Roku Developer Program

Developers and content creators—a complete solution for growing an audience directly.
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted
Level 8

Roku in a private IP network

Hi,

We are looking to design and deploy our new IPTV solution but we need to install the Roku on a private network with no internet access. The Roku STB will be installed on a separate VLAN of our ADSL2+ connections and will communicate with our servers on the same VLAN.

This is needed to reduce our cost of internet bandwidth. We only want to allow our customers to connect to our local servers.

I don't think it is possible with the Roku device to design our own system image. Do you have another OEM development plan for bigger players to use the Roku device with their own system images? We have a lot of experience designing our own system images on Linux embedded devices.

I believe a lot of large players would love to have the Roku box with their own software images on it to control the whole unit on a private network.

If Roku doesn't offer this, does anyone knows if other STB manufacturer allows to customize the system image?

Thank you,

Stephan Monette
Unlimitel Inc.
0 Kudos
9 Replies
Highlighted
Level 7

Re: Roku in a private IP network

Check out www.vbrick.com. Their box(s) are geared toward what it sounds like you want to do. I've used a number of there products which cover the a wide spectrum of content delivery systems. I would recommend giving them a call.

Here is a link to the datasheet for their set top box.
http://www.vbrick.com/docs/VBrick_Datas ... 4HDSTB.pdf

All that said, if you build and install a channel on a Roku that plays off of your internal servers, I don't think it needs general Internet access. I could be wrong, but I don't see why it would need it. Mine does that for the channel I am testing (uses an internal server instead of our WWW host on the cloud) but it does have Internet access too so I can't vouch for the fact that the box will boot and run without internet access.
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Level 8

Re: Roku in a private IP network

Hey wlh99,

If the customer needs to install our channel behind a private network, they won't be able to communicate with Roku's network to get he channel. Am I right?

When they install the box for the first time, they would need access to the internet to enable the box.

What do you think?

Stephan Monette
Unlimitel Inc.
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Level 8

Re: Roku in a private IP network

Hi,

One way to resolve this issue in a private network would be to have the Roku Box to download their config file containing the channel information from a central provisioning server controlled by the service provider.

The Roku box could download the file using the tftp or http protocol. The config server would be setup in the DHCP server with option 66.

I think it's an easy way to control the configuration for all our customers. We could setup and modify their Roku config file from one central location and the customer would just need to reboot the box or wait for the box on the next config file checkup. The config file would be named with the Roku's serial number or MAC address.

The Roku box could check the config file every hour or so (time programable in the Roku) and if the config file is different, load it and activate it.

I'm just thinking on how we could integrate the Roku appliance in our business and support our customers remotely without sending a technician on site.

This is how we deployed and support over 20,000 IP phones/ATA with 2 employees only. We even have web portals for our customers to change their callerid information and check registration status to reduce support calls and our cost to support them.

Let me know if I'm just dreaming or if this can be done in the near future.

Thanks,

Stephan Monette
Unlimitel Inc.
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Level 9

Re: Roku in a private IP network

The Roku box cannot be re-imaged. The firmware is encrypted and locked down as part of our strong security policy so that all content owners can trust their most valued content to play on the Roku box according to policies the owners set.

--Kevin
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Level 8

Re: Roku in a private IP network

But even without re-imaging the unit, would there be a way of setting its config so that it doesn't connect to external (i.e. Roku) servers, but instead it works entirely inside a provider's vLAN? We are in a similar situation and are looking for a standarized hardware which can act as an IP STB for our xDSL customers. Since we already operate our MPEG4 streaming servers, it would be great to be able to integrate this and allow our customers to watch the content directly on their TVs.

Anu suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Level 9

Re: Roku in a private IP network

"fortscan" wrote:
But even without re-imaging the unit, would there be a way of setting its config so that it doesn't connect to external (i.e. Roku) servers, but instead it works entirely inside a provider's vLAN? We are in a similar situation and are looking for a standarized hardware which can act as an IP STB for our xDSL customers. Since we already operate our MPEG4 streaming servers, it would be great to be able to integrate this and allow our customers to watch the content directly on their TVs.

Anu suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


It's not really intended to be operated in that fashion. You'd have to connect to the channel store to install your app (unless you wanted to sideload it) then block it at the network level either through DHCP configuration tweaks (if no gateway is provided it's not going to be reaching anything other than the local lan) or rules on the gateway itself. How well that would work, I don't know since it certainly isn't a use we've designed or tested for, and probably not a deployable solution outside of a lab.
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Level 8

Re: Roku in a private IP network

We understand your point.

Assuming that we block outside "public" Internet access at our xDSL bridges level (i.e. filtering public Internet access for the vLAN that we will use to connect the Roku boxes), and that we manage to load our app, either via the app store or directly, what level of UI customization/altering would be possible? For instance, would it be possible to alter the firmware so that all the unit displays is our own app, allowing only our private content?

Thank you.
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Level 9

Re: Roku in a private IP network

"fortscan" wrote:
We understand your point.

Assuming that we block outside "public" Internet access at our xDSL bridges level (i.e. filtering public Internet access for the vLAN that we will use to connect the Roku boxes), and that we manage to load our app, either via the app store or directly, what level of UI customization/altering would be possible? For instance, would it be possible to alter the firmware so that all the unit displays is our own app, allowing only our private content?

Thank you.


You could uninstall the default channels and since the channel store would be unavailable no one would be able to add an additional channel, but you can't customize the home screen.
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Level 8

Re: Roku in a private IP network

We are definitely interested in deploying Roku as STB for our IPTV environment.

Since most of the default channels (i.e. Netflix, Amazon) are unavailable for streaming in our region, and in any region other than US, isn't there a way to at least pre-program the Roku box, before provisioning to a client, so that it doesn't add these channels?

It wouldn't make much sense to offer a channel that cannot be streamed...

Do you have any suggestion?
0 Kudos