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jemenake
Level 7

An approval process for *private* channels?

This is probably a noob question, but I'm having trouble getting a clear picture of how this all works.

First, here's what I'm after. Every week, I go to a friend's house for a movie-night. He doesn't have a DVD player, but he's got a WD HD Live box, so I'm able to just rip some of my DVD's to a USB drive and bring them over. Sometimes I forget to bring it and don't realize it until I've driven over there, but, even when I remember... it's kind of a drag to have to keep shuttling this USB drive back and forth.

What I'd *like* is to have my own, personal "Netflix" that we can stream from with a box at his house. I have access to my own web server with a routeable IP address, so getting to the server from his house's network is not an issue. (As a bonus, I'd also like for my personal movie channel to show up as an icon just like the Netflix icon does).

Now, from what I'm reading, it's possible (either with Roksbox or the Roku SDK) to get a Roku and then make a channel like this (I have the programming skill and access to any transcoding tools I might need to stream the video). *But*, I haven't seen anything in any how-to's about adding a channel to a Roku manually with just an IP address and port number. All of the how-to's say that you have to submit the channel to Roku and then add the channel to *your* Roku box through their website.

That gives me the creeps. First, if the code ever got leaked somehow (or guessed, as some of the codes seem pretty short), I'm sure the MPAA would get all up in my business. But, my other worry is that, when I read the Pre-Publishing Checklist, it says "When you submit a channel for publication, it kicks off a process of testing and feedback to make sure your channel is ready for public consumption". But I don't *want* it to be for public consumption.

Also, I guess I could use Roksbox, but all of the how-to's for that seem to tell you how to stream from a box on your local home LAN, and I want my box to be out on the big, bad, internet.

So, I'm a little confused. I heard Roku was supposedly "open", and not the "walled garden" like the AppleTV. Isn't there a way to manually add my own "just for my enjoyment" channels which, on my Rokus only, show up as legitimate channels alongside the other public ones?
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12 REPLIES 12\
TheEndless
Level 9

Re: An approval process for *private* channels?

Private channels aren't reviewed, but they are uploaded to Roku's servers, so they can be available to other boxes. Sharing the code would be up to you. If you use something obscure, it's unlikely anyone will guess it.
You also have the option of enabling developer mode on your friend's Roku, and sideloading the channel directly on the box, so it will only be available to that box.

All of that said, streaming high quality content the way you describe will require a really decent uplink from your network. While you and your friend may have decent download speeds, if the server streaming the content doesn't also have a decent upload speed (probably at least 2mb), then it's all a moot point, unless you're ok with poorer quality video.
My Channels: http://roku.permanence.com - Twitter: @TheEndlessDev
Instant Watch Browser (NetflixIWB), Aquarium Screensaver (AQUARIUM), Clever Clocks Screensaver (CLEVERCLOCKS), iTunes Podcasts (ITPC), My Channels (MYCHANNELS)
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jemenake
Level 7

Re: An approval process for *private* channels?

That's all good news. Yeah, the webserver I run has plenty of bandwidth, so that's not an issue.

Here's the next question. Since I want my channel to look nice and slick (with thumbnails for all of the movies, possibly descriptions, etc.), can I do that with one of the current media-library offerings (like Plex, or Roksbox...) or am I better off just writing my own channel from scratch?
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greubel
Level 8

Re: An approval process for *private* channels?

Have you looked at Chaneru ?
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catastrophegirl
Level 7

Re: An approval process for *private* channels?

"TheEndless" wrote:
If you use something obscure, it's unlikely anyone will guess it.

definitely use something obscure. i have a whole collection of private channel codes i stumbled across when trying to figure out the codes for published channels that are in the channel store. and i'm not the only one playing channel code guessing games. if you want it to stay private, a random string of numbers and letters is a good thing
N1000, roku1 XD/s, roku2 xs, roku3
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RokuJoel
Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: An approval process for *private* channels?

"TheEndless" wrote:
Private channels aren't reviewed


The exception to this is private channels that want to use the Roku purchase or subscription system to charge users a one-time or subscription fee to use the channel. They are subjected to pretty much the same process as Public channels that want to charge.

- Joel
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gonzotek
Level 8

Re: An approval process for *private* channels?

"RokuJoel" wrote:
"TheEndless" wrote:
Private channels aren't reviewed


The exception to this is private channels that want to use the Roku purchase or subscription system to charge users a one-time or subscription fee to use the channel. They are subjected to pretty much the same process as Public channels that want to charge.

- Joel
I didn't know that(private channels being able to charge via Roku billing) was an option Smiley Happy. Did that change when the Billing services program changed from being a "Premiere Developer account", or has it been like that since developers were first able to charge via Roku? Just wondering. Smiley Happy
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TheEndless
Level 9

Re: An approval process for *private* channels?

"gonzotek" wrote:
"RokuJoel" wrote:
"TheEndless" wrote:
Private channels aren't reviewed

The exception to this is private channels that want to use the Roku purchase or subscription system to charge users a one-time or subscription fee to use the channel. They are subjected to pretty much the same process as Public channels that want to charge.
- Joel
I didn't know that(private channels being able to charge via Roku billing) was an option Smiley Happy. Did that change when the Billing services program changed from being a "Premiere Developer account", or has it been like that since developers were first able to charge via Roku? Just wondering. Smiley Happy

Yes, when did it become possible to publish a private channel that used the Roku purchase/subscription system? That could be very useful for channels targeted at a much smaller audience than the general public...
My Channels: http://roku.permanence.com - Twitter: @TheEndlessDev
Instant Watch Browser (NetflixIWB), Aquarium Screensaver (AQUARIUM), Clever Clocks Screensaver (CLEVERCLOCKS), iTunes Podcasts (ITPC), My Channels (MYCHANNELS)
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RokuJoel
Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: An approval process for *private* channels?

The feature has been visible in private channel publishing for quite a while, at least since late 2011, but like me you probably scratched your head and thought it was a glitch on the website...

We don't encourage people to use it and please, if you must, make sure your channel looks very professional and has high quality content that you have the rights to stream, or we'll hit the reject button.

- Joel
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CacheFreeTV
Level 7

Re: An approval process for *private* channels?

Actually, I'm beginning to wonder if there is an approval process for *PUBLIC* channels, considering some of the stuff that is becoming available in the channel store. On the rest of the internet, we'd call them "spam", but on Roku, no.
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