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Step 1: Create Your Video Skill and Set Up Devices (VSK Fire TV)

This is the first step in the VSK implementation process for Fire TV. In this step, you will create an initial video skill through the Alexa developer console and also set up your Fire TV and Echo devices.

Create Amazon Developer Account

If you already have an Amazon developer account, skip to the next section. If not, create an account at developer.amazon.com by clicking Sign In in the upper-right corner and then click Create your Amazon Developer account. See Create a Developer Account for more details.

Create a Video Skill

In this step, you'll begin creating a video skill so that you can get the skill's Application ID. This Application ID will be used to configure the Lambda function.

To create a video skill:

  1. Go to https://developer.amazon.com.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click Developer Console. If you're not signed in, you'll be prompted to sign in.
  3. In the top navigation, click Alexa and select Alexa Skills Kit.
  4. Click Create Skill.
  5. Under the Skill name field, type a simple name for your skill (usually the name of your app, such as Streamz).

  6. Under "Choose a model to add to your skill," select the Video square.

    Creating a video skill in the Alexa Developer Console
    Creating a video skill in the Alexa Developer Console
  7. Click Create skill in the upper-right corner.

  8. Next to Your Skill ID (highlighted in the screenshot below), click Copy to clipboard.

    Copying the Video Skill ID
    Video Skill ID
  9. Store this information in a simple text file on your computer, as you'll be gathering other information here as you proceed through this tutorial.

At this point, you can close the Alexa Console. You'll be returning to this page in a later step.

Add a Fire TV Device to your Account

You need a Fire TV device, such as a Fire TV Stick, associated with your developer account in order to test your video skill. (Don't use a Fire TV Cube.) Set up your Fire TV and register it to your developer account. (You can see the current registered user by going to Settings > My Account.)

If you have an existing Fire TV already registered to another account, deregister it and re-register it with your developer account.

To deregister your Fire TV, go to Settings > My Account on your Fire TV device. Then select Deregister from existing account. (You can also deregister devices on Amazon.com by going to Account & Lists > Your Content and Devices and then clicking the Devices tab.)

Add an Echo Device to your Account

To test the voice integration with Fire TV, you will need an Echo device, such as an Echo Dot, registered to your developer account.

Set up and register your Echo device using the same developer account you used to create your video skill. You can see the current registered user for the device by opening the Alexa app and tapping Devices Devices button in Alexa app .

Your list of devices in the Alexa smartphone app
Your list of devices in the Alexa smartphone app

Tap the desired device. The "Registered To" field shows the registered Amazon developer account.

For information on setting up an Echo Dot, see Set Up Your Echo Dot. You will need the Amazon Alexa App on your smartphone to set up an Echo device. Make sure both your Alexa smartphone app and Echo Dot are on the same wifi network.

As with Fire TV, if your Echo device was registered with another Amazon account, deregister it and re-register it with your developer account. To deregister an Echo device, in your Alexa app, tap Devices Devices button in Alexa app in the bottom navigation and then tap your device, then tap Deregister. (You can also deregister devices on Amazon.com by going to Account & Lists > Your Content and Devices and then clicking the Devices tab.)

If you don't have an Echo device, you can use an online Echo simulator called EchoSim. However, be aware that EchoSim does not respond back, which can make it difficult to assess the voice interactions. If you want to use EchoSim, log in to the Alexa Skill Testing Tool using the same developer account you used to create your video skill. Logging into this tool will create a virtual Echo device (called "echosim_BETA") in the list of Amazon devices associated with your account.

Now you need to link your Fire TV with your Echo device so that voice utterances received by the Echo can be used to control your Fire TV. You link your Echo to your Fire TV through the Amazon Alexa App. To link your Echo to Fire TV:

  1. First, unlink any existing pairings with Fire TV. In the Amazon Alexa App, tap the menu button (upper-left corner) Menu button in Alexa app , then tap Settings, then tap TV & Video. Scroll down the list and identify any skills that say "Enabled" below them. If a skill says "Enabled," click on that skill and then click Disable Skill, so that no TV & Video skills are enabled.

    Disabling video skills
    Disabling video skills
  2. Now, from this screen (Settings > TV & Video), click Fire TV. Then click Link Your Alexa Device.

  3. Choose the Fire TV that you want to control with your Alexa device. Then click CONTINUE.

  4. The Alexa-enabled devices (e.g., Echo Dot) associated with your account appear. Select a device, then click LINK DEVICES.

    Enabling the video skill on the Echo device
    Enabling the video skill on the Echo device

    You're done with configurations in the Alexa smartphone app. You can click the home button or just close the app.

  5. Now turn to your Echo (don't use your Fire TV remote's mic) and say, "Alexa, find Bosch". Your Fire TV should respond, "Getting Bosch from Fire TV" and show the Bosch detail page.

    If Alexa instead responds, "I couldn't find any enabled video skills that can play that. Go to the Alexa app to manage your skills and devices," try deregistering and re-registering your devices. Make sure you're using the same developer account for both Echo and Fire TV, and make sure both are on the same wifi network.

Next Steps

If your device setup was successful, you're ready to move on to Step 2: Set Up the Sample Fire TV App.

(If you run into any issues that prevent you from continuing, see Troubleshooting.)