Netgem Integrates Amazon Alexa

French online video service Netgem.tv has integrated the Amazon Alexa Video Skill APIs into its set top boxes, making content more readily searchable with navigation controlled by voice.

This means that the Netgem.tv service, currently available in the UK and Ireland, becomes integral to Alexa so that users can now ask directly for channels rather than having to prefix the request with “Alexa, open Netgem.tv…”.

Along with faster channel navigation, the netgem.tv skill for Alexa gives users a ‘search and play’ function for enhanced content discovery, so that for example ‘Alexa, search Killing Eve’ will elicit all the seasons and episodes. With any Alexa-enabled device, viewers can apply the new skill to switch between apps, live TV content, catch-up players from FreeviewPlay, as well as for functions like play, pause live TV, rewind, fast-forward, guide and navigate.

Sylvain Thevenot, Managing Director of netgem.tv, commented: “Voice Control is rapidly becoming an integral part of how users interact with their devices. The Video Skill APIs represents the latest innovation to enable viewers to better engage with their TV content in an easier, faster and more efficient way. Endless searching and clicking is now kept to a minimum with fast voice control, and losing a remote control is now not an issue in any household.”

Founded in 1996 Netgem was a pioneer of hybrid set top boxes but failed to become a major player and has recently reinvented itself firstly as a provider of cloud-based TV as a service products and then in June 2018 launched Netgem.tv in the UK. This features free to air content from Freeview Play, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and UKTV, as well as paid content from Amazon Prime Video, Rakuten TV, Hayu, Hopster and Trace TV without the need for separate contracts, but not yet Netflix. It was extended to Ireland in March 2019 after several enhancements, including 4K and Dolby Digital support.

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