Panasonic has made good on a promise earlier this year to make Amazon and Google’s digital voice assistants available on its latest TVs.
The company this week pushed out a firmware upgrade for its 2018 4K TV lineup, adding support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The firmware upgrade, version 3.074, began rolling out to customers from October 30, the company said.
Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are “digital assistants” that allow users to control a wide range of compatible devices using voice commands only. The Google Assistant ecosystem revolves around the Google Home device, which is a smart speaker that can be linked to other gadgets such as Chromecast to send movies to your TV using voice control only. Amazon Alexa is similar, using a smart speaker called Amazon Echo, and can browse the web, get instant weather reports, purchase products from Amazon and much more besides.
With the firmware update, Panasonic says all of its 2018 TV models will be able to support Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa via compatible smart speakers. You’ll need to download the respective app for whichever service you’re planning to use of course. The company hasn’t provided a specific list of commands so we don’t know what the full capabilities are yet, but it’s a pretty safe bet that basics such as switching the TV on and off, flipping channels and cranking the volume up will all be covered.
Panasonic provided a list of compatible 2018 models, including the FZ800, FZ802, FZ950 and FZ952 OLED TVs, as well as its FX LCD models and regional variants.
Those with older Panasonic models have unfortunately missed out, however. The company said it has no plans to add support for the voice assistants to its 2017 and earlier models.
Panasonic said users should install the firmware upgrade using the update function on its TVs. The firmware can also be downloaded onto a USB drive and installed that way.