include times and channels that are available on your specific TV provider.
Asking “Alexa, what’s on TV” will give you a list of popular shows, along with channels and times, that are specific to your TV provider. If you have too many channels to keep track of, you can ask “Alexa, what channel is [TV network]” to hear the channel number of the network. If an SD and HD channel are available for the network, Alexa will list both and tell you which is which.
If there’s a specific show you want to watch, you can ask “Alexa, when is the next episode of [show]” to hear the channel and time for the next episode. Alexa will start by telling you when the next new episode will air but will follow up by also telling you when the next rerun will air, if one is available.
If you’re curious about what is currently airing on a specific network, you can ask “Alexa, what is on [TV Network] right now?” Alexa will tell you what is on now and then list off the next few programs and when they start. If you’re curious about what will air later, you can ask about programming for “this evening,” “tomorrow morning,” and other similar time periods.
The new TV provider option is located in the Alexa app’s Settings area under a “TV Schedule” menu item. There are currently 21 TV providers supported. The list includes cable TV services such as Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and satellite TV services such as Dish and DirecTV.
It’s a nice touch, but not appropriate for cord cutters. If one of the options was broadcast TV, it would be better. Knowing whether an episode of a broadcast show is new or a rerun would further add to the value. Instances of reruns are becoming more and more frequent with each passing year.
Yeah OTA support would be killer.
Would totally love to see OTA supported.
What would be needed for cord cutters? Directv Now and SlingTv for example have no channel numbers. I already answered about why at this time there may be no OTA info.
Why do you say Alexa does not tell you a show is new? In fact if you ask simply for a show Alexa will tell you when, if at all a new episode is airing. Will also give the dates it was on if no longer being aired new. She told me when a new Suits was on tonight on USA, along with when repeated later, and told me Criminal Minds would be new on October 3rd.
Further, ask what channel a show is on and if in reruns she will tell you what channel and that it is reruns.
Too bad they don’t have my provider yet (Cablevision/Altice/Optimum)
I agree! One of the most frequently used providers why isn’t it included ? Is it the fault of tv provider itself?
Yea, It supports “DirecTV”, but not “DirecTV Now”.
Could have been a good gateway for auto sign in info as well when tied to the Fire TV device apps.
It is very odd that they license data for so many providers, yet leave over the air broadcasts out.
Kind of a strange feature but I applaud Amazon for constantly improving the functionality of Alexa.
Is that the best you can do. It’s not helpful at all
It sure would be nice if Alexa could display results on the TV that’s connected to the FireTV.
And, I don’t want to stop mentioning that it would be nice if there was a face to go with the replies – like a Picture-In-Picture. Maybe someone who has played an Android on TV already? ( my choice would be Gemma Chan from the show Humans )
Buggy! Had to set up for Time Warner Cable (my former provider — no longer in existence!) rather than Spectrum to get correct results. When I selected Spectrum it kept responding it couldn’t find the info on my Charter provider. Very fussy about wording of requests or it provides a response about movie theaters near you, or some other info you didn’t want.
OTA could be coming but there are (210) markets many with multitudes of channels and sub channels that would need to be researched as opposed to about 20+ cable providers to get information from.Tampa alone has 40 some channels. And making it harder so many channels are moving in some of those markets at the moment. And what do you do with channels people get outside their market? (As I do) Amazon can do this but it has to take quite some time to unveil it with any kind of accuracy.
I see this as a possible very handy skill not ho hum at all. Sure channels I watch all the time I remember but there are a few I just can’t remember what the channel is, or I saw a commercial for a show and don’t know what network. Could be much quicker and easier to use Alexa than go to my computer or even pick up my phone to find out.
It wouldn’t be that hard. Cover the main broadcast channels and have it where the user selects what major market they’re in. In the future they can expand the channel listings and make it more complete.
The majority of people would use it to see what’s on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, PBS, ion, myTV.
I do think it would be that hard to have had it now. It’s the sub channels people will ask about much more than about NCIS – who doesn’t know when and what network it’s on. Every one of the 210 markets are different when it comes to sub channels, and some are in transition from the auction or will be over the next few months.
No question eventually to be best this skill would need to know all your channels from your provider and your market OTA.
Why do you think people would ask about subchannels? Those are almost always old syndicated shows & movies.
I imagine the idea behind this is so you could hear what’s on the big channels and to hear if anything new is on.
Cover ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, PBS, ion, myTV, Univision, Telemundo and you’ve covered every major OTA channel in the nation. Everything outside of the mains can get added at a later date. I think they already license all that information for the Fire TV televisions anyways.
I won’t go on and on more about this after this post as I’m guessing others don’t care. I think you are a little behind the times about the popularity of sub channels and the huge importance they have in the FCC transition. You need to take a look at forums about OTA and see what is talked about. It’s all about the sub channels, what sub channels are being lost in the FCC transition, what will be gained, etc etc. There’s not much to talk about the major networks just about every one of the 210 markets have them. Even at that some networks are themselves on sub channels. Sub channels are not just old programming though much is, but those are what people are watching.
Very useful indeed