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How far in the cloud is roku able to dip it's foot in?

What are the current limits of cloud based services on the roku?
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4 Replies
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Level 8

Re: How far in the cloud is roku able to dip it's foot in?

Can you elaborate?
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Re: How far in the cloud is roku able to dip it's foot in?

what are the limits of cloud based services on the roku. It can't it self play transcode flash video. It can't render it. It can't what ever. What are the strengths that it has. For what you can't do what are the extents to what you can? Can you compensate for it's inability server side? It can't render flash natively so numerous services are out such as a large number of youtube videos,hulu, ect. Since it itself can't render flash video, silverlight, or quicktime video (correct me if one of those formats do worK) then hypothetically would it be possible to render the video server side. Can you compensate for what the roku it's self can't do with the cloud. Like say through a server side gecko rendering engine? Once again hypothetically.
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Level 7

Re: How far in the cloud is roku able to dip it's foot in?

I'm still not quite sure I'm understanding your question, but a server could certainly transcode Flash video into a format that the Roku can play (which does include Quicktime; see the SDK docs for a complete list).

--Mark
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Level 7

Re: How far in the cloud is roku able to dip it's foot in?

"serialjoepsycho" wrote:
Can you compensate for what the roku it's self can't do with the cloud. Like say through a server side gecko rendering engine? Once again hypothetically.


I imagine a server side HTML renderer would be hard, but not impossible, depending on the features you wanted to drop. As a simple case, rendering a page server side, taking a screenshot, and exporting it along with some metadata about where links are isn't impossible or even all that hard with some work. The Roku could fairly easily display the page as an image, and use the remote to select links (highlight using metadata for location) with up/down and go forward or back in the history with left right.

The hard parts are these:
1) Javascript of any dynamic sort. Sure, you could move send events back to the server telling it where to place the mouse in the page and re-rendering if different, but that requires keeping the page open and actually tracking the session like it's a real user browsing the site, as opposed to just serializing the cookies for the next request. That's a LOT of resources server side for a simple browsing session, and wouldn't scale very well, IMHO. This could be done on a local system though...
2) Flash. Unless the underlying video is a supported codec and you detect this, grab the URL, and export it with the metadata...
3) Other plugins. Diminishing returns, etc.

Now, if you wanted to give up some control and ran the server side of this user side on a local system, this becomes more feasible. I still think it's a lot of work for limited functionality.

I guess you could just try to transcode the window into a live stream and send button presses back to control the cursor/window on the rendering system. That seems really taxing to me, and I doubt any video played online would be able to be played and transcoded to a different format, and served at the same time without some major hiccups. And correctly playing videos is the only reason *I* can think to do it this way.

P.S. This is all assuming using some off the shelf components for the HTML rendering/JS on the server side. You could heavily modify an existing engine such as webkit to offer more capabilities thanan simple screen capture, but the ROI on this is already pretty bad, getting that deep for a browser in the Roku market is probably a losing proposition. It might pay off in other areas though.

-Kevan
-- GandK Labs
Check out Reversi! in the channel store!
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