I too was thouroughly confused when I first started. I know a bit about web design and code, but JSON was unfamiliar to me. I seemed way in over my head. However, I disagree with part of your sentiments, as just "replacing links" was really all I was looking for. I don't find that actual "coding", but all I was asking for was a sample template.
What's not mentioned in the tutorial is that all you need to do is copy the mumbo jumbo text/code from their sample feed: https://api.myjson.com/bins/4tu28 and paste it into a JSON validator like here: http://jsonlint.com/ and it nicely formats your code for you. All you then need to do is replace the names, descriptions, IDs, and mostly the video link URL. Just getting a URL should be pretty easy, I can't see how Roku could find it video any other method.
After all, let's not make it too simple. Gotta hope Roku can seperate the wheat from the chaff, otherwise it'll turn into YT.
So I can add all of the info for the channel into one json file and put it on my server and then use the url to that one file, correct? I don't need to make a json for each category, genre etc? What about saving the JSON..."encoding" should it be the utf-8?
And Ken, I too have been feeling frustrated. I wanted to learn what to do but couldn't find the missing pieces.
I do mine in dreamweaver, so I dont have to choose one of those but I am sure that will work. Also, remember when you upload your file to AWS, switch back to the old console and change your metadata to content-type and then type in "applicatiom.json"
I've been using Cloudberry to access the aws. It has made the process for the other channels I made a lot easier. Not sure how to do the metadata change you mentioned..Do you mean on the server or in the json file itself? I'll have to look into that part.
EDIT: Just looked up info for changing content-type using cloudberry and they have a tutorial in case it helps anyone else. I have not attemped it yet but looks like a good tutorial.
I would try just pasting it into Notepad if you don't have any coding software. Eclipse or Notepad++, free software should work as well. Anyway one novice coding thing to look out for, if you copy & paste video sections to make more, please note that the last video in the list cannot have a comma after the last }] bracket. All others will end }], meaning more to follow, so they need the comma. However I ran into "Invalid JSON" on my first due to still having a comma in the last one, with nothing more to follow. Beginners mistake:)