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DeftOne
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:59 am

cangel0612 wrote:
TheEndless wrote:
QuantumIguana wrote:
No, the private channels are not distributed through the channel store. You do have to add them through the Roku web page, but they are not distributed through the channel store. Buying a device and then being told you can't run this or that software is like buying a car and being forbidden from driving to certain destinations.

You are incorrect. Private channels are distributed through the channel store, they're just not visible without explicitly adding them to your account.
And Roku is not telling you what you can or can't run on your Roku, they are telling you that you can't get it through their distribution channel. If you get the source code, or want to write your own, you're more than welcome to sideload the channel yourself. Furthermore, they're not removing it from any devices it's already installed on, they're just no longer allowing it to be hosted and installed by their service.


Is that true? Could someone post a PlayOn source code and it be used by Roku users? If Roku wouldn't put a stop to this, then why hasn't anyone done this?

Yes, it's true. All you need to do is put your box into development mode (instructions for doing so are in the SDK, which is freely available to anyone) and then you can load anything you want onto the box. You just need to get your hands on the source code package. Perhaps one of the developers of the two channels could host it on github or some other code repository (hint, hint). :wink:
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jcmolet
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:02 am

Ross410 wrote:
Hulu has already tried restricting access from boxee, with boxee just finding ways around every time. Hulu will continue to work on Boxee since the core of its browser/player is firefox, so hulu sees boxee as just another PC browser. I have a roku xd in my bedroom but I plan on getting a Boxee box for the living room. It gives you a lot more content in a VERY nice UI.


I would not bet on Boxee getting access to hulu.com....just ask those with GoogleTV. At the end of the day, my bet would be that GoogleTV and the Boxee Box get a Hulu Plus app/channel.
 
Saqqara
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:04 am

To improve the car analogy, Toyota isn't steering so you can go where you want, but get that new Google Car that steers by the server and you can bet it will not drive on certain roads.

Roku didn't invent this silliness, they and other set top box folks are just caught in the middle of it. The convergence cat is already out of the bag: TVs have VGA ports and PCs have HDMI ports... But as disruptive entrepreneurs Roku has to play a lot of ball with folks who are still stuck in old paradigms. I suspect the same goes for Hulu, a progressive arm of an industry that knows it has to change but longs for the good old days.


Loading channels in developer mode is quite possible; there's only one I know that is distributed in that way and it is the MyMedia channel. It was distributed that way so that client and server could be kept in sync through rapid development, not because it was trying to circumvent policy.

I brought it up; but I think I should also say that this forum is an inappropriate place to promote sideloading of specific channels that might get Roku in trouble. I was just saying that you CAN think of this as an appliance that you bought and can do whatever you want with it, assuming that developer mode functionality continues to exist, and it should, given that Roku depends on outside developers for the growth of the platform.
 
chris0071
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:11 am

Once Boxee moves to an actual box, they take on a certain amount of responsibility for what that box does. If a box violates the TOS, then the manufacturer can be held responsible ...... especially if they have been forewarned. You could kiss boxee goodbye if they get into a p..... contest with Hulu and decide to just go ahead and violate the TOS with prior knowledge of said violation. That would be a lawyer's wet dream case, and he would slam it shut in about 20 seconds, because there would be no defense. Hulu itself, by terms of its agreements, cannot put all of their content on a TV screen. (and, as far as I know, cannot do so with any of their standard content because of contractual agreements with their content providers) For Boxee to assume powers that Hulu itself does not have would never hold up in court .... especially when they are spelled out in black and white in the TOS.
 
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gonzotek
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:12 am

cangel0612 wrote:
TheEndless wrote:
QuantumIguana wrote:
No, the private channels are not distributed through the channel store. You do have to add them through the Roku web page, but they are not distributed through the channel store. Buying a device and then being told you can't run this or that software is like buying a car and being forbidden from driving to certain destinations.

You are incorrect. Private channels are distributed through the channel store, they're just not visible without explicitly adding them to your account.
And Roku is not telling you what you can or can't run on your Roku, they are telling you that you can't get it through their distribution channel. If you get the source code, or want to write your own, you're more than welcome to sideload the channel yourself. Furthermore, they're not removing it from any devices it's already installed on, they're just no longer allowing it to be hosted and installed by their service.


Is that true? Could someone post a PlayOn source code and it be used by Roku users? If Roku wouldn't put a stop to this, then why hasn't anyone done this?
It wasn't necessary until the private channels were blocked. There are several more steps and a couple of caveats to side-loading a channel: 1. First and foremost, the user has to know about the side-loading method. Even private channels don't get a lot of exposure to the Roku target audience(most people generally don't go look up channels on random websites, they just use the channel store to discover and install new channels) 2. They must be savvy enough to enable the dev mode of the box. 3. They must obtain the code to be side-loaded then (possibly) package it, and finally upload it to the Roku.

Importantly, only one side-loaded channel can be on a Roku unit at a time.

So if Roku channel developers allowed users to download their code, the users would have to locate the code on the internet, and then could only load one channel at a time with this method. To load a different channel, they would have to go back to the pc, and repeat #3 above. So it's *possible* but certainly not preferable.
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Ross410
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:24 am

chris0071 wrote:
Once Boxee moves to an actual box, they take on a certain amount of responsibility for what that box does. If a box violates the TOS, then the manufacturer can be held responsible ...... especially if they have been forewarned. You could kiss boxee goodbye if they get into a p..... contest with Hulu and decide to just go ahead and violate the TOS with prior knowledge of said violation. That would be a lawyer's wet dream case, and he would slam it shut in about 20 seconds, because there would be no defense. Hulu itself, by terms of its agreements, cannot put all of their content on a TV screen. (and, as far as I know, cannot do so with any of their standard content because of contractual agreements with their content providers) For Boxee to assume powers that Hulu itself does not have would never hold up in court .... especially when they are spelled out in black and white in the TOS.


