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Roku calls apps "channels" for a reason.

Hello,

This is such an odd convention. Channels refer to bands of frequencies that are used in radio and television transmission, particularly by a particular station. HBO is a channel. HBO Max is an app with a menu of on demand streaming content. The Disney Channel is a channel. Disney+ is an app with a menu of on demand streaming content. YouTubeTV is an app that contains a bunch of live channels and a menu of on demand streaming content

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6 REPLIES 6
Strega
Level 18

Re: Roku calls apps "channels" for a reason.

I’m not sure if that was a question or a statement.

I’m not completely fond of the channel nomenclature either, however another definition of channel is a medium/route/pathway, for the transmission of information, such as “official channels.”  There are also water channels, wiring channels, spirit channels, protein channels, and even in OTA broadcast TV, “channel” can refer to a frequency band, or the company that owns the right to broadcast on a particular frequency (“I called channel 6 to complain”) – it’s a versatile term.

Now when people tape on their DVRs, that bugs me.  I’m beginning to accept that we’ll be dialing phones forever. 😀

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makaiguy
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku calls apps "channels" for a reason.

Yeah, "channels" vs "apps" on Roku has always been confusing.  But it's so firmly ingrained in Roku nomenclature that nothing is going to change it now, I fear.

I try to use the term "channel app" for clarity when referring to what Roku calls "channels".

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optikhog
Level 13

Re: Roku calls apps "channels" for a reason.

Another definition is "a medium for communication or the passage of information", which could be applied in this case, loosely.

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andyross
Level 16

Re: Roku calls apps "channels" for a reason.

When Roku started, streaming was in it's infancy, and most people thought of TV in terms of channels. Roku probably kept that nomenclature to make it easy for people to think of the Netflix channel, the HBO channel, etc... The word "apps" comes from Apple and the iPhone. Before that, people used "program" for computer software. But in TV, a program is a particular show on a channel, which may be cable or broadcast...

I think my brain is about to explode....

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andyross
Level 16

Re: Roku calls apps "channels" for a reason.

To add more confusion, back in the day, radio had programs, TV had shows...

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Roku uses the term "channel" for a reason.

Hello,
There is something odd about this convention. Radio and television channels refer to bands of frequencies used by specific stations for transmission. There is a channel called HBO. HBO Max is an app that offers on-demand streaming content. There is a channel called Disney Channel. Disney+ is an app with a menu of on demand streaming content. The YouTubeTV app contains a variety of live channels and on-demand content

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