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Virosa
Level 7

Limiting Roku access?

Hello all,

I was wondering if the Roku developer SDK would allow for a way to limit Roku access? I have 2 small children, and would like to limit TV to under an hour a day. If there is a way to do this through the SDK, then maybe there are more interesting/interactive ways to limit access (for example: Roku turns on, and a screen appears saying "Solve the following puzzle to get 30 minutes of video...")

I looked over the SDK, but it looked mostly geared towards creating new channels or new content.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

-Louie
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23 Replies
RokuShawnS
Level 10

Re: Limiting Roku access?

The Roku is an "always on" device. It's never "off" unless you unplug it.

I have a 5-year old. If I want to limit his TV time, I reach for the remote and turn it off. It's a lot simpler than what you're trying to program (which isn't possible).

C. Shawn Smith
C. Shawn Smith
Community Liaison

------------
The Cosmos is all that is, and all that was, and ever will be. -- Carl Sagan
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Virosa
Level 7

Re: Limiting Roku access?

Thanks for the response. That's disappointing.

If the Roku engineers ever decide to expand the SDK and make it more powerful and flexible, I'd be all over that.
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mikebdoss
Level 7

Re: Limiting Roku access?

"Virosa" wrote:
Thanks for the response. That's disappointing.

If the Roku engineers ever decide to expand the SDK and make it more powerful and flexible, I'd be all over that.


Honestly, that's a really niche feature. I doubt it would ever be in Roku's interested to spend the time developing it.As it is, Roku's SDK is more open than any other streaming box - the only place you're going to find such babysitting software is on a computer.

As the parent of a 7-year-old, I agree with Shawn's approach. You're there with them anyway, it's very easy to tell them "All done".
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Re: Limiting Roku access?

try a hardware option - tv timers exist, like this one that requires tokens.
http://www.amazon.com/PlayLimit-TV-Vide ... d_sxp_f_pt

you could get creative with it and make them earn tokens by completing puzzles or chores
N1000, roku1 XD/s, roku2 xs, roku3
wireless
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Virosa
Level 7

Re: Limiting Roku access?

Thanks for the response, CatastropheGirl. While another hardware device is always feasible, I just thought that with all the processing power available on the Roku, it would be more than capable of performing that service.

I really don't understand why this would be a "niche" feature? I see that I can limit the Roku from adding new channels without a PIN, but what about setting limits based on rating? I can't be the first person to ask for this. Is there a reason that this is disallowed?
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Basil
Level 10

Re: Limiting Roku access?

"Virosa" wrote:
Thanks for the response, CatastropheGirl. While another hardware device is always feasible, I just thought that with all the processing power available on the Roku, it would be more than capable of performing that service.

I really don't understand why this would be a "niche" feature? I see that I can limit the Roku from adding new channels without a PIN, but what about setting limits based on rating? I can't be the first person to ask for this. Is there a reason that this is disallowed?

I wouldn't think it's so much "disallowed" as never planned for.

If you're wanting to restrict access to Roku during certain times, that may be possible with your existing network hardware. However, that's not the same as saying you want to limit to a certain amount of time, but at any time. That is, saying you can only use the Roku between 9 MA and 5 PM isn't the same as saying you can only use the Roku for a total of 8 hours in any given day. Using it from 1 AM to 9 AM meets the second, but not the first.

So, if you want to ensure that the kids don't stay up after everyone's gone to bed and watched the Roku all night, you may be able to set your network to restrict connection by MAC address, for instance.

Apart from that, the only solution that comes to mind is a more hands-on approach.
Basil
https://www.basilsblog.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Apple TV (5th gen), TiVo

Previous:
Roku boxes from every generation.
Apple TV (2nd, 3rd, 4th gen)
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Re: Limiting Roku access?

"Virosa" wrote:
I see that I can limit the Roku from adding new channels without a PIN, but what about setting limits based on rating? I can't be the first person to ask for this. Is there a reason that this is disallowed?


i don't know that it's disallowed but i think it's a content owner/channel developer sort of thing. each channel is able to add and remove content at will with no input or control from roku. not all of that content has a rating. a lot of independent films, webtv, and documentaries might not be suitable for kids but there's no rating for them, nothing embedded in their code, no way for the roku to know if that documentary about war is too violent for young minds, etc.
if the channel developer/content owner wants to set limits with their own channel that's up to them. at least one of the adult private channels has an option to turn on PIN only access to even enter the channel. but roku has no control over the way that is set up with each of well over 1000 channels
N1000, roku1 XD/s, roku2 xs, roku3
wireless
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Virosa
Level 7

Re: Limiting Roku access?

Ah. I'm starting to see. I was hoping for some kind of simple scripting language, kind of like Greasemonkey for Firefox, that would allow some rudimentary control over the entire device. (examples: limit time on per day, maybe auto play something like the weather channel when I wake up, ideally autoplay local web content so I can see at a glance what I have on my plate for the day).
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RokuShawnS
Level 10

Re: Limiting Roku access?

I believe in the last two years that this truly is the first time I've ever heard of a request like this. I had to read it twice to be sure. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Certainly unusual and (on the surface) an interesting idea, but there are so many cheaper ways to do it, I don't see engineers devoting time to something like this.

C. Shawn Smith
C. Shawn Smith
Community Liaison

------------
The Cosmos is all that is, and all that was, and ever will be. -- Carl Sagan
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