Amazon announced yesterday that subscribers to DIRECTV, TiVo, Verizon and Dish will soon be able to use the ‘Alexa’ Echo to record programming.

The new recording feature, which Amazon says the four TV providers are now testing, will enable you to set and manage your DVRs with your voice.

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For example, a DIRECTV subscriber could say, ‘Alexa, record the Mariners’ and the Amazon Echo digital voice assistant would instantly set your DVR to record the Seattle Mariners’ next game.

Amazon said it’s also developed a ‘launcher’ capability that will allow viewers to launch apps and access TV menu items such as Guide, Home and DVR by giving a voice command to ‘Alexa.’

The technology to use voice to control the television has been around for several years, but many TV models still do not offer the feature. Amazon is hoping to expand sales of its Alexa Echo by providing a quick solution for consumers looking to simplify the viewing experience.

“DISH customers love the convenience that our Alexa compatibility brings to their home entertainment,” said Niraj Desai, DISH vice president of product management. “With Amazon’s updates to the Video Skill API, DISH has the ability to deepen our Alexa integration and continue working toward providing our customers with a completely hands-free TV experience.”

— Phillip Swann