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Google Assistant gets more TV controls, including changing channels

Google Assistant is more focused on the TV and home entertainment with new smart devices it can control

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Google Assistant is getting some new TV muscle, with controls over devices including sound bars, streaming sticks and more — as long as developers grant permission for these features. Google is opening the door to brands who make what it calls smart home entertainment devices — or SHED, for short — allowing them to use Google Assistant as a voice remote.

Google Assistant is also going to be able to select and even change channels, a feature Google calls, appropriately, Channels, reported Android Police.

The announcement comes as Google gets ready for its Global Developer Summit, a virtual event this year given the impact of Covid-19, with presentations starting July 8, 2020.

Google Assistant Smart Home Developer eventGoogle is hosting a smart home developer event on July 8Google

Tagged, 'Hey Google" Smart Home Summit,' the event almost clearly will have an entertainment focus, with the imagery promoting it including a smart TV, gaming controller, headphones and a TV remote that looks quite a bit like the leaked new Chromecast remote, white with small buttons.

Previously, Chromecast was controlled by using a smartphone app or speaking to Google Assistant. A new remote may make it easier to click through content — and likely bring up Google's smart assistant too.

The new SHED devices that will be able to integrate Google Assistant voice controls into smart home products include:

  • Audio-video receiver
  • Streaming box
  • Streaming stick
  • Soundbar
  • Streaming soundbar
  • Speaker

At home, these controls will work through a Google home device, like a Nest Mini or Nest Hub Max display, with someone speaking their request aloud — such as pausing the TV. That request moves through the Google device to the Developer Cloud, and then to the entertainment product, whether that's a gaming platform or soundbar, to make the action happen.

We expect to hear more about how this will work — and other features that ay be announced from Google — at the July 8 event, which we will share with you.

Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with Google Assistant enabled devices.

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