New Dish customers who get a Hopper DVR will now also get a free voice remote, the company has announced. Existing customers can upgrade to the voice remote for $20.

The remote, which includes motion-activated backlighting, will search for content, and control guide navigation with simple voice commands.

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“Voice control will now come as a standard feature on DISH remotes shipped with our Hopper set-top boxes,” said Niraj Desai, Dish’s vice president of product management. “In the not-so-distant future, we’ll begin to navigate our TV experience the same way we navigate human conversations. Our new voice remote is not only a technological stepping stone as natural language processing and machine learning progress, but it’s also an effort to bring customers along in the process by increasing their familiarization with voice control.”

The voice remote also includes two customizable buttons that enable you to create shortcuts for frequent tasks such as searching for Netflix or perusing Video on Demand. The device also includes a ‘Remote Finder’ that allows you to find it by pressing a ‘Locate Remote’ button on the receiver.

The remote is compatible with all generations of DISH’s Hopper DVR, as well as Joey, Wireless Joey, 4K Joey and Super Joey clients.

Dish first introduced a voice remote in 2016, but charged both new and existing $30 for the device.

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— Phillip Swann