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VideoApp Interface Reference

The VideoApp interface provides the VideoApp.Launch directive for streaming native video files in Echo Show. Your skill can send the VideoApp.Launch directive to launch a video. Your skill can send a launch directive in response to a voice request, or in response when a user taps a programmed item on the screen.

Supported Video Formats and Resolutions

Supported video formats for VideoApp are shown in the following table.

Streaming formatAccompanying audio format
SmoothStreaming (SS), MP4, M4AAAC, Dolby, Dolby Digital Plus

In addition, follow these guidelines for any video referenced by the VideoApp directive:

  • Provide an HTTPS URL to video content.
  • Supported file extensions: .mp4, .m3u8, .ts
  • MPEG4 or H.264 codec
  • Recommended resolution (frame size): 640x480 or 1280x720
  • Maximum resolution: 1280x720

VideoApp Features

The VideoApp as seen on Echo Show has the following features:

GUI features:

  • Playback controls
  • Title
  • Subtitle

Voice Controls:

  • Alexa, pause/resume
  • Alexa, stop/close

VideoApp as Seen on Echo Show and Echo Spot

On Echo Show, the VideoApp screens will look similar to the following.

Native Video

VideoApp for Native Format
VideoApp for Native Format


VideoApp With Error
VideoApp With Error

This table compares the default view of VideoPlayer on each device.

Echo ShowEcho Spot
VideoPlayer with visible touch controls
VideoPlayer with visible touch controls
VideoPlayer with visible touch controls
VideoPlayer with visible touch controls

The following images show Echo Spot video with various levels of zoom. The default display is "letterbox". The customer can change to the other levels of zoom.

With "letterbox" zoom, note that the video is scaled so that its width and height are fully within the screen.

Video with letterbox zoom on Echo Spot
Video with letterbox zoom on Echo Spot

This image shows full-screen video.

Full-screen video on Echo Spot
Full-screen video on Echo Spot

This image shows "pillowbox" video. Note that the height is scaled so as to fit completely within the screen vertically, but the horizontal dimension does not fit within the screen.

Video with pillowbox zoom on Echo Spot
Video with pillowbox zoom on Echo Spot

Configure Your Skill for the VideoApp Directives

To use VideoApp directives for video playback, you must indicate that your skill implements this interface

  1. In the developer console, navigate to Custom > Interfaces.
  2. Enable the Video App option and then click Save Interfaces. Be sure to click Build Model to re-build your interaction model.

The standard built-in intents are implemented automatically. They are described in Standard Intents. These standard built-in intents work with VideoApp:

  • AMAZON.PauseIntent and AMAZON.StopIntent, which send the same message to the skill

  • AMAZON.ResumeIntent

Implement VideoApp Directives

The VideoApp interface provides the VideoApp.Launch directive, which sends Alexa a command to stream the video file identified by the specified videoItem field.

The source for videoItem must be a native video file. Only one video item at a time may be supplied.

When including a directive in your skill service response, set the type property to the directive you want to send. Here is an example of a full response object sent from a LaunchRequest or IntentRequest.

In this example, one native-format video will be played.

  "version": "1.0",
  "sessionAttributes": null,
  "response": {
    "outputSpeech": null,
    "card": null,
    "directives": [
        "type": "VideoApp.Launch",
        "videoItem": {
          "source": "",
          "metadata": {
            "title": "Title for Sample Video",
            "subtitle": "Secondary Title for Sample Video"
    "reprompt": null

For the full response format, see Response Body Syntax in the JSON Interface Reference for Custom Skills.

The back button is displayed on every VideoApp screen, and cannot be hidden, unlike for the Display interface. If clicked, the back button takes the customer to the previous display template in the current session. See Back Button in Echo Show Templates.

Parameters of Response

See Response Body Syntax for more details. This section refers to the VideoApp-specific parameters of the response.

Parameter Description Type Required?
videoItem Contains an object providing information about the video stream to play. object yes

The following are sub-parameters of videoItem.

source Identifies the location of video content at a remote HTTPS location. The video file must be hosted at an Internet-accessible HTTPS endpoint. HTTPS is required, and the domain hosting the files must present a valid, trusted SSL certificate. Self-signed certificates cannot be used. Many content hosting services provide this. For example, you could host your files at a service such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) (an Amazon Web Services offering).stringyes
metadataContains an object that provides the information that can be displayed on VideoApp.objectno

The following are sub-parameters of videoItem.metadata.

Parameter Description Type Required?
title Title for the video, intended to be displayed in the VideoApp. string no
subtitle Secondary title for the video, intended to be displayed in the VideoApp. string no

Service Interface Reference (JSON)

Request Format and Standard Request Types: