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Level 7

Updates to the External Control Guide?

The ECG hasn't been updated in a while. Will this doc be updated any time soon? For example, the official Roku app must be using some undocumented commands to send media files to the Roku without the need for a specific channel to be running.

Thanks,
-Gregg
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Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: Updates to the External Control Guide?

There are some non-ECP things that it does to authenticate to your account, otherwise it more or less works the way your app does, using launch parameters with a custom 2D API based Brightscript channel for the slide show, using the phone or tablet as an http server.

There is a manifest parameter

hidden=1

that can hide a channel from the home screen for example.

- Joel
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Level 8

Re: Updates to the External Control Guide?

I noticed some weirdness with the remote commands and Roku 3 (and/or possibly 5.0 firmware) last night. I haven't tested enough to submit a bug report, but will after I've hashed out what's my fault and what would appear to be Roku's.

However the biggest issue I've identified as a Roku bug so far: The integrated search on the Roku 3 uses a non-standard Backspace. In most channels you send keypress/Backspace to erase a character onscreen. Apparently on the Search screen, that command does nothing. Instead, you can send an InstantReplay keypress to achieve the same effect. On most other keyboard screens, you can either send the keypress/Backspace command, or keypress/Rev to delete a character. Even the latest version of official Roku remote app for iOS (build 2.1.2 2070524) suffers from this shortcoming. You have to dismiss the iOS keyboard and use the remote Instant Replay button (or use the arrows to navigate to the bottom of the on-screen keyboard) to delete a character. It's a pretty lousy experience for a user, adding quite a few extra clicks if you make a mistake or want to change part of a search query.

Also the integrated search gives the 'error beep' sound effect for every LIT_ character you send, instead of the 'success click' sound, although on the bright side, the characters still make it to the search field. This is with both my remote app and the official Roku iOS app.

I think there may be a few other issues around ECP with the new firmware/Roku, but I'm in the middle of re-writing some parts of Remoku and can't rule out the problem being on my end just yet. Just a heads up that backspace in the integrated search is definitely broken. It does appear to work on normal keyboard screens (for instance it's fine in the Netflix channel search).
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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Level 7

Re: Updates to the External Control Guide?

OK, thanks for the explanation Joel. Not seeing the channel, I thought something special was going on.

-Gregg
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Level 10

Re: Updates to the External Control Guide?

@Roku*, can you confirm the described by gonzotek as a bug and commit to fixing it?
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Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: Updates to the External Control Guide?

I filed a bug on this issue with regards to the rewind button not acting as a backspace/delete button. It turns out this is by design, so not really a bug.

- Joel
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Level 8

Re: Updates to the External Control Guide?

"RokuJoel" wrote:
I filed a bug on this issue with regards to the rewind button not acting as a backspace/delete button. It turns out this is by design, so not really a bug.

- Joel

It may be by design, but it's still an issue for end users that expect a consistency to exist when using text entry screens on Roku. Roku's own iOS app suffers the same problem(try to use it to search for something in the integrated search screen, and try to delete a character from the remote iphone/ipad keyboard). Is there a design reason that rewind or backspace couldn't be used in the integrated search screen?
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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Level 10

Re: Updates to the External Control Guide?

"RokuJoel" wrote:
I filed a bug on this issue with regards to the rewind button not acting as a backspace/delete button. It turns out this is by design, so not really a bug.

RokuJoel - I guess you missed the point of the issue -
apparently (i dont have Roku3) when using remote app to type in "search" channel on new firmware, pressing "backspace" on the app keyboard (sends ECP "keypress/Backspace") works no more! Meaning user can keep pounding "backspace" on remote app keyboard but last character will not be deleted. This is inconsistent with behavior on other firmwares. It breaks UI. THIS is the bug. This is a bug that has to be fixed.

ANOTHER broken UI element (you may argue it's a "buglet" but "feature" it ain't) is if keyboard typing via ECP causes "error beep" sounds. This is also something to fix.
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Level 7

Re: Updates to the External Control Guide?

Yes, this will be fixed to make keypress/Backspace work the same as keypress/InstantReplay currently does on the search screen.

--Mark
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Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: Updates to the External Control Guide?

"EnTerr" wrote:

RokuJoel - I guess you missed the point of the issue


Actually, no, I totally understood the issue and as you can see, successfully pushed for the old behavior to be restored.

However, the "bug" was in fact an intentional design change and not an accident.

- Joel
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