Developer Console

Glossary for Catalog and Fire TV

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Android term that refers to an action that starts in your app. Related to Fire TV and catalog integration, apps start a sign-in activity, playback activity, or acquisition activity depending on the user scenario and content available. See Activity in the Android documentation.
Alexa skill
A capability or ability of Alexa. Alexa provides a set of built-in skills (such as playing music), and developers can use the Alexa Skills Kit to give Alexa new skills. A skill includes both the code (in the form of a cloud-based service) and the configuration provided on the developer console.
Alexa Voice Remote
A remote control for Fire TV that offers a voice button. Interacting with this voice-enabled remote (even if you're far away from your TV) is still considered "near field" control because you're near the microphone array of the remote control.
Amaon Digital Media Catalog
Sometimes used to refer to the Amazon catalog that contains the media of all ingested third-party catalogs.
AWS Lambda
An AWS compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the compute resources for you. This lets you run code (referred to as a Lambda function) in the cloud without managing servers. The code for your skill must be hosted as a Lambda function and is required for smart home skills. You can also choose to use a Lambda function for the service for a custom skill. AWS Lambda is a service offering by Amazon Web Services.
AWS Lambda function
The code uploaded to AWS Lambda. Lambda supports coding in Node.js, Java, Python, or C#. A smart home skill must be implemented as a Lambda function. You can also choose to use a Lambda function for the service for a custom skill.


broadcast intent
A term used with Android apps. Android apps can send and receive messages at certain events. These messages can indicate the app's capabilities (what it can do) and provide other information to the device. With Fire TV, apps send broadcast intents that contain information about sign-in, playback, and acquisition capabilities within the app, as well as subscription entitlements the customer has. This way Fire TV can launch the appropriate activities within the app when a sign-in, playback, or acquisition event occurs within the Fire TV UI related to the app's content. See Integrate Your App with the Fire TV Launcher for more information. For broader Android usage, see broadcasts in the Android documentation.
Buy Box
Refers to the promoted viewing option on the content details page in the Fire TV user interface. For example, if there are several different apps all offering the same content, but the customer already has a subscription to an app (e.g., ACME Media) where the content is available, that app will be promoted to the customer in the Buy Box (with text that says Play with ACME Media.) See The Buy Box section in Getting Started with Universal Search and Browse on Fire TV for more details.


Refers to the index of media on your app. Catalog ingestion is the process of submitting your catalog to Amazon so that the content can be surfaced to users. You define all the metadata about your media (movies, tv shows) in a catalog file that conforms to the Catalog Data Format schema. When you upload your catalog file to Amazon, your content can be discoverable through universal search on Fire TV and on other devices (such as Echo Show and Spot) as well. Note that catalog ingestion is only part of the process of making your content discoverable. Both Fire TV and Echo Show require additional steps for implementation beyond merely submitting your CDF file. For example, see Getting Started with Universal Search and Browse on Fire TV.
Catalog Data Format (CDF)
An XML schema for defining the media in your app. Contains 70+ elements to describe all types of media, such as shows, episodes, and more. See Catalog Data Format (CDF) Schema for details.
Refers to the frequency or virtual number (e.g., channel 13) that television networks use to distribute content, which then map to different wavelengths. However, with mVPD providers (such as PlayStation Vue), since content is distributed to Internet endpoints (OTT), the channels available within an mVPD refer to the stations that customers receive access to. The term channels has larger uses within the streaming media industry as well. Amazon's Prime Video Channels Subscriptions are paid monthly subscriptions to third-party premium networks and other streaming entertainment channels (such as HBO or ShowTime), which then entitle customers to view that content on Amazon or Fire TV. Customers don't need special HBO or ShowTime apps to view the content but rather can receive their entitlements directly through Amazon. In other usage, Rokus refers to their apps as channels, whereas Amazon refers to each app on Fire TV as an app.
The API used by the Fire TV launcher. This name appears in the Extra options to determine whether your app supports multi-subscription content. Among other functions, the Comrade API manages the broadcast Intents with third-party apps to determine which subscriptions customers are entitled to view, which apps should handle the sign-in, playback, and acquisition intents based on the media customers interact with, and more.
Can refer to any media such as TV shows, movies, sports, and more.
Content Details page
The page that appears on when you click a media title on Fire TV and see a full description of the media, its rating, length, etc., as well as ways to watch.
content ID
The ID that corresponds with the content. This content ID is used with the playback activity, and is often associated with subscription IDs in content-handling workflows to determine whether users have entitlements to view the content.
content provider
See provider.


deep linking
A deep link launches media playback directly in a third-party app rather than playing the media in Fire TV's default media player. When users search for media using Fire TV's universal search (whether voice search or text search), media results appear on search results pages. With deep links, the media results launches media playback in the third-party app rather than playing the media in Fire TV's default media player.
Device Serial Number. Identifies a unique hardware device instance used by a customer within Amazon.


Entitled customers have the required permissions (through subscription level or add-ons purchased) to view the content.
Two meanings. In the context of the CDF, Extra is a work that is a clip or trailer that can be a standalone work or, more commonly, can be associated with another work (either external or in your catalog). Generally think of an extra as the equivalent of an extra feature included on a DVD. For more details, see Extra. In the context of Android, an extra provides additional information with your broadcast intents. For more details about Intent extras related to sign-in and playback Intents, see Intent Extras. See also Intent in the Android documentation.


