Dish Network has rolled out a new remote control for users of its Hopper 3 and 4K Joey set-top boxes, with the device coming with voice features and a touchpad.
On the dedicated page for the Dish Voice Remote on the official website of the company, Dish Network claims that the device will look to improve how its subscribers are enjoying their favorite programs.
The Dish Voice Remote comes with an advanced voice recognition technology that will allow users to perform a variety of functions, including surfing channels, searching for programs, and activating DVR recording, by speaking into the device. Users will only have to press the dedicated button on the right edge of the remote control and then speak to make use of the feature.
If users prefer to navigate by themselves, a touchpad can be found at the center of the new remote. This touchpad, which will allow users to input swipe and scroll commands, also doubles as a keypad with numbers, in case users would like to change channels the old fashioned way.
To illuminate the keypad on the touchpad, users will have to press a button on the remote. Similarly, at times when the surroundings are dark, there is another button that users can press so that all the keys, except the keypad, will light up.
The Dish Voice Remote can also function as a universal remote, with support for up to two additional devices. It also uses a radio connection, so it does not have to be pointed to the Hopper 3 or 4K Joey to operate.
The device is available to subscribers as an add-on, with a price tag of $30. The question, however, is whether it functions as well as it looks on paper.
A hands-on review by CEPro's Julie Jacobson said that the device's voice recognition capability is of a high quality, albeit with some minor mishaps. The dedicated button for the feature, however, must be pressed the entire time while issuing the voice command, with the feature to be given a second after pressing the button so that the command will register well.
While the remote is capable of picking up the voice commands, the response to the commands, however, is limited in function and at times are not able to carry out what Jacobson wanted.
Jacobson did mention that the Dish Voice Remote is a step in the right direction, with Big Picture Big Sound's Rachel Cericola stating that the device is an easy and affordable way to add voice control into the Dish Network set-up of subscribers.