Voice control has taken “ask and you shall receive” to a whole new level. First we had burning questions like “when is Morgan Freeman’s birthday” answered on demand, now we can completely control our spaces.

Gone are the days of tearing your house apart looking for one of six remote controls only to find your dog eating it. Your home sound bar and television systems can now be controlled using just your spoken command. Voice command technology is available through a variety of brands and devices, so it’s possible to navigate what fits your mojo best. Bestbuy.ca has made it easy to set up and enjoy personalized systems, with a variety of options available online. Here are some of the ways you can use voice control on your TV and audio systems.

Step one: choose a voice control set up

Amazon Echo, Google Home, Siri and Bixby are all leaders in voice command. They answer questions and perform tasks, but they are also capable of being connected to your home devices to establish voice control on them. While Siri and Bixby are primarily connected through your smartphone and personal devices,  Alexa and Google are available ready built into speakers, or can very simply be connected to a louder smart sound bar or television using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

The voice control path you take is up to you—but consider what you already have in place. If you’ve already got some systems set up, you can find the perfect puzzle pieces to make your home system complete. And if you want to start fresh, then you can optimize a perfect set up.

Custom connectivity is yours to create

An example of revamping an existing system: if you already have a Google Home or an Android Smartphone with Bixby, all you’ll need to voice control your television is a Google Chromecast and the Google Home App, where you can link them. Or, if you’re an Apple devotee, Siri identifies your accessories by their names, location, and other details that you’ve added to them in the Home app. So, if you have an Apple TV connected into your Home app, you can turn your television on and off using a simple “Hey, Siri” command from your iPhone, iPad, or Apple computer.

Additionally, a number of smart home devices can connect with ease to a central hub device that you can control on an app. All you need to do is connect them with your Google Home or Amazon Echo with Alexa through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. 

Connecting your devices to your chosen voice command technology is simple and doesn’t get you tied up in wires. Once you’ve determined what the best system is for you, you can easily set it up and get the flow of your house running smoother than ever.

How to connect Spotify and Pandora to your home theatre

Music services like Pandora and Spotify are already compatible with Alexa and Google Home devices, but if you want a more intensified sound you’ll have to connect your voice control gadget to your speakers.

For Google Home, you can use speakers that have Google Assistant built in, or you can purchase a Google Chromecast for a television that is already linked to a speaker system. In the case that you use Chromecast, your television will need to be turned on to access its speaker system. Recently, Google has also evolved into connecting with Bluetooth speakers as well, so you can connect another Bluetooth system to your Google Home through Google Home Assist app with ease.

If you use Bluetooth with your Google Home, you will still need to speak into your Google Home device to give it voice commands. Once synced up, a simple “Hey Google, turn on Birdbox on Netflix” can turn on your television, open Netflix, find the movie Birdbox, and send Sandra Bullock into an apocalyptic tailspin just like that. 

Unlike Google, Amazon Echo can be connected to your sound system or television wirelessly or through wired connection. Once connected, any audio commanded through Alexa will be amplified by your Bluetooth sound bar.

All Amazon Echo devices come ready made with Bluetooth, which means you can wirelessly connect them to any Bluetooth speaker, sound bar or home theatre receiver. However, if you don’t want to rely solely on Bluetooth, the Amazon Echo Dot has a mini AUX jack that you can connect to any receiver with an AUX input. You just need to use a  mini-to-RCA cable, or a mini-to-mini cable. If you want to use Alexa  to navigate through your television, then you’ll need an Amazon Fire TV Stick, or a TV with Alexa built-in

From turning your television on or off, to being guided you through all your Netflix choices, to changing channels, you just need a solid connection and the correct devices to ensure your voice command buddy is always ready to help you get your chill on. The choices of voice command systems available make it simple for you to set up a synchronized home system customized to your taste in devices. 

All you have to say are the magic words

Turning on your TV is as easy as abracadabra. Well, not those words exactly—but the point is, you can power on and go in all directions with a simple command. Once connected, you can use the appropriate command to bring life to your television and/or speakers. Whether it’s “Hey Google” or “Alexa”, “Bixby”  or “Hey Siri”, all you need is to figure out what’s best for your home, get your connectivity on, and command away.

The opportunities are truly endless. Alexa, play on Dancing In The Moonlight by Toploader.

 

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Shadi Bozorg
Originally a Vancouverite, Shadi is a freelance writer and social media coordinator now surviving the winters of Toronto. She spends her free time reading, doing creative writing, and trying to make her Fitbit proud. Shadi can also be found in the kitchen as she trains for the next round of Masterchef tryouts.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Another easy way to add voice commands using smart assistants like Google or Amazon, is to integrate them with the Harmony Hub remote control system, at which point an “activity” can be created which will create macro commands for multiple units to turn on and set the appropriate input, just by saying ” Hey Google, tell harmony to “watch TV” .

  2. I do want to add an Apple TV to my home entertainment system, but that is mainly because I want an easy way to watch movies that I own through iTunes on my TV (which I can’t do since my laptop died).

    I like my remotes though. I’m not sure that I am ready to use voice control for my home theatre setup. Maybe I’m just getting old, I’m sure others will find this to be very useful.

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