Espial video platform gets Alexa voice control

April 17, 2019
Espial (TSE:ESP) has certified several Amazon Alexa voice controls for its Elevate TV as a Service (TVaaS) platform IPTV, app-TV and cable ...

Espial (TSE:ESP) has certified several Amazon Alexa voice controls for its Elevate TV as a Service (TVaaS) platform IPTV, app-TV and cable services. Amazon completed a bulk certification of multiple pay TV operators, enabling operators to move rapidly through the certification process.

The Elevate video platform is designed to scale. Certifying various OTT services like Netflix, YouTube, and now voice services like Alexa is intended to allow operators to reduce costs and accelerate time to market. Multiple system operators (MSOs) such as MCTV, Hiawatha Broadband Communications (HBC), Optic Communications, and Eagle Communications offer services based on Espial's platform.

Elevate will now enable the customers of certified operators to control their TV experience with hands-free control using the Amazon Alexa device ecosystem. For instance, a simple statement such as, "Watch the Chicago Cubs," will allow a user to watch a baseball game without having to find their remote control.

Travis Kohlrus, vice president of broadband operations at Eagle Communications, said: "Eagle Communications strives to meet our customers' ongoing needs, and voice-controlled devices are topping the charts for customer adoption. We are happy to have partners who help keep us on the leading edge of these technology advancements to give our customers the best viewing experience."

Noah Popejoy, sales and marketing coordinator at Optic Communications, said: "Our team at Optic Communications has always tried to be an early adopter of advancements in our industry. When we were told that Amazon Alexa integration was possible with Elevate, we needed to be one of the first to include it. Customers are integrating more and more IoT devices in their home, and we wanted to help customers include their cable television services as well. Alexa capability gives Optic Communications' customers another source of value to an already robust offering,"

Michael McCluskey, VP of product management at Espial, said: "Voice assistants are becoming increasingly popular with consumers who are seeing the simplicity and convenience of the interface, and Amazon Alexa has become the most popular voice assistant. With our Elevate TVaaS platform, we have been able to bulk-certify multiple operators to ensure they can offer voice control to consumers who are part of the Alexa ecosystem. With this integration, Elevate enables consumers to find the content they want to watch faster and more easily, leveraging the Alexa range of smart IoT devices."