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Smart Home and Video Skill FAQ

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It’s important that you understand what kind of skill or skills you need to create based on the functionality you want to enable for your customers. The following questions and answers should help you understand this. If you have further questions, use the contact form on the support page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a smart home skill for entertainment devices and a video content skill that I would create using the Video Skill API?

Smart home skills target devices and enable physical actions like turning up the volume or changing a channel on a device. Video skills target content and video services, which can include changing the channel, but also enables customers to search for content and choose content to play from search results.

How do I choose whether I should create a smart home skill for entertainment devices or video content skill?

The primary intent of your skill will define whether you use the Smart Home Skill API or the Video Skill API. If your goal is to enable customers to control a smart home device, for example a speaker, then you should start with the entertainment capabilities in the Smart Home Skill API. If the goal of your skill is to enable customers to search and play content, you should investigate the Video Skill API.

Can I build one skill that supports entertainment devices, video content and other smart home devices such as locks, lights or thermostats?

No. You currently need to build three skills: one that supports entertainment devices, one that supports video content, and one that supports other device types.

Can I build one skill that supports entertainment devices and video content?

No. You currently need to build two skills: one that supports entertainment devices using the Smart Home Skill API and one that supports video content using the Video Skill API.

Why do I need to select payload version 3 in the developer portal to build a skill that controls entertainment devices with the Smart Home Skill API?

Payload version 3 defines the message format for implementing smart home skills for entertainment devices. Selecting this payload version means Alexa can understand customer requests and send the right messages to communicate with your entertainment devices.

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