Using an Echo device that is paired to a Fire TV to issue a voice command.
Fire TV Cube
The first Fire TV device offering a hands-free TV experience (far field control). Without a remote, you can use your voice to access, launch, and control content, turn on your TV and AV devices, switch inputs, adjust the volume, search for content, and more from a distance. For details, see Device Specifications: Fire TV Cube.
Fire TV launcher
In contrast to the Android launcher, the Fire TV launcher is the default launcher used on Fire devices. In general, the launcher refers to the UI that organizes apps, settings, and navigation. It is the UI that sits on top of the operating system.



CDF element that refers to an identifier string. Multiple parent elements have ID child elements. Most commonly, work types (e.g., movies, TV shows, episodes, etc.) have an ID. This ID value must be at least one character long and must be unique among all other ID values in your catalog. See ID for more information.
A message describing some operation to be performed by any service on the device. See Intent.




Launch ID
An identifier that allows you to launch a work with a specific configuration of video quality, audio language, and subtitles (or any subset of those three). See LaunchId for more details.
linear content
Content that is restricted by both time and channel — in other words, television content where the viewer has to watch content at the particular time it is offered, and on the particular channel it's presented on. (Linear content is often offered through vMVPD apps such as Sling, Direct TV Now; also from TVE apps like TNT, Fox Sports Go; and finally, from antenna inputs.)
linear programming
The schedule for linear content. Refers to a list of showtimes for linear content, usually published in a channel guide. See linear content.
local search
A search for content within a specific catalog-integrated app on Fire TV.


A required file in your APK that describes the features and activities in your app. The manifest and build.gradle file are used to determine which devices your app is compatible with.
media catalog
The list of media in your app that you ingest into the Amazon Catalog in order to make the content searchable.
More Ways to Watch button
A button that appears on the Content Details page listing additional ways that you can watch the media. The recommended way to watch appears as a Play button directly on the Content Details page, while the More Ways to Watch might list other providers or apps where the content is also available.


Using the Fire TV Voice Remote to issue a voice command. In the case of the new Fire TV Cube, requests made to the Fire TV Cube initialize Alexa on the device, so although it uses the microphone array, it is a near-field experience.
In the TV industry, network refers to a central entity that provides content from multiple stations. Networks distribute content through many local and affiliate stations across the country. Examples are ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and Fox. For more information, see Television broadcasting on Wikipedia.


Over-the-Top content. Refers to the delivery of content directly to an internet distribution point rather than using traditional broadcast channels (stations broadcasting content via radio waves to antennas) to distribute the content. Some examples are Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video.
Owned-and-operated. Not every local station is an affiliate of the network it represents. Some networks own and operate the station themselves. These are called O&O stations or O&Os. In some large market areas (such as Boston or Los Angeles), networks such as NBC or CBS often own the stations within these areas themselves.


playback intent
In your Android app, the Playback Intent handles playback of media content that the customer is entitled to view. See Integrate Your App with the Fire TV Launcher for more information.
The media player used to play the selected media. Many Fire TV apps use the Amazon port of Exoplayer.
An entity that makes content available. At various levels, the entity could refer to an app or a station within an MVPD app. A vMVPD that distributes content relies on multiple providers for this content. In the context of Fire TV, it's important to associate content with the available providers. When a user searches for a specific title, which might be available from multiple providers, Fire TV lets users choose which provider to view the content from. See Getting Started with Universal Search and Browse on Fire TV for more details.




Refers to users logging in to your app in order to view entitled content. Sign-in activities are often triggered during purchase flows.
intent
In your Android app, the Sign-in Intent handles sign-in and change-account workflows. See Integrate Your App with the Fire TV Launcher for more information.
In the TV industry, a station is an entity that broadcasts content, traditionally via radio waves to customers who receive the content via television antennas. Usually, stations have an affiliation with a television network (such as CBS, ABC, and NBC) in order to show that network's content. Owned and Operated stations (O&O) are stations that are owned directly by the network. A network might broadcast different content with affiliated stations in designated market areas (DMAs).


transport controls
Playback controls while watching media (Play, Pause, Stop, Rewind, Fast-forward, etc.). Also called "media controls."
Television Everywhere. Refers to the ability to watch TV from devices not just from your TV but from smartphones, tablets, and other devices in any location. Subscribers just need to authenticate to the channel (via whatever supported device) to view the channel's content. See TV Everywhere on Wikipedia for more information.


universal search
A search for content across all catalog-integrated apps on Fire TV. You can initiate a universal search using voice or text. All voice searches by default are universal searches. Any search using the search button within the Fire TV UI (rather than using the search provided within a specific app) is also a universal search.
The words the user says to Alexa to convey what they want to do, or to provide a response to a question Alexa asks.


Video Skill API
A set of APIs that enable the far-field control of video devices and streaming services using an Alexa-enabled device. For details, see Video Skills Kit (VSK) for Fire TV Overview.
video on demand
Content that users can watch at any time, at will. For example, most of Netflix's content is VOD. However, many mVPD apps offer a mix of linear content and VOD content. Linear content can only be viewed at a specific time (and on a specific channel or station). Many mVPDs blur the boundaries even more when content is offered both on a linear schedule and is available on-demand.
See video on demand.