Google Home Vs. Amazon Echo: Which Is the Best Hands-Free TV Experience?

Who doesn’t like to have the TV do anything they say, like flipping channels, or rewinding a scene, without them having to lift a finger? I bet the answer is no one. Having a long day at work, even for the most energetic people, could mean one might want just a few idle hours of winding down without any effort or even finding the TV remote hiding underneath your cushion. This serves as perhaps one of the needs of home automation in this tech-ridden world.

Google and Amazon, to that extent, offer TV controls through speakers, which are hands free. Amazon offers Alexa devices, such as Fire TV and Echo speaker voice controls as its version of hands free TV controls. On the other end, Google provides an almost identical method for voice control for its Chromecast, by use of its right Google Home speaker. These combinations give one the freedom of launching videos, playing, pausing, rewinding, or even fast-forwarding without the need of touching TV remote controls.

 

Supported Devices

Limitations on the devices is a question lingering in many’s minds. The restrictions begin with the number of devices any of these control systems can support and with which to work. It’s a no-brainer that devices from Amazon only help Alexa. Such Alexa devices as Amazon Echo, all Fire TV products are supported and work with the prompt voice system. All generations including the first and second-generation Fire TV box, the second and first Fire TV Stick as well as Fire TV edition are all supported. On the other hand, Google Home is built to control any Chromecast models. These all include 4K Chromecast Ultra. Televisions featuring Chromecast built into them also support this model of TV control. As you would have guessed, Android TV also enjoys the compatibility with the Google devices.

 

Setup

A single Google Home can control any Chromecast found within a user’s house. One could link Multiple Chromecast devices directly to the Home speaker, using The Google Home App on both Android and iOS. A user also has the ability to setup custom names for each device, like Basement Chromecast, or Living Room TV for use in commands of voice.

Conversely, Amazon Alexa devices require assignment each to a single Fire TV, which chooses quickly from their Alexa app on both iOS and Android. These operations allow shorter voice commands, which are quicker to say, as one does not have to specify the TV or device they wish to control. However, for a setup with multiple TVs, commands can fail to work.

 

Playing Videos

As of today, Alexa only clicks off videos from the very Amazon’s Prime Video service on Fire TV. Requesting for media or movie not possibly found on the Leading goes to a universal search engine results page, which the user cannot navigate without the use of a remote controller. However, there is one exception to this, if the search brings up only one single result, one might be capable of launching it by expressing “Alexa, watch that.” You can also tell Alexa to start specific programs like HBO nowadays and Hulu, but you desire a remote to move forward any further inside the app.

Chromecast and Google Home are not much better at the moment; they support primarily just Netflix and YouTube videos. Google announced the expansion of tones of controls to HBO. Today, YouTube TV, Hulu, Google play movies and TV set, CBS all access, Foodstuff Network, HGTV, CW, red bull TV, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Travel, and Crackle. It is still unclear when this support is fully available though.

 

Summing it All up

Although Google was the first of the two companies by nine months to launch its voice TV controls in an attempt to achieve hands-free TV experience, Amazon is quick up to pace. Google already works on adding more streaming services, while Amazon improves customization of the device. In the future wireless TV, control will only get smoother with unlimited varieties.

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About the Author: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and finance. With over 20 years of business experience, Robert is now retired and hopes others can benefit from his writing.

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