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KilgoreTrout
Level 7

Developing a channel for third-party content: Possible?

Hi!

I wish to say upfront that, while I'm functionally computer savvy, I am not a developer, either professionally or as a hobbyist. If my idea is even possible, my hope is to muddle through it and learn from doing.

I'm just wondering about third-party content in general--content streamed in browsers, typically, and supplied by organizations such as television channels, online news magazines, and so on, but not formally offered through the Roku interface.

What I'm not talking about is marketing or distributing or in any way monetizing content that is provided by somebody else. I'm looking simply to develop something that would make it possible to stream content offered for free on a given webpage, through the Roku instead. I suppose if something beyond that were possible/legal/desirable I would consider it. But for the time being I am only looking to set something up for my own use.

Can this be done? If so, what key resources or information do I need to know about the source of the stream?

I appreciate your advice, thanks!
KT
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3 Replies
destruk
Level 10

Re: Developing a channel for third-party content: Possible?

Even free content, if you don't have the IP holder's permission, is illegal and will be prosecuted. That's why you don't see this much.
"What I'm not talking about is marketing or distributing or in any way monetizing content that is provided by somebody else."
That is irrelevant. Streaming is "distribution" anyway -- streaming is what Roku does. But money or advertising dollars or any profit doesn't make a difference in whether it is right, wrong, or illegal.

What you could probably do is design an http browser that can display anything on a webpage as well as somehow play back embedded videos - if you did that then I think your application would be fine as the onus would be on the user.
Until then, there are different streaming channels available that do a bit of what you think you might want.
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KilgoreTrout
Level 7

Re: Developing a channel for third-party content: Possible?

Thanks. I was afraid that might be the case. I'll check into the idea you mentioned.
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JohnBasedow
Level 7

Re: Developing a channel for third-party content: Possible?

If you want to create your own channel for watching content on sites you frequent, and not publish it to the channel store, you can side-load the channel. If you set the appropriate user-agent in the HTTP request, the connection will look like it's coming from a browser, and the website won't be the wiser.

A lot of video sites host their videos in incompatible formats for the Roku, and to watch them, you'll need an external PC to transcode the videos. This is where Plex comes in.

If you want to watch a site that Plex doesn't support, you're probably better off adding a plugin for Plex for that site.
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