If using the remote control to turn on your TV is too old for you, here’s how to use Amazon Echo to turn on your TV with your voice.

Unfortunately, you generally can’t do this with just an echo and a TV — you need some kind of smart hub connected to your TV that the echo can talk to. We recommend the Logitech Harmony Hub.

A long time ago, you had to use the slightly clumsy IFTTT to tie the two together. But Logitech eventually added native Amazon Echo support, making it as easy as ever to pair two devices and control your home theater with custom voice commands. And as of January 2017, it can do more than just turn your TV on and off.

RELATED: How to control your home theater with the Logitech Harmony remote

Echo Harmony integration is not all-powerful, but its capabilities are constantly growing. It can control the «activities» you’ve set up on your Harmony Hub, which means it can turn any number of devices on and off. Alexa can also adjust the volume, play or pause whatever you’re watching, set a sleep timer, and even switch to specific channels (either when watching live TV or using Roku). If you’re already using Harmony Hub, you’ve probably already set it up, but if not, we’ve got a detailed guide to guide you through the process.

Once this is done, you need to install the Harmony Alexa skill, which you can do in the Alexa app. We have a guide that shows you how to install Alexa Skills (as well as some useful ones you should try), but the gist is this: open the Alexa app, click on the sidebar menu button in the top left corner. on the screen, select «Skills», find the skill, and then click «Enable Skill» to install it.

Keep in mind that there are two Harmony Alexa skills to choose from. You will need to install a new one with a red logo. You you can install the old blue logo skill that will just let you drop the «say harmony» bit in voice commands. So, instead of saying «Alexa, tell Harmony to turn on the TV», you can just say «Alexa, turn on the TV» — although you can only do this for a few commands, such as turn on actions and turn off.


When you enable the Harmony skill, you will need to sign in to your Logitech account, and after that you may need to update your Harmony Hub before using it with Alexa. If so, open the Harmony app on your phone and tap the menu button in the top left corner.


From there, select «Adjust Harmony».


Click on «Sync».


Click on Sync Now.


Click «Yes» when the pop-up appears.


After updating your Harmony Hub, you need to go back to the Alexa app and install the Harmony skill again, as well as sign in to your Logitech account (it’s probably a weird bug that’s causing this).

After signing in, you choose which actions you want Alexa to recognize. You can also click «Add Friendly Name» to provide Alexa with a more appropriate phrase. So, instead of saying «Alexa, turn on the TV,» you can use «TV» as a friendly name for this action. This allows you to say «Alexa, turn on the TV» to trigger this action. As you can see in the screenshot below, «TV» and «Television» are friendly names that were automatically given, but you can add more.

If you have activities that you don’t want to be controlled by Alexa (such as smarthome devices that Alexa already controls separately), you can remove them from this list entirely.


Click on the arrow when you are done with this step.


On the next screen, you’ll set up your favorite channels to switch to with Alexa. If your Harmony account doesn’t have favorite channels set up, you’ll see the following screen:


To fix this, you can set up favorite channels in the Harmony app by going to Menu > Harmony Setup > Add/Edit Devices and Activities > Favorites.

After that, you can return to the Alexa app to finish setting up your favorite channels and then click on the arrow in the top right corner. From there, click on «Link Account» at the bottom.


You will then receive confirmation that Alexa has been successfully paired with Harmony. From here, you can exit the app and start using your Echo or other Alexa-enabled device to control your home entertainment system.


Unfortunately, you can’t do everything with Alexa, but its integration is getting better. All you could do in the past was just turn your entertainment center on and off with Alexa, but now you can control the volume, play/pause content (including Netflix on Roku), and switch to specific channels using your voice.

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