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Dish customers can channel-surf with Amazon Alexa

Dish Network is the first TV provider to make its service compatible with Amazon's digital assistant.

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Alexa can now help Dish customers who don't want to dig for their remote control.
Ry Crist / CNET

At this point, where won't Alexa go?

Amazon's digital assistant, found on the online shopping giant's family of Echo speakers, will now let Dish Network satellite TV subscribers call out commands to change the channel, search for shows and pause, fast-forward or rewind.

Dish is the first TV service provider to make its service compatible with Alexa as companies scramble to work with an increasing crop of digital voice assistants from Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft. The company originally announced this capability at CES.

Customers just need to enable the Dish TV skill in the Alexa app to get started.

Meanwhile, the budget TV brand Element has begun selling 4K systems with Amazon Fire TV built in, and that means Alexa's on board.

Beyond convenience, the hands-free Alexa option offers a new way for people with physical disabilities to control their television.