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Glossary for Catalog and Fire TV

A| B| C| D| E| F| I| G| L| M| N| P| S| T| U| V|

A

Activity
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.

B

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 and playback capabilities within the app. This way Fire TV can launch the appropriate activities within the app when a sign-in or playback 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.

C

Catalog
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.
Comrade
The API used by the Fire TV launcher. This name appears in the Extra options to determine whether your app supports multi-subsccription 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.
Content
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.

D

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.
DSN
Device Serial Number. Identifies a unique hardware device instance used by a customer within Amazon.

E

entitled
Entitled customers have the required permissions (through subscription level or add-ons purchased) to view the content.
extra
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. In the context of Android, an extra provides additional information with your broadcast intents. See Intent Extras Related to Sign-in and Playback Intents for more details. See also Intent in the Android documentation.

F

far field
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. See Device Specifications for Fire TV for details.
Catalog
An index of the media on Fire TV. Integrating your media catalog with Amazon allows your content to be discovered and launched from Amazon devices. the Fire TV home screen when users search for it (either through voice or text search). See Getting Started with Catalog Ingestion for details.
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 home screen UI that organizes apps, settings, and navigation. It is the UI that sits on top of the operating system.

I

ID
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.
intent
A message describing some operation to be performed by any service on the device. See Intent."

G

Gradle
The build system Android uses to gather dependencies and package up the APK.
Gracenote
A service that provides metadata for live events, including networks, show times, and other information.

L

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).
local search
A search for content within a specific catalog-integrated app on Fire TV.

M

manifest
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.

N

near field
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 device so although it uses the microphone array, this is considered a near-field experience.

P

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.
player
The media player used to play the selected media. Many Fire TV apps use the Amazon port of Exoplayer.
provider
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.

S

sign-in
Refers to users logging in to your app in order to view entitled content. Sign-in activities are often triggered during purchase flows.
Sign-in 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.

T

transport controls
Playback controls while watching media (Play, Pause, Stop, Rewind, Fast-forward, etc.). Also called "media controls."
TVE
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.

U

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.
utterance
The words the user says to Alexa to convey what they want to do, or to provide a response to a question Alexa asks.

V

Video Skill API
A set of APIs that enable the far-field control of video devices and streaming services using an Alexa-enabled device. See Video Skill API for details.
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 (e.g., PlayStation Vue) 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.
VOD
See video on demand.