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Dish extends hands-free channel surfing throughout the home

Dish was the first TV provider to let you control what you watch using Amazon's Alexa digital assistant. Now it's available for every TV in the house.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon

Use Amazon Alexa to control your Dish Network box.

Dish Network

Fans of Dish Network 's hands-free channel changing ability are in luck. The satellite TV provider will now let you change the channel on all the TVs in your house using Amazon 's digital assistant Alexa.

Alexa, which is found on Echo speakers, let's subscribers to Dish's satellite TV service call out commands to change the channel, search for shows, as well as pause, fast-forward and rewind shows. In May, Dish was the first TV service provider to make its service compatible with Alexa. The company originally announced this capability at CES.

All you need to do is pair each set-top box in the house with an Amazon Echo , Echo Show or Echo Dot, which runs the Alexa software.

The news comes as companies scramble to work with an increasing crop of digital voice assistants from Amazon, Apple , Google and Microsoft.

Hands-free channel surfing is certainly convenient, but it also offers a new way for people with physical disabilities to control their televisions.