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Solisive
Level 7

Published my first channel today - msdevtv

First, let me say what a wonderful product this little roku box is. Now, as a developer, I am enjoying the best of both worlds so to speak...I can watch exciting content on the device, but i also get to write code for the box. Sweet!

With that out the way, I have just published my first channel. I've been working on this on and off for the past six or so months (have to juggle time between work, and a young family (wife and 3 kids)..so I hardly get the time to play as much I'd like.

https://owner.roku.com/add/msdevtv

http://www.msdevtv.com

If you are a Microsoft developer, you might find the videos interesting...otherwise, please feel free to provide feedback.

This is still work in progress...but stable at the moment. Hope to have this available in the channel store one day.
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13 REPLIES 13\
Solisive
Level 7

Re: Published my first channel today - msdevtv

The channel is backed by an external website, which facilitates linking your roku box to an account in order to enjoy added features. New features are being added, currently the following features are available on devices that are linked to an msdevtv.com account:

    Episode Rating

    Episodes Paging - there are currently over 1400 videos in the videos database, new vidoes are added daily (average new 10 videos per week)..by default only the 10 10 latest videos are shown per channel. The paging feature allows for accessing older videos (page through all the videos in a channel)

    Instant Queue / Watch List - Linked devices can maintain a watch queue. By default, the last video you watch on a linked device will be added to your queue / watchlist. you can also search for videos -to add to your watch list. instant queue / Watch lists can also be accessed when you view videos online.

    Play All functionality:- select an episode and select to "play all beginning with this episode".

    Access to bonus vidoes - Bonus videos dont belong to a specific channels. They are just random unclassified videos that are shown in this special channel available on linked devices.
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TheEndless
Level 9

Re: Published my first channel today - msdevtv

I haven't spent a ton of time with it yet, but what I've seen so far looks pretty nice! Only a few things I noticed that you might want to change/look into:

  • As you scroll down, it only loads the focused row's content, and not the row immediately below it. I would expect it to load content for all visible rows.

  • The text on the details screen is a bit dark.

  • All videos seem to be HD branded on the buffering screen, though I have yet to find one that actually plays in HD. I don't know if this is because the videos aren't really HD, or if you're missing a SwitchingStrategy attribute required to get it to ramp up to the HD stream.

Otherwise, this is a excellent first channel development effort! It's clear that you put a lot of time into it!
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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Solisive
Level 7

Re: Published my first channel today - msdevtv

"TheEndless" wrote:
I haven't spent a ton of time with it yet, but what I've seen so far looks pretty nice! Only a few things I noticed that you might want to change/look into:

  • As you scroll down, it only loads the focused row's content, and not the row immediately below it. I would expect it to load content for all visible rows.

  • The text on the details screen is a bit dark.

  • All videos seem to be HD branded on the buffering screen, though I have yet to find one that actually plays in HD. I don't know if this is because the videos aren't really HD, or if you're missing a Switching Strategy attribute required to get it to ramp up to the HD stream.

Otherwise, this is a excellent first channel development effort! It's clear that you put a lot of time into it!


Thanks for the feedback. Ill be releasing an update this coming weekend. I'll be sure to look into the issues you outlined.

Id like to think the videos are HD, Microsoft claims the videos are...so perhaps its something to do with the switching strategy as you outlined.

here is a sample video from list...is there a way to tell if its true hd?
http://ecn.channel9.msdn.com/o9/ch9/0/2 ... NQ_ch9.mp4

Again, thanks for chiming in.
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TheEndless
Level 9

Re: Published my first channel today - msdevtv

"Solisive" wrote:
Id like to think the videos are HD, Microsoft claims the videos are...so perhaps its something to do with the switching strategy as you outlined.

here is a sample video from list...is there a way to tell if its true hd?
http://ecn.channel9.msdn.com/o9/ch9/0/2 ... NQ_ch9.mp4

That one is definitely not HD. It's 480x368. If you open it in Windows Media Player, and view the properties, it'll tell you the resolution. I'm not sure what API you're using to get the video URLs, but maybe it has that information in the metadata?

Since that's a static MP4 file, the SwitchingStrategy is not an issue. That only comes into play with adaptive bitrate streams (HLS and ISM).
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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Solisive
Level 7

Re: Published my first channel today - msdevtv

"TheEndless" wrote:
"Solisive" wrote:
Id like to think the videos are HD, Microsoft claims the videos are...so perhaps its something to do with the switching strategy as you outlined.
Since that's a static MP4 file, the SwitchingStrategy is not an issue. That only comes into play with adaptive bitrate streams (HLS and ISM).


Unfortunately I'm in way over my head when it comes to video formats etc.

When i pull the streams from Microsoft, there is also a stream that looks like this (see below)..it has ism extension, but returns a manifest file. Not sure how that manifest file is to be used, or even if it has any relevance to this discussion.

http://smooth.ch9.ms/ch9/45d0/0bd3dbb6- ... m/manifest
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TheEndless
Level 9

Re: Published my first channel today - msdevtv

"Solisive" wrote:
Unfortunately I'm in way over my head when it comes to video formats etc.

When i pull the streams from Microsoft, there is also a stream that looks like this (see below)..it has ism extension, but returns a manifest file. Not sure how that manifest file is to be used, or even if it has any relevance to this discussion.

http://smooth.ch9.ms/ch9/45d0/0bd3dbb6- ... m/manifest

That one is probably a much better one to use. Try setting the StreamFormat to "ism" and setting the stream URL to that one (possibly without the "/manifest" at the end, but I'm not sure).
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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renojim
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Published my first channel today - msdevtv

You do want the "manifest" on there, although I couldn't get it to play. Looking at the manifest file, I'm not so sure any of those streams are HD either. If you do get it to play, bear in mind that the "ism" StreamFormat will only play on Roku 2 units. You might want it to fallback to the MP4 for Roku 1 boxes, if you're interested in supporting them.

-JT
Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee.
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Solisive
Level 7

Re: Published my first channel today - msdevtv

"renojim" wrote:
You do want the "manifest" on there, although I couldn't get it to play. Looking at the manifest file, I'm not so sure any of those streams are HD either. If you do get it to play, bear in mind that the "ism" StreamFormat will only play on Roku 2 units. You might want it to fallback to the MP4 for Roku 1 boxes, if you're interested in supporting them.
-JT


Ill keep that in mind. I develop on a "legacy" roku 1 box (XD), so good thing you mentioned that, although I do have a Roku2 HD floating around the house.

Thanks
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Solisive
Level 7

Re: Published my first channel today - msdevtv

Happy to report that there has been 55 installs of msdevtv roku channel since I launched 5 days ago. WOW.
Would like to see more users linking their devices to take full benefit of the features that you get on a linked device.

I've made at least 6 minor releases over the past 5 days...mainly to address bugs, and to put in place an in-channel "updates available" notification system to inform users when an update is ready for download.
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