A confluence of different socio-economic factors is changing the TV viewing experience in India. Rising disposable incomes combined with growing internet penetration has led to a dramatic increase in the consumption of personalised content. Watching TV has transformed from a group activity into an individualistic pursuit. Mirroring the trend in the content industry, hardware manufacturers are also adding personal features like voice recognition. All this has made the TV set a ‘smart’ device from an ‘idiot box’. Recognising a voice command correctly is the smartest of all features that come with the latest OLED or LED TV. Speech recognition is fast becoming a standard feature across smart TVs.
How does voice commands on TV work?
- The technology used by voice control TVs is similar to the ones used by virtual assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home. When you speak into the remote, your speech produces vibrations which are converted into digital data from its analog form.
- The digital data is sent to supercomputers through a high-speed internet connection, which interprets the data and responds with the instructions to be carried out. So, when you ask your LED TV to search for a particular video, the entire process is completed within a second. As more people speak to their devices, artificial intelligence-powered computers become more efficient in recognising different human accents.
- Nearly every brand worth its salt has started offering TVs with voice controls in India, but the feature is generally limited to top-end models. Sony A9F TV and LG Ultra HD (4K) OLED Smart TV are two of the best TVs that works on voice commands in India.
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What can be done through voice commands?
- In a voice command TV, you can essentially perform every function that requires a remote control, through voice commands. You can browse through different channels, besides functions like changing the input source like PlayStation or a Blu-ray player.
- The TV can be switched off through a simple command. Changing the brightness or volume are the most basic features of speech recognition. T
- The most profound impact will be felt while searching for videos on streaming services like YouTube. Writing in the search bar through the remote requires a lot of effort, but the same search can be completed with a voice command with ease.
- The latest voice command televisions, have turned into a hub for connected devices that can be controlled through voice commands. For instance, if you have a Samsung smart TV, you can connect devices like bulbs and door knobs to Samsung’s Smart Things app and control them through voice commands.
Speech Recognition Software in TVs
- The voice control market is divided between proprietary programmes and platforms like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
- Korean brands like Samsung and LG use their proprietary software, while Sony has tied up with Google. Samsung TVs come equipped with Bixby, the company’s virtual assistant.
- Bixby can search the internet, can tell the weather and can control other smart devices in the house. LG’s ThinQ voice assistant processes even general search commands very efficiently.
- If you ask it to play a movie of a certain actor or actress, it will scourge through various streaming apps and present all available options before you.
- LG has started offering the feature across its product portfolio, from high-end models to 32-inch LED TVs. Selective models of Sony come loaded with Google Assistant, the same software that powers Google Home.
- Sony claims that around 1500 smart home devices can be controlled through Google Assistant in its TVs. Chinese TV major TCL has tied up with Roku to roll out voice assistant-enabled or voice control television models. While buying a TV, ask for the virtual assistant being used by the manufacturer and check its features.
Speech recognition in TVs is an evolving technology with immense potential to improve. Many manufacturers are already developing TVs with far-field microphones that will make the remote control obsolete. Currently, TVs receive voice commands through remote controls, which come installed with microphones. Far-field voice control-enabled TVs will not need the remote control and will pick up commands from anywhere in the room. OLED and LED TVs with far-field technology can hit the market as early as the second half of the year.
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To read more interesting blogs on television, you can check out: How screen mirroring has expanded the role of television, OLED Vs. LED: Which One Takes the Cake?, Difference between viewing experience of 4K UHD and Full HD Haier Televisions, and many more at Bajaj Finserv MARKETS Blogs.