My new Echo Show 15 (post sideloading) - February 2024

Ive been running HA Dashboards on two FireHD10 9th Gens for about a 18 months now and in fairness they do their thing and look good (to me) in their 3D printed wall mounted frames.

Power comes in through the wall behind the frames and smart plugs or sockets are in place to power cycle the tablets to get around the potential battery swelling as time goes on…and (touch wood) they work fine and do exactly what I need them too.

When the Echo Show 15 was announced and released it certainly piqued my interest but the far higher price tag put me off initially so I carried on with my existing setup none the wiser and blissfully ignorant to what it could be.

Of course, this was a slight misstep on my part as this meant that the abiltiy to sideload FKB and other stuff passed me by and Amazon have fully blocked this ability now which in some way really limits the ability to do Home Assistant on this device for many, at least in the way threy currently are.

That said, there have recently been some refurbished units on Amazon (for £157.93) which is far cheaper than second hand ones are selling for on FBM or Ebay and with the ability to apply a trade in discount to this price by trading in an older Echo device ( I had to reach out to Amazon customer support who approved this for me and then retrospectivey applied the refund/discount after delivery) this brought the price down to £118 ish…which I could stomach, even knowing I might have to facilitate some sort of workaround to get things working nicely…and in fact this was about the same price for the tablet AND the 3D printed fram I had to buy.

So I took delivery and went about seeing how I could make this work for me with my existing dashboads and moving this over to the Show 15…

As you may have noticed from the pic above, my dashboards already have some permanent live camera feeds to them (these are RTSP feed from Eufy Cameras) hat have permanant power and also do not have any sort of timeout, and from extensively reading post after post, this does seem to be a workaround and in fact a requirement (or one of them) for keeping the dashboard live for longer than the 5 minute period where it would normally go back to the standard Alexa dashboard, so thats another small win…and one issue I had managed to actually sidestep.

Of course wtih FKB and the FireHD10s I was able to use the built in camera to wake the screen when it detected motion.but this facility is now gone…but again I already had a workaround in place, before I knew this was an issue. I have started testing some mmwave presence detectors around the home rather than pure motion sensors which do come unstuck when someone is stood still for a long period of time (not as much of an issue in a kitchen to be fair) but I’d also seen a few posrts saying screen burn in was a thing with the Show 15 so I wanted to make sure that didnt become and issue for me in the future…so using the mmwave sensor and BrowserMod (which I was already activley using) I set up an automation to turn the screen off…well the light as browser mod calls it, which didnt actually turn off the device but instead jsut turns the screen off…although in a dark room it does still have a feint glow as its not really off…but I have to assume this is better for the diaply and also uses less power. This means whenever someone enters the room, the screen is already on and then 10-20 seconds after no presence is detected,it blanks the screen again.

The other things I did was facilitate the existing smart plug to turn the Echo Show 15 off when spefifc devices were put on charge for bedtime, and then turn on that same smart plug when certain people take their phone off of charge the next day filling the assumption that somwone is up (with conditons in place when not at home for exampe).

When turning on, another automation via the Alexa Media intergation send a command to “open silk” which announces that on the Echo Show 15 and then opens the browser on the last (and only) opened page which happens to be my Home Assiatnt instance IP address:port number…and here lies the only slight annoyance that I have…

When that webpage loads in Silk, the address bar is visible and here is no way to magically remove that from view, at least not with an automation of intergation change…so the only wayto get around this is to swip up from the screen about an inch…which leaves things looking like the pic below

To be completely, honest, I can live with this…and most in the home wouldnt even bother to swipe up…but it would play havoc with my OCD over time…

If I could somehow get this to work perfectly of course Id be happy, but its a workarond Im happy with for now.

The other nice use case for this is that with one of Amazons updates, FireTV came to the Show 15 and whilst there is a touch based remote, the 3rd Gen Voice remote can be used instead giving easier controls…and picked one of those up on the 'bay for only £12 shipped…which is better than ther current £29.99 from Amazon…especially as I dont think it is something I will be using that much…so it’s more of a nice to have. Whilst it does work with a lot of the streaming servcies, I personally use it with Plex which we already use extensively in our home…although it can only playback 1080p content…not sure if this is a CPU related thing…so need to test if it will play back HEVC material rather than h264 stuff.

Any questions that Ive not already answered,let me know…

1 Like

For clarity, here is what it looks like when Silk has loaded the page before I swipe up.


I have noticed that the windows chrome browser vs the echo show 15 silk browser looks a bit different. The popups are twice as large, page titles are out of place, etc.

Have you had any issues between the different browser?

I agree with you, side loading would be the preferred method, but the work around will work for me too. However, having the echo show time out after 10 mins is annoying. There are some potential work arounds out there I have not tried.

I think the reason that side loading is no longer supported, is that Amazon is moving to a different OS for the echo shows, not android.

@jouster which card are you using for the camera feed?

@jouster - can you share the automations & routines you’re using.
I can turn off the screen via alexa media player and a routine to turn off.
But for the life of me I cannot get it to turn the screen back on. I’ve tried many different iterations and no routine I’ve found turns the screen back on.

Are you doing it differently?

To keep silk on all the time I use this:

And have just placed it in a footer with the smalles aspect ratio I can enter… this leaves a thin line at the bottom.

what are you using to hide top & bottom bar?

I use the wallpaper integration (HACS) - but was wondering if there were other ways.

I have the same problem, have you found a solution ?

yes and no. I tried different commands but nothing really works…
The closest I’ve come…so far… is…
I am assuming you are using browsermod.
if you browse to the browsermod integration on your echo and register the browser (change the name if you have multiple devices/browsers registered… trust me)
There’s a turn off/turn on switch…
I use that.

Thank you very much! I didn’t know about Browser Mod, it’s going to solve a lot of problems I had. I can turn the screen on and off, but it’s not the backlight that turn off but rather the page that turns black because the navigation bar is still visible. I would have liked to turn off the backlighting to save energy, but it’s a good start!

yeah… It’s not ideal but it’s better than the alternative.
I find it weird that you can use a routine to turn off the screen… but no routine/command that I’ve found, will turn it back on consistently.