Google Assistant is already on numerous TVs, but Google is deepening its integration with cable and satellite providers. It says we’ll see the result of those efforts starting “later this year.” Dish has announced that it’s building Assistant directly into its family of Hopper receivers and DVRs. The company has already been supporting Assistant voice commands from external devices, but this is much more convenient from the customer’s perspective, and you won’t need a separate smart speaker in the living room (or have to use your phone) to access Assistant.
Instead, you can just use Dish’s bundled voice remote to perform Assistant actions, ask questions, or initiate a search for content. And there’s an actual on-screen UX for this stuff, so you’re not just calling out “Hey Google” voice commands and hoping for the best. You can search “based on channel, title, actor or genre, as well as check the weather or control other connected devices in your home,” according to Google.
So if you’re a Dish customer with, say, an LG TV, you might very well run into a scenario where both your satellite box and TV have Assistant built in out of the box. How much Google Assistant is too much Google Assistant? Meanwhile, Dish will continue to support Amazon Alexa voice commands — much like its prior compatibility with Assistant. But Google will have the advantage of being a richer, integrated part of the software.