Ok, so why hasn't Boxee been sued yet? Hulu has blocked them (at the request of content providers) and they find ways around it every time. D-Link is the manufacturer of the actual box, but I can't see them getting sued (though I wouldn't be surprised if someone tries). It would be like ASUS getting sued for someone pirating software with their hardware. Boxee is just software. You can install boxee on an HTPC and watch Hulu on your TV right now, all for free. The box is basically just an HTPC with boxee installed in linux as the OS.
 
Saqqara
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:25 am

Actually a legal challenge to these distinctions would be interesting. I wonder how they worded those contracts.

What is a TV and what is a monitor? The distinction is the presence of a tuner, and I haven't seen a set top box since the 1980's that actually needs you to tune to channel 2 or 3.... the tuner is unused.

Why is a set top box not a computer... but a nettop or netbook is?

What makes a room a living room?

This all seems gray at best.
 
Ross410
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:29 am

Saqqara wrote:
Actually a legal challenge to these distinctions would be interesting. I wonder how they worded those contracts.

What is a TV and what is a monitor? The distinction is the presence of a tuner, and I haven't seen a set top box since the 1980's that actually needs you to tune to channel 2 or 3.... the tuner is unused.

Why is a set top box not a computer... but a nettop or netbook is?

What makes a room a living room?

This all seems gray at best.


Exactly, a Boxee Box is a nettop.
 
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kc8pql
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:33 am

Ross410 wrote:

Exactly, a Boxee Box is a nettop.

...but it could be a very expensive proposition for them to prove that. Who has deeper pockets, Boxee or the copyright owners?
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TheEndless
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:41 am

Ross410 wrote:
Ok, so why hasn't Boxee been sued yet? Hulu has blocked them (at the request of content providers) and they find ways around it every time. D-Link is the manufacturer of the actual box, but I can't see them getting sued (though I wouldn't be surprised if someone tries). It would be like ASUS getting sued for someone pirating software with their hardware. Boxee is just software. You can install boxee on an HTPC and watch Hulu on your TV right now, all for free. The box is basically just an HTPC with boxee installed in linux as the OS.

It's probably not worth suing them, yet, since it's still a developing space. It's certainly cheaper to block them than it is to sue them. I also think it would be up to the content providers (the networks) to do the suing, not Hulu. Hulu just needs to protect its interests and partnerships by demonstrating that it's playing by the rules. I'm sure if it were up to Hulu, they'd make all of their online content available, but that's just not the case.
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Trac
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:54 am

FX4 wrote:
jcmolet wrote:
Saqqara wrote:
I imagine they want the best possible relationship with Hulu. I think that the future of Roku rests on the strength of its content relationships more than a pusher of generic hardware, so this makes sense to me from a strategic sense.


Agreed. I think two things are abundantly clear. First, Roku is making every effort (wisely I believe) to foster good relationships with the content providers/owners. Second, like it or not, Hulu has every intention of restricting the hulu.com access to computers and limiting Hulu Plus content to partnered devices. I think those that believe they are going to get hulu.com content via an STB (e.g. Boxee box, Popbox, etc.) are going to be sorely disappointed.


Completely agree, I do think Hulu bumbled the marketing of Hulu+. Even so it is well worth the 10.00 a month IMO. The funny thing is while it is marketed one way if you bother to read what the product description is they clearly state the content and product are different than Hulu.


Whenever Roku adds a channel to there store, it is removed from the Roku PlayOn channel. Netflix, AoD, MLB, Pandora will not play through the Roku PlayOn channel. Wouldn't it be wise to remove Hulu from the Roku PlayOn channel, instead of removing PlayOn completely. There isn't a threat to any content provider given this remove when channel added scenario.
 
QuantumIguana
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:56 am

Roku has in the past made a distinction between the Channel Store and private channels. If they want to redefine the terms, fine.
 
Saqqara
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:59 am

It's not a question of Roku's terms, but Roku's perceived liability.

I just checked out Hulu's terms... a really quick glance, but the terms are you can only view their content through their browser based video player, and you can't grab the content out of their browser based video player for viewing in another format. None of the things I said above about TV vs Monitor really seem applicable.

So a set top box with a browser might be ok? Something to redirect the video from a pc running a browser -- the whole window -- to the set top box might be ok? I'd have to read a lot closer.

But these are stopgaps; I think long term, Roku has the right idea, to bring Mohammad to the mountain and not vice versa, negotiating the necessary compromises along the way.
 
cangel0612
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:59 am

Whenever Roku adds a channel to there store, it is removed from the Roku PlayOn channel. Netflix, AoD, MLB, Pandora will not play through the Roku PlayOn channel. Wouldn't it be wise to remove Hulu from the Roku PlayOn channel, instead of removing PlayOn completely. There isn't a threat to any content provider given this remove when channel added scenario.


This idea would be fantastic!
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TheEndless
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Re: PlayON is gone!

Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:06 am

QuantumIguana wrote:
Roku has in the past made a distinction between the Channel Store and private channels. If they want to redefine the terms, fine.

No one is redefining terms... whether you call it the channel store, the private channel store, the private channel distribution network, or fred, the point is that the channels are hosted and distributed by Roku's system, so they're ultimately responsible for ensuring that they're not hosting and/or distributing anything that is potentially illegal. If a content provider complains that a channel is providing unauthorized/copyrighted content, then it is in Roku's best interest to remove the channel until/unless the channel developer can prove otherwise.
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