DIY Roku Channel


Many of us wonder how we might distribute our films when we make them. Youtube is a good choice, Roku is another.

I got a Roku and within a day I got my own channel running. It wasn't terribly hard. I haven't published it, but it works on my Roku Stick. There is some stuff with monetization that I haven't tested out.

What you need

A Roku Device
A Roku Account
A Server with your video files.(if you want to do tests you can use an account)

Sign up for the developers section

Now all you need to do is make your graphics. Which is pretty simple and not hard to figure out. You can use the example pictures and probably get away with making them in Paint. Or whatever graphic program you want. The Roku site tells you the dimensions.

The hard part is the feed. A feed is simply a bunch of URLS with descriptions. Here is an example feed.

The example feed is not terribly readable. I used this address to re-parse the code into a readable state.

When you make changes you can upload the feed to the same place as the sample feed. Or your server, however you want to do it.

My advice is test this feed out and then go through the code and change the URL addresses. Feeds are pretty simple to code.

This is documentation on this.

These addresses helped me out

I have it mostly figured out. If you're working on a Roku page and need help then let me know. I'll try to help. Mainly all I've done is replace the twitch link with a link the Night of the Living Dead. But that's all you really need to do.
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Does this mean you can set up your own pay per view channel & then charge people who want to see the videos you put on there?


Yes you can set up your own pay per view channel.

But, the help I have on it is the simple set up. I only just started messing with this a few days ago.

There are two types of channels. Ones you program yourself, and a sort of Template type channel.

When you program it yourself you can do whatever you want. I've seen all sorts of different models of Roku channel.

When you use the template channel you have the option to have commercials, which you can get a revenue stream from. The template channel is called a Roku Direct Publisher channel.

I've only set up a direct publisher channel. I haven't got to the advanced levels of programming the channel myself. I haven't published or put commercials on the channel. I have a working channel though. I just don't have much in the way of content to be able to publish a channel.

If you're curious I can help set you up with graphics and some experimental feed programming if you can point me to the urls where the video files are.
Here is a link to a TXT file that I made that has the code to where it is readable. Making changes to it is pretty simple.

All you need to do is change the descriptions, the titles, the picture urls, the tags, the video urls, and then you have your own custom roku channel. Also, I think you can id things how you want. I haven't played around with that. The id system is supposed to be your own internal book keeping deal.

So, yeah if you have some content put commercials on and you can see some money. If you want to have like a pre-paid netflix type service you'll have to go a little deeper than I've been.
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Now this is a really cool idea. We used to have an IndieTalk YouTube coalition of sorts to cross promote each others' content. I could see an IT Roku channel. That would be cool.