How to use your voice to control your TV.

I have a rule: if an e-mail takes me more than a minute to write, I pick up the phone instead.

For many things, using our voices is just faster and easier. This is also true for controlling your phone. Tap or click for awesome commands to try with Siri or Google Assistant.

When you’re writing or taking notes, dictating can be a lot easier than typing it all out. Tap or click for helpful tips for better dictation in Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

These same time-saving principles can be applied to your TV. You can speak to search for movies, control volume, pause, rewind, skip to the next episode, and more.

Fire TV

Some Amazon, Toshiba, and Insignia-branded TVs come with built-in Fire TV. With the Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote, you can browse apps, movies and shows, check weather and sports scores, launch content and more with your voice.

It’s as easy as pressing a button:

• Hold the key voice button on your remote and ask Alexa what you want (you don’t have to say “Alexa”), then release the button.

• You can search for movie genre, actor, channel, pause, forward, volume down, etc.

• Try these commands: Pause, play, resume, show me movies with Tom Hardy, go home, access Prime Video, mute, switch to PlayStation.

If you have a Fire TV Stick, it probably comes with an Alexa voice remote. You can also buy the remote control separately if you need it.

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Roku

Brands like TCL, Sharp, RCA, and Sanyo make TVs with Roku TV built-in. Some come with a voice remote, which you can buy separately if you don’t have one. Tap or click here to get one for around $20.

All you have to do is press a button and speak:

• Press and hold the key microphone buttonspeak your request, then release the button.

• Try searching for specific movies or TV shows. You can also try a category or genre. Open streaming apps, pause and rewind content, and browse music.

• Or use one of these commands: search for movies with John Travolta, show me episodes of “The Queen’s Gambit”, search for horror movies, launch Disney+ and hide subtitles.

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Chromecast

Google’s Chromecast dongle turns any TV into a smart TV, with streaming capabilities and voice control. The latest model comes with a Chromecast voice remote. If you have an older model, you may have trouble finding the remote available for purchase on its own.

You don’t even have to say “Hey Google” to control your Chromecast with your voice:

• Press and hold the key Google Assistant button to open the microphone.

• Ask a question or say a command. Try these: open Netflix, play “Iron Man”, go back 10 seconds and skip to the next episode.

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Vizio

Vizio’s smart remote comes with sets produced in the past two years. You can also buy direct from Vizio or pick up a compatible option for around $15 on Amazon.

The remote lets you browse content, change inputs, change volume, launch apps, check the weather, and more.

• Press and hold the key microphone button and say your command.

• Try these commands: show me home movies, show me animated movies, switch to HDMI 2, pause, set volume to 5, play “Modern Family” on Peacock, and open YouTube.

Samsung

You can control your Samsung TV using Bixby, Alexa, or Google Assistant, depending on the model year.

To set up Bixby with your Samsung TV:

• Go to Settings > General on your TV, then select Voice.

• Select voice assistant and choose Bixbythen select Okay.

• Use Bixby voice settings to select your language, voice response, and sound feedback.

• Next, press the microphone button on your TV remote and say “Hi, Bixby” to start issuing commands.

You will need an Amazon account to set up Alexa with your Samsung TV:

• Go to Settings > General on your TV, then select Voice.

• Select voice assistant and choose Alexathen select Okay.

• Scan the QR code on the screen using your phone’s camera.

• You will be redirected to the Amazon website. Log into your Amazon account and press Allow on your phone.

• Follow the instructions on the TV screen to complete Alexa setup.

• Press the button on your remote control microphone button and say “Alexa” to start giving commands.

You will need a Google Account to set up Google Assistant with your Samsung TV:

• Go to Settings > General on your TV, then select Voice.

• Select voice assistant and choose Google Assistantthen select Okay.

• Select “I understand” to accept the terms and conditions.

• Use your phone to access the website displayed on your TV screen.

• Faucet To startthen Open to open Google Assistant on your phone.

• Log in to your account, then press Continue.

• Faucet following when your phone detects your TV.

• Faucet Yes to confirm that your TV’s code matches your phone’s code.

• Faucet To permit on your phone to allow your TV to access your phone.

• Press the button on the remote control microphone button and talk about your requests.

Bonus Tip: How advertisers collect your data and target you with ads

Male, 38, married, two children under five, watched lawn care YouTube video, visited home improvement store in past 10 days, listened to lawn care podcast, won $68,000 a year in a management position and lives in a certain zip code. This is how specific advertising can be today. In this episode, I sit down with Freestar’s Director of Advertising Technology Premesh Purayil to find out how it works and how to opt out of data tracking.

Check out my “Kim Komando Explains” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando”.

Discover all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at Komando.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

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