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Comcast launches voice-controlled remote for some customers

NEW YORK (AP) — Fights over the remote are about to get a lot louder.

Cable company Comcast launched a voice-controlled TV remote for some of its Xfinity customers Tuesday. Users can search for shows, channels, movies, their TV recordings and on demand programing with their voice.

“Say it and see it. It’s that simple,” said Sree Kotay, a software architect at Comcast Corp.

Customers can change the channel after they press a blue button on the remote and say “Watch ESPN,” for example. They can also set up a recording with their voice, search for movies based on popular quotes or ask “what’s trending?” to see what TV shows are popular.

Searching for shows or movies with a traditional remote can be difficult, and cable providers and streaming companies believe voice search will make it easier. Amazon.com Inc., for example, offers a voice search with its Fire TV streaming device. Roku, another streaming device seller, began offering voice search last month.

The new remote works only with Comcast’s X1 cable box. New customers will receive the voice-controlled remote when they sign up. Existing customers can order one free on the Xfinity website or pick one up at an Xfinity Store.

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