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jeffmim
Level 7

Roku search not working on Sling TV channel

On a press release awhile back (Last updated on Apr 26th 2018, 2:38 pm) Roku said movies and TV shows on Sling TV were searchable via the Roku Search function:

From the latest movies and TV shows to your favorite cult classics, it’s easy to find the perfect thing to watch. Roku Search includes 500,000+ movies and TV episodes from a wide selection of more than 500 top free and paid streaming channels.
<snip for brevity>
Note: Channels included in search results may vary by region. View Roku search partners for a list of the channels included by region. Some channels and content requires payment.

Source: https://support.roku.com/article/208756 ... oku-search


In the list of search partners is listed Sling TV


Roku® search partners

Roku Search helps you quickly find a wide variety of entertainment you love across top channels, including TV shows, movies, short-form content, live streams, news and even actors and directors.

United States
<again, snip for brevity>
 • Sling TV

Source: https://support.roku.com/article/235044 ... h-partners


However, I have tried searching for programming that is on Sling TV (movies, specials, TV shows) using Roku Search and they never show up in the search results. It only seems to show a handful of channels like Hulu and Amazon Prime. Is there a bug in the search feature on Roku?
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4 Replies
KRUPAWAN5618
Level 7

Re: Roku search not working on Sling TV channel

Bumping this thread because this is a serious issue and I could not find any other posts relating to this.

My device is a Roku Ultra running OS 9. I can replicate this with various examples, but take Deadpool; a free streaming movie with Sling and Fox NOW, but neither show up as an available channel to watch. Roku only suggests paid rental alternatives. In my view, this fails to live up to Roku's vision of truly integrating streaming platforms in an unbiased fashion.
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DBDukes
Level 9

Re: Roku search not working on Sling TV channel

"KRUPAWAN5618" wrote:
Bumping this thread because this is a serious issue and I could not find any other posts relating to this.

My device is a Roku Ultra running OS 9. I can replicate this with various examples, but take Deadpool; a free streaming movie with Sling and Fox NOW, but neither show up as an available channel to watch. Roku only suggests paid rental alternatives. In my view, this fails to live up to Roku's vision of truly integrating streaming platforms in an unbiased fashion.

Or, it's the fact that Roku can only return search information for services that provide content information to Roku. Which means, if the service doesn't provide up-to-date information about their current content, Roku search won't find it. Roku doesn't go out and crawl every content service. They rely on the services to feed them the information.

It's no different than your old cable system's listing of "What's On." They get that data from the various networks; they don't crawl the networks for that information. They're dependent on the networks for that the information.

By the way, you do realize that Sling TV is a pay service, right? You're complaining about Roku showing the content for other pay services (where you can rent or buy), but not that one (where you can subscribe)? Search for "Bird Box." You'll see it says Netflix, a subscription service. That's because Netflix provides the information to Roku.

Same thing with "Manchester By The Sea," which shows Prime Video (subscription service) as well as purchase/rental options from other services. That's because Amazon and the rental/purchase services provide the information to Roku.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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KRUPAWAN5618
Level 7

Re: Roku search not working on Sling TV channel

A fair point by DBDukes; so if the information is not provided to Roku, this is more of an issue with asking making their channel compatible.

However, I do think Roku is still at fault for having consumers believe that Sling is a search partner as listed on their website. I bought the Roku thinking that search should work across all channels listed on their website. It may be possible that the list is not up-to-date as their Search developer APIs periodically update.

As for the last point, yes I do realize that Sling is a pay service, much like the other options it recommends. Ideally, Roku would preferentially show me the services I pay for (I.e. Sling) over rental options that typically require dishing out a $2-4 fee.
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DBDukes
Level 9

Re: Roku search not working on Sling TV channel

"KRUPAWAN5618" wrote:
A fair point by DBDukes; so if the information is not provided to Roku, this is more of an issue with asking making their channel compatible.

However, I do think Roku is still at fault for having consumers believe that Sling is a search partner as listed on their website. I bought the Roku thinking that search should work across all channels listed on their website. It may be possible that the list is not up-to-date as their Search developer APIs periodically update.

As for the last point, yes I do realize that Sling is a pay service, much like the other options it recommends. Ideally, Roku would preferentially show me the services I pay for (I.e. Sling) over rental options that typically require dishing out a $2-4 fee.

Yes, the Roku Search Partners page does list Sling TV as a search partner. And it not showing up is certainly a concern. Whether that's because of an issue with Roku, or the partner not supplying current information, I can't say. But, since others partners' content does indeed show, including other subscriptions services, I'd lean away from Roku being the issue. But, you never know.

Perhaps Tanner will be able to chime in and offer some insight.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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