Debugging SmartHome Alexa Skill Issues


I have been using the SmartHome skill somewhat successfully but have a couple of issues I haven’t been able to resolve. I would appreciate any suggestions for debugging.

  • I have an activity named “Watch DirecTV” in the room “Living Room”. One of the commands is a “power on” command for the DirecTV receiver. The activity works fine from the phone app, but when run from an Alexa voice command the DirecTV receiver always fails to power on, while all the other commands work as expected. A “Power-Off” voice command for the Living Room does successfully power off the DirecTV receiver so it’s not a question of the Hub being unable to control the DirecTV receiver. Why would the Hub fail to successfully execute this command?

  • When I have Alexa discover devices, it fails to discover the “Watch DirecTV in the Living Room” command. I have to use “Tell Simple Control to Watch DirecTV in the Living Room”. A similar activity “Watch Amazon in the Living Room” does work for my FireTV. Why would the SmartHome skill ignore the DirecTV activity?

In general, I’m very happy with the SmartHome integration but can’t quite get everything to work.



As is the case with many thread-starting posts here, this is much better posed to actual support people than to a user forum. I’m not sure how anyone in the forum would know the answer to this because the answer would require looking at a diagnostic of what is actually going on and what you have actually configured. At best someone would make an educated guess without such information.

One of the things that does seem likely from your post is that you’re having decode issues with the word “DirecTV” and Alexa. It’s a confusing word for Alexa that must be perfectly enunciated for it to be understood. I suggest thinking of saying “Direct Tee Vee” instead of “directv” as that seems pretty reliable.


Thanks for the response Will. The DirecTV word does work for other rooms and I have tried other words in the Living Room without success. I have opened a support ticket for the hub issue.