TiVo Community Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
Looked for the app on my Roamio Pro (TE3), but didn’t see it.

Already having a Harmony set up with Alexa, I don’t know how useful, some of the commands will be. I can see jumping to channels and apps being useful, but things like pause, it’s easier to use the remote. Also Alexa works best when other people (like the TV) aren’t talking.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
This was my first concern. I was bummed to see the friendly name approach, since it means controlling more than one TiVo would require specifying the TiVo's name in every command:

"Alexa, skip" :)

"Alexa, skip on TiVo Family Room" :(

Ugh. I was hoping the TiVo could be paired with specific echo devices (e.g., if I say "Alexa, skip" in the family room near the dot, then skip on the family room TiVo; if I say the same thing in the master bedroom to the echo spot, then skip on the bedroom's TiVo mini). Unfortunately, reviewing Amazon's API docs, it doesn't look like skills are given any information about which device heard the command... so, TiVo would have no way of knowing where you are when you issue the command. Bummer.

Looks likely we'll only be using this nifty new skill in the family room.
Alexa remembers which device received the last command for about 5 minutes so at least for a short time you won't have to use the device name. It also can recognize parts of device names as long as they are unique, so you could say "Alexa skip Bob" and that should work for "Tivo Bob".

Amazon also added the ability to rename device names (or more specifically command for devices) through the Alexa app. I'm not entirely sure how it works, but that could allow you some flexibility.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
The display of the app is controlled by the app manager. Uncheck the box.
If I uncheck the box for the "coming soon" app, then I won't see when it becomes available. The app is needed to link your account to Alexa.

I got a message on my box today that Alexa support is available, but I don't have the actual linking app yet, just the "coming soon" app.

Should everyone have the Alexa app on their TiVo at this point or is it still rolling out?
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
So it actually showed up for me this evening (replacing coming soon) and I linked my boxes to it. Things like pausing and fast forward work as does asking to tune to a channel number.

There is a problem with how the app says I should change channels by name though.

The skill says I should say "Watch NBC". Doing so shows me a video on my Echo Show. Saying "Watch NBC On <box name>" results in a short pause followed by Alexa saying "I couldn't find that on Tivo."

I finally found that "Change channel to NBC" works as expected. For whatever reason the "Watch" command does not work with the Tivo skill despite what the instructions say.

Has anyone gotten "Watch" to work? I wonder if it's because I'm using an Echo Show?

On an unrelated note, all my boxes are "discovered" by the skill including incompatible ones. My Series 3 box showed up and that's not even plugged in.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
I found a few other commands that don't work in addition to "Watch <channel name>".

Alexa, go to Guide." and "Alexa, go to Home" don't do anything either. Saying those commands result in Alexa saying "I'm not sure". Adding "on box name doesn't work either.

Again this may be because I'm using an Echo Show. On the Echo Show "Watch" is already a command as is "go home".

I managed to get "change channel to <channel name>" to work once, but now that too gives a message that it "couldn't find that on Tivo". That or "something went wrong" or "Tivo is having trouble". My zip code is set up correctly.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
Playing around with Alexa / Tivo I can't get Channel NAMES (e.g. TBS) to work but substituting my fav Channel NUMBER (e.g. 720) works fine. Also, seems the word CHANNEL is optional.

Alexa, Watch <Channel> 737

Also, if I have several tuners capturing programs I like I can use the SWITCH command to GO to a different turner without re-locating the current turner.

Alexa, Switch to <Channel> 720

Also, some commands that Alexa uses elsewhere need the word TIVO to operate. For example, 'Alexa, Rewind Tivo'.
Looks like I'm not the only one. The instructions say your zip code needs to be set correctly, but there seems to be an issue with using names even if the zip code is set up. I've only got the name to work once.

Is there an exhaustive list of commands somewhere?
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
If you're using an Echo Show or Spot, try "Alexa, change channel to CBS" or "Alexa, tune to CBS". Those both work for me. Echo Show definitely intercepts the watch keyword sometimes, but it's inconsistent.
Unfortunately that doesn't appear to work. I did get "change channel to CBS"to work once, but now every time I get "tuning to CBS on Tivo" immediately followed by "I couldn't find that on Tivo." It doesn't matter what channel name I use. It's like it doesn't know my channel names despite my zip code being set up.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
Ted, none of these keywords to change channel by name work for me either.

The instructions mention to check that your zip code is correct, but I couldn't find anywhere in either the Alexa app on the Tivo or the Alexa skill to change that anyway.
I think there's something wrong with the skill or service or maybe the servers are overloaded.

I can't launch apps most of the time either. Saying "Alexa launch YouTube" or "Alexa launch Netflix" results in a "getting YouTube/Netflix on Tivo" followed by "sorry something went wrong".

