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Fran_3
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:43 am

Programmer needs Channel Setup Quick Start Help

Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:38 am

We want to setup a 24/7 Roku channel with both pre-produced and live content.

Yea, I've got a lot of reading but I'm hopeful some kind soul will help out with a quick start...

- I've done a fair amount of programming but it has been awhile.
- I've written in Assembly Language, Visual Basic,, HTML, ASP, Some PHP. Some C, and Some SQL.
- I'm familar with the concepts of Object Oriented Programming with Objects, Properties, Instances, etc... but I'm far from an expert :)

And, I'm short on time... (who isn't :)

Some questions:
1 - I'm wondering how complicated and involved it is to implement such a channel on Roku?
2 - Is this a long weekend project or days or weeks of ramp up and coding?
3 - Does the SDK run on a Windows Platform or will we have to setup a Linux machine?
4 - Any quick start tutorial videos that show a sample channel being setup?
5 - Do we stream from our studio content directly from our studio or does Roku want everything uploaded ?
6 - Can we run our content "live" meaning advertise a schedule and have the shows running when a viewer tunes in or is it all "on Demand"
7 - If we choose to pay a developer... what is going rate or rate range?

Thanks for any help!
 
RokuPatrick

Re: Programmer needs Channel Setup Quick Start Help

Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:53 am

Hi Fran,

Let's see some answers, but feel free to drop me a line if you want to discuss it further.

1) If it's free (ie doesn't need integration with a billing system) and the content is already available vis (m)rss or APIs and is in the right format to play, not too long.
2) Again, depending. With an experienced programmer and the content available, graphics would likely be the long pole.
3) The SDK runs on the Roku box. You'll need at least one Roku player to write a channel. You can write BrightScript on any platform
4) The SDK has some pretty good docs for helping you get started.
5) You'll want some sort of CDN or service to handle the streaming, in all likelihood.
6) You can do live (using HTTP Live Streaming) or on demand (using either HLS or HTTP Progressive download)
7) It really depends on the breadth of the project. I know some do fixed bids and some do T&M.

Patrick
 
kbenson
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:53 am
Location: Santa Rosa, Ca

Re: Programmer needs Channel Setup Quick Start Help

Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:13 am

Fran_3 wrote:
We want to setup a 24/7 Roku channel with both pre-produced and live content.


24/7?

Fran_3 wrote:
I've written in Assembly Language, Visual Basic,, HTML, ASP, Some PHP. Some C, and Some SQL.


I hear BrightScript is similar to VB (or VBscript?) but have no reference. In VIM the syntax highlighting for VB seems to do a pretty good job.

Fran_3 wrote:
Some questions:
1 - I'm wondering how complicated and involved it is to implement such a channel on Roku?
2 - Is this a long weekend project or days or weeks of ramp up and coding?
3 - Does the SDK run on a Windows Platform or will we have to setup a Linux machine?
4 - Any quick start tutorial videos that show a sample channel being setup?
5 - Do we stream from our studio content directly from our studio or does Roku want everything uploaded ?
6 - Can we run our content "live" meaning advertise a schedule and have the shows running when a viewer tunes in or is it all "on Demand"
7 - If we choose to pay a developer... what is going rate or rate range?


1 - It depends on how much of the server side is done, and how easy it is to deal with. The Roku has some "components" that are pretty much plug and play, If the server side exports data in the format Roku can EASILY parse (XML), it's pretty quick, depending on whether you need to link to an account, etc. If the server exports data in a slightly different format and you need to manually parse, it takes as long as it takes you to get it right.

2 - See #1. When somewhat familiar with the language, i think a fairly polished simple app could be done in a long weekend, or quicker. If unfamiliar, you will probably experience some delay while learning.

3 - The SDK is really a set of documents, example source files, and makefiles (don't run on windows by default) that explain and demo how to write and deploy for the Roku. It's platform agnostic in that respect. You can deploy your app by zipping up a directory structure and uploading the zip to the Roku's web interface once you've turned on developer mode.

4 - The SDK has copious examples.

5 - Roku doesn't house anything but the channel itself, which has a 500k zipped limit. Your channel can download into temporary space once started though. As such, you'll need your own content distribution network for your content, whether that be handled through yourself or through a paid service. There are posts discussing this.

6 - I believe this is what HTTP Live Streaming is for and the Roku support is, so if you are presenting using that technology, the Roku should have no problem (barring codec/bitrate/etc problems)

7 - I have no idea, but I'm sure some developers here might be interested. You probably won't have much luck getting much of a response before Tuesday though, there's a contest going on and that's the submission deadline, so most are probably head down in their own project right now.
-- GandK Labs
Check out Reversi! in the channel store!
 
Fran_3
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:43 am

Re: Programmer needs Channel Setup Quick Start Help

Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:29 pm

Hmmm... maybe I don't understand how this works on the net.

To stream normally we would stream live (or pre-produced) program materialfrom our studios to a CDN who would then in turn send out individual streams to all of our viewers.

Somehow I thought Roku would act like the CDN such that a content provider would send a single stream to them and they inturn would stream to each Roku Box owner who had selected to watch the channel.

But Patrick said "we would probably need a CDN to handle the streaming" ... so I guess I'm confused about how it all works.

Does the Roku Server see a request from a Roku Viewers Box to watch Channel A...
... then look in it's Channel Table to see the "source" of the Channel A video... (like which CDN is providing the video stream to the net)
... then the Roku Server request a stream from the CDN, takes it and encodes the destination address of the requesting Roku Viewers Box...
... and then re-transmitts the stream to the desiginated Roku Viewer's Roku Box?

Is that how it works?

Sorry, I just got here and am trying to play catch up.

We won't make the contest but we want to create a Roku channel so thanks again for any help.
 
RokuPatrick

Re: Programmer needs Channel Setup Quick Start Help

Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:54 pm

We don't distribute or store content. Your channel would looks directly to your CDN for streaming.

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