Roku Direct Publisher

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zifty
Level 7

No Idea What I'm Doing

Hello all,
I've been tasked by my employer to create a Roku channel for our company for our videos. We currently have them hosted on Vimeo. I thought that it would be easy and just use the regular URL to supply the feed but as I have recently learned, that is not the case. I do not have any experience with git or RSS feeds. I would greatly appreciate the help from square one to finish if anyone has the time to explain this to me. I did not understand a lick of the language when I googled MRSS feeds. 

Thanks in advance,
Zifty
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23 Replies
HNIM
Level 7

Re: No Idea What I'm Doing

Hi Zifty,

I was in the same boat as you - this video may help though:
https://vimeo.com/188758234


KJ
Television: it's called a medium because it's neither rare nor well done,
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donp88
Level 7

Re: No Idea What I'm Doing

Hi Zifty,

Creating a Roku channel can be a daunting task, even when going the direct publisher route which simplifies channel creation somewhat. 

Here is a list of things that you need to be able to get started creating a channel for Roku Direct publisher.  

1) Video Host for your video content.  
As you mentioned you have Vimeo, but unless it is Vimeo Pro ($240/annually) or better it will not work as a host.

2) Graphic Artwork images as part of the branding for your channel which include: Channel Poster, Channel Logo, Splash Screen and Small Logo for Roku Search. 

You can use websites like www.befunky.com or www.canva.com to edit/create those images or download a program like Inkscape (free).

3) MRSS/JSON feed - this will be the hardest part.

Currently the best options that are available are:

instanttvchannel.com  $49.95/month
- ROKU JSON feed manager $64.95 (one time purchase)
JWPlayer[/url:f1pqkro5] does offer video hosting as well as MRSS/JSON support for $120/annually for ...








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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing

I have a README on Github with a sample feed that tells you how to use Vimeo. You can serve your feed on a gh-pages branch.

https://kbdick.github.io/sr_roku/README_sample

Let me know if you have questions.
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Re: No Idea What I'm Doing

FYI, Github is free for a public page, $7/mo for private repositories, so it may be your cheapest option. You can also serve a feed from a public website endpoint.
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rovidx_media
Level 7

Re: No Idea What I'm Doing

My plugin for WordPress is 100% free and generates feeds for Roku Direct Publisher (and Amazon Fire App Builder).

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smart-tv/
Use Wordpress to power your Roku Direct Publisher (& other platforms) -> https://rovidx.com
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OddScott
Level 7

Re: No Idea What I'm Doing

Donp88 mentioned that InstantTvChannel.com costs $49.95/month. There is also a free and a $4.95/month version, as well as a Developer SDK SceneGraph version.

Not all Direct Publisher feed-generators are the same. Here's a comparison chart from Roku: https://developer.roku.com/feed/partners
www.InstantTvChannel.com - Build a Roku channel in 5 minutes!
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mitchstein
Level 7

Re: No Idea What I'm Doing

Um, what do you need an rss feed? All you need to do is host the json files on a standard webserver..

Making the json files is somewhat complicated but for just 50 videos it shouldn't take more then a day or two to get the format down and working.. the Direct Player does work well once you figure out the over complicated json files..

I've published here in the forums sample working json files where all you need to do is edit the urls titles and descriptions.

As for the graphics, I used an old version (version 7) of adobe photoshop, you can use any imaging software, make your picture at the highest resolution required or larger, then just simply change the canvas size and save as different name.. in adobe photoshop 7 (written for windows 95a) you simply create a giant picture, select image, then image size and type in the x/y values roku requires and then save the file under a different name..
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Baradanikto
Level 9

Re: No Idea What I'm Doing

I am the developer of the JSON Feed Manager Software that Donp88 mentions in this post.  If you haven't already, I'd suggest you take a look at the demo I've provided and the tutorial video I've created.  The software does not require any knowledge of JSON syntax.  It creates and manages syntactically correct JSON feed files for you.  There's no subscription fees, and, I provide free support and maintenance updates.
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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mkammes
Level 7

Re: No Idea What I'm Doing

Here's a tutorial for ya with step by step instructions.  Uses Wordpress, a WP Smart TV plug-in, and Direct Publisher.  No coding needed!

http://5thingsseries.com/building-a-roku-channel/
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