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How to control your smart TV with your voice
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TV & streaming

Time-saving secret every smart TV user should turn on now

Your smart devices are getting more intelligent all the time. New models and updates add features and capabilities you may not know you need until you try them out.

Your smartphone is likely the most used gadget in your arsenal. It’s more than just a phone, and there’s always something new to try. You may know about connecting your phone to your TV wirelessly, but did you know that you can get better results with a wired connection? Tap or click here for more information.

Your smart speakers and assistants are designed to listen. But they’re not the only ones that can obey your commands. Your smart TV can also be controlled using your voice. You can speak to search for movies, control the volume, pause, rewind, skip to the next episode and more.

Fire TV

Some Amazon, Toshiba and Insignia brand TVs come with Fire TV built right into the set. This lets you watch content, listen to music, connect to streaming services, play games and more without needing an additional device.

The included Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote lets you browse apps, movies and shows and check the weather and sports scores. You can launch and control content or switch to another device connected to your TV, such as a gaming console. It’s as easy as pressing a button:

  • Hold down the Voice button on your remote and ask Alexa what you want (you don’t need to say her name), then release the button.
  • You can search for a movie genre, actor, channel, pause, skip ahead, lower the volume and more. Try these commands: pause, play, resume, show me movies with Tom Hardy, return home, go to Prime Video, mute, switch to PlayStation.

If you have a Fire TV Stick, it probably came bundled with an Alexa Voice Remote. You can also purchase the remote separately if you need one.

Roku

Brands such as TCL, Sharp, RCA and Sanyo manufacture televisions with Roku TV built right in. Some come with a voice remote, but you can purchase it separately if you don’t have one.

All you need to do is press a button and speak:

  • Press and hold the Microphone button, speak your request, and release the button.
  • Try searching for specific movies or TV shows. If you’re unsure, try a category or genre. Open streaming apps, pause and rewind content and browse music. Here are some examples: search for movies with John Travolta, show me episodes of “The Queen’s Gambit,” find horror movies, launch Disney+, hide captions.

As with the Roku TV sets, some Roku streaming devices come with a voice remote while others don’t.

RELATED: 5 things you didn’t know your smart TV could do

Chromecast

Google’s Chromecast dongle turns any TV into a smart one, with streaming features, voice control and more. The latest model comes with a Chromecast Voice Remote. If you have an older model, you may have difficulty finding the remote available for purchase by itself.

You don’t even need to say “Hey Google” to control your Chromecast with your voice:

  • Press and hold the Google Assistant button to open the microphone.
  • Ask a question or say a command. Try these commands: open Netflix, play iron man, go back 10 seconds, next episode.

Vizio

Vizio added a smart remote a couple of years ago, and it can be found bundled in with some Vizio TVs. You can also purchase it separately. The remote lets you browse content, switch inputs, change the volume, launch apps, check the weather and more.

  • Press and hold the microphone button and speak your command.
  • Try these commands: show me family movies, show me animated movies, switch to HDMI 2, pause, set volume to 5, play “Modern Family” on Peacock, open YouTube.

Samsung

Depending on the model year, you can control your Samsung TV using Bixby, Alexa, or Google Assistant. This will let you navigate your TV features, give commands, search for content, switch apps and more.

To set up Bixby with your Samsung TV:

  • Go to Settings > General on your TV, then select Voice.
  • Select Voice assistant and choose Bixby, then select OK.
  • Use Bixby Voice Settings to choose your language, voice response, and sound feedback.
  • Next, press the microphone button on your TV’s remote and say Hi, Bixby to begin giving commands.

You’ll need an Amazon account to set up Alexa with your Samsung TV:

  • Go to Settings > General on your TV, then select Voice.
  • Select Voice assistant and choose Alexa, then select OK.
  • Scan the QR code on the screen using your phone’s camera.
  • You’ll be taken to Amazon’s website. Sign in to your Amazon account and tap Allow on your phone.
  • Follow the instructions on the TV’s screen to finish setting up Alexa.
  • Press your remote’s microphone button and say Alexa to begin giving commands.

You’ll need a Google account to set up Google Assistant with your Samsung TV:

  • Go to Settings > General on your TV, then select Voice.
  • Select Voice assistant and choose Google Assistant, then select OK.
  • Select I understand to agree to the terms and conditions.
  • Use your phone to navigate to the website shown on your TV screen.
  • Tap Get started, then Open to open Google Assistant on your phone.
  • Sign into your account, then tap Continue.
  • Tap Next when your phone finds your TV.
  • Tap Yes to confirm that the code on your TV matches the one on your phone.
  • Tap Allow on your phone to give your TV permission to access your phone.
  • Press the remote’s microphone button and speak your requests.

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