Amazon Updated Alexa’s Updated Video Skill API

  • Amazon updated Alexa’s Video Skill API.
  • Now you can use the virtual assistant to start a recording, launch an app or a service, and even control video playback, just through voice command.
  • Video service providers such as DISH, Verizon, TiVo, and DirecTV are currently configuring their devices to support this new Alexa skill.

Amazon just announced that they had updated the Video Skills API for their virtual assistant. Now, users will be able to control DVRs as well as start recordings, launch an app, or even control video playbacks, through Amazon’s Alexa.

The Video Skills API enables Alexa to access video content and services giving customers hands-free control over their video consuming habits. Alexa can know which video devices its owner has and what services they are subscribed to. All the user needs to do is simply “ask” Alexa, and it will present relevant and necessary content, as well as, allow voice-based controls.

Alexa Video Skill API
Image Courtesy of CNET

Currently, video service providers such as DISH, Verizon, TiVo, and DirecTV are configuring the new capability onto their devices. Niraj Desai, DISH vice president of product management recently commented on the new update to Alexa’s Video Skill API – “with Amazon’s updates to the Video Skill API, DISH has the ability to deepen our Alexa integration and continue working toward providing our customers with a completely Hands-Free TV experience.”

Ted Malone, VP of Consumer Products and Services also expanded on how Alexa can be convenient for hands-free video consumption – “simply ask Alexa to change the TV channel using either the channel name or number. Pause, fast forward or rewind any of your live TV, DVR recordings and popular Internet streaming services.”

So now, when you order “Alexa, record the Cubs game,” you will see that your set-top box starts to plan a recording. Also, the command, “Alexa, launch Netflix” will launch the specific app or service. And finally, just by simply saying “Alexa, pause” the virtual assistant will be smart enough and pause the video playback without needing mention of the specific set-top box.


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