Create Your Video Skill and Set Up Devices
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
- Create a Video Skill
- Add a Fire TV Device to your Account
- Add an Echo Device to your Account
- Link Your Fire TV and Echo
- Next Steps
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:
- Go to https://developer.amazon.com.
- In the upper-right corner, click Developer Console. If you're not signed in, you'll be prompted to sign in. After signing in, make sure you're in the Dashboard area.
- In the top navigation, click Alexa and select Alexa Skills Kit.
- Click Create Skill.
Under the Skill name field, type a simple name for your skill (usually the name of your app, such as
Streamz).Tip: The name should be easy and obvious for a user to say with voice. Additionally, your skill's name must not indicate that its functionality is limited. For example, you should not use "basic," "reduced," or "simple" in the name of your skill.
Under "Choose a model to add to your skill," select the Video square.Warning: If you don't see a Video option when creating a skill, do not create a custom skill instead. Video skills are available only to developers creating apps in countries and locales that support video skills. If video skills aren't supported in your target country, you can't create a video skill for your app yet.
Click Create skill in the upper-right corner.
Next to Your Skill ID (highlighted in the screenshot below), click Copy to clipboard.
Store your skill ID in a simple text file on your computer, as you'll be gathering other information here as you proceed through this tutorial.Note: At this point, you don't have all the info you need to configure the video skill, so close the Alexa Console. You'll be returning to the video skill configuration in a later step. Do not try to complete the other video skill sections at this time.
Now that your skill is created, work will have to be done by internal Amazon teams to ensure your skill name is modeled for voice. This step will also be required for you to test your skill for Explicit Targeting in step 10: Push your app to live app testing. At this point, send your production-ready skill name along with the skill ID to your Amazon representative for voice.Note: Skill names used solely for testing should not be sent for modeling. Names like "Dev Test," "CompanyName Alexa Dev," or "CompanyName Video Test" will be rejected.
Add a Fire TV Device to your Account
You need a Fire TV device, such as a Fire TV Stick 4K, 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:
- Go to Settings > My Account on your Fire TV device.
- The registered account is shown. If it's not your Amazon developer account, click the name and then click Deregister and confirm. Then re-register your device with your Amazon developer Account.
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. To get your Echo device set up:
- If you don't have an Echo Dot, order one. The recommended Echo Dot for testing is the Echo Dot 3rd Gen, which is inexpensive and small.
You can see the profile by clicking the menu button and going to Settings. Scroll down to the bottom and make sure you're signed in with your Amazon Developer account.
Set up your Echo device with your Amazon Developer account. You can find setup instructions here: Set Up Your Echo Dot.
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 .
Tap the desired device. The "Registered To" field shows the registered Amazon developer account.Tip: You can find out your Echo's device name by asking your device, "Alexa, what's your device name?"
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 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.
Link Your Fire TV and Echo
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:
First, unlink any existing pairings with Fire TV. In the Amazon Alexa App, tap the menu button (upper-left corner) , 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.Tip: If you're having trouble disabling a skill in the app, you can also disable the skill from the Alexa web app. In the web app, click the Skills tab, click the Your Skills button in the upper-right corner, find the skill you want to disable, and then click Disable. When you return to the smartphone app, go back into TV & Video and you'll see that the skill has been disabled.
- Now, from this screen (Settings > TV & Video), click Fire TV.
Click Link Your Alexa Device.
Choose the Fire TV that you want to control with your Alexa device (select the same Fire TV you configured with your Amazon Developer account previously). Then click CONTINUE.Tip: If you have multiple Fire TVs, you can see your Fire TV's name by going to Settings > Device & Software > Your TV. For some Fire TV versions, "Device & Software" is called "My Fire TV."
The Alexa-enabled devices (for example, Echo Dot) associated with your account appear. Select a device, then click LINK DEVICES.
If successful, you will see a screen such as the following:
In this case, "Tom's Fire TV" is linked to an Echo Dot named "Whiskers."
You're done linking your Echo device to your Fire TV. You can click the Home button in the Alexa smartphone app or just close the app.
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 Amazon Developer account for both Echo and Fire TV, and make sure both are on the same wifi network.
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.)