kienan9 avatar image
kienan9 suggested

Smart TV compatablilty

Smart TV connectivity would be nice to see, users could stream amazon video and be able to use similar voice commands for video as they use for music.

alexa smart home
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Colly Lord avatar image
Colly Lord commented

Agreed! My 2012 Samsung 50 inch TV model UN50ES6100FXZA runs a proprietary OS and proprietary web browser that is not HTML5 capable. It has had only one ebook app attempted by some 3rd party developer and it didn't work well enough to be usable. The web browser is not recognized as a valid choice by jttps://

My first "workaround" was to connect a wireless mouse to my Pandigital Planet 7" tablet and hook its HDMI output to the TV and control the tablet from across the room using an OTG USB adapter and wireless mouse. LOL! Really! Here is what that setup looked like 5 years ago:

My current workaround, is to use screen mirroring from my Samsung Galaxy Luna Pro and 'cast my phone's screen to the TV via Wi-Fi through our home network.

Today, I am using Alexa on my phone to read aloud a Kindle eBook for which there is no Audible narration or audiobook available. The TV is too stupid (or Samsung has not lured any developers to its old OS) to have any apps that can play Kindle or Audible content other than Amazon Music and Movies and even those, I have to do through the connected ROKU or NetGear TV boxes.

Thank goodness the TV has multiple HDMI ports on it! The picture and sound are great. At least the USB ports on the back recognize the Logitech MK260 and MK270 wireless mouse & keyboard combos. It is sooooo much easier to type on keyboard than to pick out letters in a grid one by one using the arrows on a remote.

Alexa reading aloud a Kindle book: It's working on my Android phone, but where can we report mistakes it makes (consistently) to help improve Alexa's reading? She doesn't know that "Shh!" isn't pronounced "S-S-H". She doesn't know how to read the wolf's howl at the beginning of "Through Wolf's Eyes" in book 1 of the Firekeeper series by Jane Lindskold ("Aaaoooow" gets read letter by letter by Alexa). And most annoying, is in the book Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb, Alexa persists in reading the personal name "Detozi" and saying it as "Deetz", completely ignoring the vowel O and the syllable it should have created between the T and the ZI. It should be 3 syllables "Deh-TOE-zee" not one syllable "DEETZ". As amazing as it is, listening to a storybook read aloud by Alexa, is like watching a movie with subtitles on and all the sound off. Everything is read in a single voice with a single gender and stilted pauses for commas and sometimed seconds long pauses while Alexa chews on the next block of text to figure out how to say it.

Last pet peeve: As of July 2019, Amazon has STILL not made the Windows 10 Kindle App OR the Kindle for PC app capable of IMMERSION READING, i.e. reading Kindle books simultaneous with accompanying Audible narration files. To do that on my Windows 10 PC, I have to run the BlueStacks Android emulator on Windows 10 and then run the Kindle for Android App inside the emulator and THEN I can do Kindle/Audible IMMERSION reading on my Windows 10 PC and watch the Kindle pages automatically highlight and turn pages as the audible narration plays aloud. Amazon needs to realize we are ALL getting older and eventually, many of us will have difficulty either seeing or hearing and should have a choice of either or both. I've already surrendered reading my collection of paper back sci-fi's books because I can't adjust the font size larger on the paper pages. I'm 67 and still able to pass the 20/40 vision requirements at the DMV, but my 75 year old sister has macular degeneration and can only see things using her remaining peripheral vision. My oldest son who is 42, has retitinus pigmentosa and is progressively going blind. He has to tweak all the video settings in Windows to see anything. My younger son, who will turn 40 next October, has multiple sclerosis and uses Alexa to remind him of the many pills he has to take on a 5 day cycle/schedule that makes their timing hard to remember. Both sons work from home using many assistive aids on their PC's.

We all thank Microsoft, Google, and Amazon and all the Developers therein for all the amazing things that HAVE been accomplished in the last several decades. There is still more to do, though. I'm eagerly awaiting the next 10-20 years. We will have crossed a line when AI software like Alexa can interpret and read a text ebook and assign unique voices to characters in the story, and correctly read "sound words" like wolf howls, well enough that the listener cannot distinguish them from a team of professional narrators. I haven't heard samples from Amazon's Polly yet, but I imagine that to be the eventual goal. The next line after that, will be when some AI tells a joke that it made up all by itself, and everybody thinks it's actually funny - and that the joke does NOT involve someone experiencing some mishap.

And I'll end now with apologies to all the people who are about to start screaming "TL:DR".

Sorry I got carried away, folks.

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Colly Lord avatar image
Colly Lord commented

oh, buried in my huge post, is a solution to the original question. I play Amazon videos on our dumb TV using the Amazon app on the Roku tv box. I can also 'cast Amazon videos from my phone to the TV.

Closely related, is that using Google Chrome on Windows 10 PC, you can use a feature in Chrome to cast Google videos to a smart TV connected on your LAN.

Also, and this is cross-related, I've found web tips that worked for me to view Google videos on my Amazon Firestick and Amazon videos on my Google Chromecast.

The Roku TV boxes can do play either Google and Amazon videos to your TV.

To play videos and music on a 1TB hard drive I connected to the USB port on my router (aka, a NAS storage device), I run the Plex Server app on my Windows 10 PC and run the Plex app on the Roku. That way, I can run my own collection of videos or music on the TV in the living room, from the hard drive on the LAN router using the Plex server running on my Windows 10 PC.

I once even managed to mirror my Android phone's screen and audio thru wi-fi to the LAN to go to the Samsung TV while I had the phone running Kindle and reading the book aloud as immersion reading, but I only did that once to see if it would work. It's a bit of a hassle. It'd be nice if someone made a Kindle app for Roku that could do immersion reading.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

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