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Level 7

Hiring Developer for Hotel IPTV System

I am working on an IPTV system to distribute live satellite TV in a 100 room hotel with Roku as the set-top-box.

My current plan involves connecting the satellite receivers to a HDMI or component capture cards, using VLC and x264 for real-time encoding, and pushing out a RTP or RSTP or UDP H.264 stream to a streaming server. This part is already done.
I am probably going to use Wowza for delivering the streams to the Roku boxes.

My current challenge is the creation of a Roku channel which will enable the browsing of channels (Electronic Program Guide format would be ideal), streaming of these channels from the Wowza server, and basic PVR functionality by saving on the SD card.

Anybody here designed/built such a system before?
Is there a pre-made channel that I can purchase with this functionality?
If there is no off the shelf solution, I welcome PMs with offers ($$$) to create such a channel for me.
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22 Replies
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Level 10

Re: Hiring Developer for Hotel IPTV System

The Roku can't save to the SD card - it is for channel application storage (mainly game channels). You also can't write to USB with Roku either. There are only about 20 individual private and public channels to stream from Wowza to roku boxes, so you might want to look at a few.
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Level 7

Re: Hiring Developer for Hotel IPTV System

Also, Roku does not support any of the video formats you mentioned. HLS is the only live stream format supported.

--Mark
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Level 9

Re: Hiring Developer for Hotel IPTV System

For a variety of reasons, we don't recommend Roku for that type of application. Among the reasons:
- Player/account management, we've neither designed for, nor tested having that many boxes on a single account
- Channels are installed on a per account basis. Removing a channel from one Roku player on an account will remove it from all
- Content rights. Make sure that any channels you have installed have rights for use in that environment
- on the EPG side, be aware of the patent situation around them (specifically grids).
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Level 7

Re: Hiring Developer for Hotel IPTV System

"destruk" wrote:
The Roku can't save to the SD card - it is for channel application storage (mainly game channels). You also can't write to USB with Roku either. There are only about 20 individual private and public channels to stream from Wowza to roku boxes, so you might want to look at a few.


The SD card interface is capable of both read and write operations so the Roku can indeed save to the SD card.
Now, are you saying that the channel creation SDK/API does not have support for writing to the SD card? Can anybody else confirm this?

If Channels can't write to the SD card then Applications surely can, right?
So I might need to use the 3.0 SDK or Roku Native Development Kit. Doesn't sound like a problem if I hire the right developer.

As for those other channels, none of them have the source code available, do they?
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Level 7

Re: Hiring Developer for Hotel IPTV System

"RokuMarkn" wrote:
Also, Roku does not support any of the video formats you mentioned. HLS is the only live stream format supported.


Wowza will take the RTP stream, encoded in H.264, and format it as HLS for the Roku. The Roku can decode H.264, of course.
This has already been verified working.
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Level 7

Re: Hiring Developer for Hotel IPTV System

"RokuPatrick" wrote:
For a variety of reasons, we don't recommend Roku for that type of application. Among the reasons:
- Player/account management, we've neither designed for, nor tested having that many boxes on a single account
- Channels are installed on a per account basis. Removing a channel from one Roku player on an account will remove it from all
- Content rights. Make sure that any channels you have installed have rights for use in that environment
- on the EPG side, be aware of the patent situation around them (specifically grids).


- It is possible to install channels without a Roku.com account. That's how Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and other "primary" channels get there in the first place. I am hoping that Roku is willing to let us know how to do that. If not, there is always the option of setting up 10 Roku.com accounts.
- We only intend to install our channel (besides the built-in channels), which we obviously have the rights to use in any environment we wish
- The hotel is located in a jurisdiction that does not recognize software patents so patents related to EPG do not present a problem
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Level 7

Re: Hiring Developer for Hotel IPTV System

"Rontec" wrote:
- We only intend to install our channel (besides the built-in channels), which we obviously have the rights to use in any environment we wish


I believe the issue with that is there's no way to lock down the Rokus, such that anyone can delete your channel or add any other from the Channel Store. This would affect all boxes under that ID, so if one guest of your hotel deletes your channel it's now gone from all the boxes linked to that box's account. Basically the Roku guys are already telling you on here that this is not the environment the Roku was developed for and it really isn't the best fit by far.
*** Trevor Anderson - bloggingwordpress.com - moviemavericks.com ***
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Level 9

Re: Hiring Developer for Hotel IPTV System

"Rontec" wrote:
"destruk" wrote:
The Roku can't save to the SD card - it is for channel application storage (mainly game channels). You also can't write to USB with Roku either. There are only about 20 individual private and public channels to stream from Wowza to roku boxes, so you might want to look at a few.


The SD card interface is capable of both read and write operations so the Roku can indeed save to the SD card.
Now, are you saying that the channel creation SDK/API does not have support for writing to the SD card? Can anybody else confirm this?

If Channels can't write to the SD card then Applications surely can, right?
So I might need to use the 3.0 SDK or Roku Native Development Kit. Doesn't sound like a problem if I hire the right developer.

As for those other channels, none of them have the source code available, do they?


The microSD card is only for use in storing channels. It is not accessible through the SDK.
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Level 9

Re: Hiring Developer for Hotel IPTV System

"Rontec" wrote:


- It is possible to install channels without a Roku.com account. That's how Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and other "primary" channels get there in the first place. I am hoping that Roku is willing to let us know how to do that. If not, there is always the option of setting up 10 Roku.com accounts.


The only way to install a channel without a Roku account is through sideloading a channel as you do during development.
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