The only app I've managed to launch semi reliably is Vudu and even that's not 100% reliable as its fails about 25% of the time. I got Prime Video to work once out of a dozen tries. YouTube and Netflix have never worked.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
Based on what someone wrote about linking devices I was worried linking a Tivo box to an Alexa device was a one to one relationship, but you can link a Tivo box to more than one Alexa device which is cool.

I still can’t get much more working reliably than basic trick play functionality though. Until it works reliably (or at all for some things) I won’t be using it much.

The skill did mention that Amazon is granted the ability to see more info than what it currently can (OnePasses scheduled, entering/exiting standby, etc), but that looked like the same things IFTTT already has access to so I’m wondering if the permission screen was just reused.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
Have you tried uninstalling the tivo skill on the app then going back on the tivo and getting another code and reinstalling the skill?
I might have to try that as currently most of the command simply don't work for me. Though I can't see why deleting the skill and adding it again would help since the skill is obviously talking to my boxes as some commands work.

Of the list of commands on TiVo's smart home page:

pause - works :D
rewind - works :D
skip - works :D
change channel to # - works :D
go home [on Tivo] - :mad: does nothing. No error, but nothing happens.
go to guide [on Tivo] - :mad: "I'm not sure"
watch/change channel to/tune to NBC (channel name) - :mad: "Changing channel to NBC on TiVo. I couldn't find that on Tivo"
launch Netflix/Prime Video/YouTube/Vudu - :mad: occasionally works, usually "getting YouTube/Netflix on Tivo. Sorry something went wrong".

Other than some people saying changing channels via name not working, I haven't seen any reports of the other issues I'm having. Is anyone seeing similar problems?

Note, I haven't tried any of these today in case things were fixed today.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
@TiVo_Ted any idea why changing channels by name doesn't work? It seems to be a very common problem in this implementation.
TiVo's KB article mentions that you need to have your zip code set up for the device you are using. That could explain why it's not working for some people, but for others (like me) who have a zip code already set up, it does not explain why it's not working.

I do have multiple channels with the same name in my system. For example NBC is both 810 and 1010 in my system. I'm not sure if that will confuse the skill or not.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
@morac I saw that KB article and the mention of zip code, but where do you actually view/set your zip code? I was unable to find it anywhere.
Go to settings (or Alexa devices) in the Alexa app, then find your device and tap it. Scroll down until you find device location and tap that. The zip code and address can be set in there.

You'll know if it's correct if you ask zip code where you are and she knows.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
So I tried again once I got home and figured out partially what the problem I’m having is. It’s because I’m using an Echo Show.

The “Go To Home”, “Go To guide” commands do not work with the Echo Show. The commands “go to settings” and “go home” are commands built into the Show. The “Go To guide” is not built in, but the Show still won’t process it saying “sorry I don’t know that one”.

The “Go To” commands do work with a plain Echo, but since my Show is the closest device to my TV is an Echo Show, I can’t use the “Go To” commands unless I walk into the other room. I don’t know if this is fixable or not unless Tivo changes the command names.

2. “Go To Settings” doesn’t appear to work at all with the TE3 interface. That just results in “sorry something went wrong” message. Same thing with “Go to help”, though one time that took me to the home screen.


As for my other problems I saw:

1. Launching apps is working today which is good.

2. Changing channels by name works intermittently, but mostly doesn’t.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
What if you say "Go to Home on TiVo?"
Saying that occasionally works, but usually gives me some kind of nonsensical response saying it couldn't find a device called "tee vo" or "tv" or the name of some random device name. Using my box's name instead of Tivo does nothing, presumably because the Echo is going to the home screen.

The one that works most often, but still not all the time is "go home on Tivo". I'm not sure why using the box name doesn't work.

I found "Go To setting on Tivo" works, but takes me to the old SD setting page. "Go To help on Tivo" also works, but goes to the home screen. I guess that's a work around.

"Go To guide on Tivo" results in "sorry something went wrong" or "sorry I'm not sure about that".

All in all the skill behaves oddly on the Echo Show.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
I don’t know if this is a result of using the Alexa skill or not, but my Roamio Pro rebooted on its own in the first time in as long as I can remember. It did so in the middle of a recording. I wasn’t using it at the time but gave it an “Alexa workout” about 30 minutes prior.

I wonder if it may have been caused by the Tivo skill forcing the Roamio Pro into the SD setting screen which isn’t possible to get to through the UI.
 

·
Cat God
Joined
·
17,883 Posts
It's been several days and changing to channel by name still doesn't work. I get a response saying "changing to <name> on Tivo." Followed my "I couldn't find that on Tivo."

Launching apps works fine, but channel names do not.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top