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Simulating the Roku Experience on a Website

Anybody here ever entertained the thought of simulating the Roku experience on a website?
Or, at least providing users the ability to view the same content that is in your Roku channel?

Sure, ask the question "Why would anyone want to do that"?

Well, what about making the content available to those that don't have a Roku box yet?

And besides, you'll usually have a website that "supports" your channel anyway.

Thoughts anyone?

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Bruce
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9 Replies
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Level 10

Re: Simulating the Roku Experience on a Website

Netflix and Hulu do that, and so does Amazon.
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Re: Simulating the Roku Experience on a Website

What I'm talking about is doing it with my own channel.
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Level 10

Re: Simulating the Roku Experience on a Website

ok, here's a thought - It is a lot easier to strip a site and mass download all content with a tool. Why install the roku channel if I can tell my browser to 'download everything on this web server'?
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Re: Simulating the Roku Experience on a Website

My thought is that perhaps the "content" I am trying offer people is valuable, even if they don't have a Roku box, but only a computer.
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Level 8

Re: Simulating the Roku Experience on a Website

"brucerothwell" wrote:
My thought is that perhaps the "content" I am trying offer people is valuable, even if they don't have a Roku box, but only a computer.
My thinking is that it would be a fair amount of work (however, quite far from impossible) to recreate the Roku interface, but to what end? A Roku is designed to be attached to a tv and interacted with via a remote, with the user sitting some distance from the screen. A user sitting at a computer who is browsing the web, will have a keyboard and mouse to interact with the environment, will be able to read smaller text, and so on.

That's not to say some of the Roku design concepts (like the hierarchical lists, springboards, and some of the navigation elements) can't apply to a web-enabled interface to your content. I just don't think it would make sense to do everything exactly the same as the box. I also don't understand destruk's comment about mass downloading, it's certainly possible to lock-down the content(if necessary) from that kind of attack.

If I was sitting on a large pile of content I wanted to distribute, I'd probably be trying to make it as accessible as possible, across as many devices as possible. That'd probably mean desktop, phone, and tablet web apps, iphone and android apps, roku and game system apps, and as many other devices as I (and/or my company) could reasonably support. <<-That last bit about support is probably the key Smiley Happy.
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Re: Simulating the Roku Experience on a Website

Yes, I understand the _exact_ Roku experience is not possible, but I am speaking from a web design point of view.
I think it would be very cool to visit the website of a Roku channel that had a similar look and feel.

So, maybe it would just mean developing a Wordpress them, or some such as that, to make it happen.

Regarding the content and all the delivery mechanisms, yes I feel I'd like to make the channel content available to as many users as possible, thru as many mechanisms as possible, but yet still offer a "leanback" look, even if I could offer a full leanback "experience".

So, I'm guessing the answer to my original question is "No. And nobody cares much."
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Level 8

Re: Simulating the Roku Experience on a Website

"brucerothwell" wrote:
Yes, I understand the _exact_ Roku experience is not possible, but I am speaking from a web design point of view.
I think it would be very cool to visit the website of a Roku channel that had a similar look and feel.

So, maybe it would just mean developing a Wordpress them, or some such as that, to make it happen.

Regarding the content and all the delivery mechanisms, yes I feel I'd like to make the channel content available to as many users as possible, thru as many mechanisms as possible, but yet still offer a "leanback" look, even if I could offer a full leanback "experience".

So, I'm guessing the answer to my original question is "No. And nobody cares much."
Believe it or not, I for one do care; I really would like to see what it would be like. But, no, I haven't done it and haven't put any real thought into how exactly you'd do it. Personally, I don't think I'd start from a WordPress CMS. But I'm no expert on content systems and wouldn't know which would be a good base from which to start. I hate to say it, but Netflix's Kids page actually is a fairly good example of the concept.
Remoku.tv - A free web app for Roku Remote Control!
Want to control your Roku from nearly any phone, computer or tablet? Get started at http://help.remoku.tv
by Apps4TV - Applications for television and beyond: http://www.apps4tv.com
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Re: Simulating the Roku Experience on a Website

Gonzotek,

Thanks for the kind reply. Yes, perhaps a Wordpress theme would not be the way to go, but it seems there might be _something_ out there in the way of a template for one or more of the CMS templates.

At any rate, your suggestion on the Netflix Kids site as a being a good starting example is great. Thank you. I guess I didn't think about the Netflix site in general, but since they added that horizontal-scroll-upon-hover mechanism, it certainly step up the site to be more "modern".

One thing I just thought -- there is a web browser out there that I cannot recall the name of, that basically re-renders any give website into a "leanback" experience.... I guess what might be neat is to make a website like that so any browser would provide the same look and feel.

Thanks again for your suggestion.

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Bruce
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Highlighted
Level 8

Re: Simulating the Roku Experience on a Website

"brucerothwell" wrote:
Gonzotek,

Thanks for the kind reply. Yes, perhaps a Wordpress theme would not be the way to go, but it seems there might be _something_ out there in the way of a template for one or more of the CMS templates.

At any rate, your suggestion on the Netflix Kids site as a being a good starting example is great. Thank you. I guess I didn't think about the Netflix site in general, but since they added that horizontal-scroll-upon-hover mechanism, it certainly step up the site to be more "modern".

One thing I just thought -- there is a web browser out there that I cannot recall the name of, that basically re-renders any give website into a "leanback" experience.... I guess what might be neat is to make a website like that so any browser would provide the same look and feel.

Thanks again for your suggestion.

-
Bruce
Kylo? I haven't used it myself, but it comes up in the general forums from time to time.

Assuming your Roku channel is fed by atom or rss (or something more or less equivalent), it should be relatively simple to to write an html5/javascript UI to pull the same feeds and display them in a browser. Smiley Happy I say relatively simple, and it would be pretty easy to do something like this(in pseudocode):

feed = getFeed(feedURL)
for each item in feed{
document.write "<div class='title'>" + item.title + "</div>" +"<div class='descr'>" + item.descr + "</div>" +
...<video src='"item.url'"></video>...
+ "<div class='image'><img src='" + item.imageurl + "'/></div>"
}
But obviously doing it in a way that's compatible across many browsers and devices and enables leanback (maximum bonus points for desktop, leanback and mobile all from the same site) and looks good on all of them is the hard part Smiley Happy.
Remoku.tv - A free web app for Roku Remote Control!
Want to control your Roku from nearly any phone, computer or tablet? Get started at http://help.remoku.tv
by Apps4TV - Applications for television and beyond: http://www.apps4tv.com
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