Roku Direct Publisher

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jeff_net
Level 9

Need direction about the feed and my first channel attempt

Hi,

    I've been reading some of the initial frustrations of other folks trying to set up their first channel and thought I'd ask those learned folk how I should proceed. Ultimately, I want to learn the SDK, but I want to get some fairly quick results and experience using "Direct Publisher". It seems like a great way to get the feet wet.

    My goal is to create a channel that will play video from an existing website. I was hoping that when creating a channel and pointing to content, that I would just input a normal url. But, I suspect that is not how it's done. I want to be able to play both the live weekly broadcast from that website and also static saved videos, and to start with, I'd like to focus on creating a channel to play one of those saved videos off of this website.

   First question; do I need permission to play a video off of that website? Ultimately the owners will know, but for testing sake, is it ok that they don't know about it? These videos are weekly sermons. I would like to create a roku channel for this church so that some who own a roku are not limited to viewing on their computers/smart devices. Accessing these videos moves us from the main church url to the hosting url which is:

https://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopupvideo.asp?SID=########

It seems they have a RSS. If I click on it, I get this message in the browser:

This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.

<rss version="2.0">
<channel>
<title>TITLE OF THE SERMON...  

etc.

    Could I create a test Roku channel to point to one of these sermons?

    Thanks for any assistance...

 

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9 Replies
jeff_net
Level 9

Re: Need direction about the feed and my first channel attempt

Also these sermons are accessible and downloadable as mp4 files.

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Baradanikto
Level 9

Re: Need direction about the feed and my first channel attempt

If you've got programming experience, the SDK will provide more control over channel.  Having said that, understand that BrightScript, the SDK language, is not your typical programming language.

Direct Publisher does provide an easy path to creating your channel because there's no coding knowledge required.  And, it does support both live and on demand video.

Playing videos from an existing website is fine if you don't expect lots of traffic on the channel (ie. lots of concurrent viewers).  The Roku recommendation is to store channel videos on a legitimate CDN so that you can take advantage of caching and other performance enhancements.  

If you are not the owner of the video content, I would recommend you obtain permission to stream the video.  If not, you will run afoul of Copyright law and the Roku TOS.

Windows desktop software for creating and managing MRSS, JSON, and FireTV feeds @ https://rrirower.wixsite.com/software. No Programming, JSON or MRSS knowledge required.
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jeff_net
Level 9

Re: Need direction about the feed and my first channel attempt

I would be able to pick up the language eventually, but I wanted to get some quick results first.
I would get permission from these folks before I made anything public. To get started though, I was hoping to set up a simple test. Could I point to the url of the existing website or could I point to a mp4 file somewhere just to see if that works? Can you suggest a good book or website for entry level channel creation help?
Thanks for your input.
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37mediagroup
Level 9

Re: Need direction about the feed and my first channel attempt

Generally speaking I don't think a website url would work.  It also can vary on web hosting (server, shared, cookie cutter builder) so it's tough to say offhand.

There's a stream tester people have posted & use: http://devtools.web.roku.com/stream_tester/html/ if you wanna give it a go & test if your stream works with it. Otherwise if at any point you wanna post the url it could help clarify a bit more.

 

The DP builder instructions are here: https://developer.roku.com/docs/direct-publisher/overview.md although I can understand if it's a bit much to build a channel just test a video stream.

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jeff_net
Level 9

Re: Need direction about the feed and my first channel attempt

I posted a redacted url above - https://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopupvideo.asp?SID=########

I don't think there would be any harm posting the entire url if necessary, as that is not a copyright infringement. It would be just one sermon of many and the url for the live broadcast would be different.

So, given that a url would be the simplest way to set up and test the app, do people do that vs setting up on a CDN? I realize we're talking about a small base, as the CDN is designed for caching and large user base. I just don't have a feel for how large is large.

Thanks for your help

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37mediagroup
Level 9

Re: Need direction about the feed and my first channel attempt

It's not just a large vs small thing, but also a technology issue. A video from say a Squarespace site or a webhosts drag & drop editor, likely wouldn't work. At all. For instance, youtube videos don't work. Something about the url path (www .youtube .com/19793966483 ) isn't the real path, but a redirect to 'shorten' it, and the real url is much longer filepath name. 

In looking at the Sermon Audio site, I don't think it will work, but that's just a preliminary assumption. Were you in touch with them & their web/marketing for a raw url, or are you just using the links off the site. I think these are essentially the youtube shortening/Squarespace style issue you'll encounter. 

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jeff_net
Level 9

Re: Need direction about the feed and my first channel attempt

It's looking like they would have to be involved in order to run a test. I was hoping to create a test channel and just present the idea to the pastor and see if he were interested. So even if I have an mp4 file, I can't test with that?
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37mediagroup
Level 9

Re: Need direction about the feed and my first channel attempt

Personally, I'd recommend asking and getting agreement before worrying about it. Especially if you can get the mp4, since you could just host it yourself. You sound willing to learn the coding and process. A bigger question, is do you plan on charging them for this, and if so, do you have an estimate on what to charge?

It sounds like it may have weekly updates, not too hard, but its a bit meticulous (uploading, thumbnails, synopsis, code). Sounds easy but week after week, holidays, vacation etc.

All that said, yes if you can get the mp4 that's what you need.
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Maliaki
Level 7

Re: Need direction about the feed and my first channel attempt

Get yourself an Amazon S3 account and upload your video there. I think it's free to a point. For testing it should work.

As far as copyright, permission/ownership etc can ONLY be transferred in writing. No verbals. Just a heads up (I'm no lawyer but this part I know to be true). Write up a little contract that grants you permission in they like the idea.

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