Channels for Roku?

I think you misunderstand my point. I'm not defending the Roku OS - I'm remarking that Roku has 30% of the market. That's about 2x what any other streaming device has. I'm sorry that Emby has streaming troubles on Roku but Plex works flawlessly and does pretty much exactly the same thing -- so it's not entirely on the Roku OS, right? There are loads of apps that can and do leverage that OS to great success - you can't simply blame Roku.

Anyway - I'm not here trying to tell channels what to do. As I said in my previous post, they have a great product that does something no one else does - and does it really well.

You said it your self " it does something NO ONE else in the marketplace is doing "

It is not to hard to understand that a software, or a given product, that does one specific or special thing, can only do so on a supported OS or hardware device.

I can't take a ECU from a Dodge Viper and use it a Geo Metro.....both are automobiles, it should "just work" right? wrong.

You say just because X app works, then your app should work.
That is not always the case and thus you can not just blame the developer.

The MS Store/Metro app platform, another case of limitations.
I mentioned Emby, again, the Metro is very basic, and limited in functionally compared to
its other platforms versions. Why, cause the platform is limited. Why are the devs not still working in it and decided to abandon it? Cause they tried at it, hit impassable walls trying to make it work the same as other platforms, and got many user complaints, so they stopped.

Maybe I am wrong, but far as i understand, technical limitations of the OS was the reason given as to why there is no useable Channels DVR app for Roku.
The devs can correct me or feel free to post, yet again, why they do not see Roku is worth their time.

Far as I recall, the devcies are not powerful enough hardware and or/ do not support custom media players and Channels DVR needs special codec support for the old legacy mpeg2 for OTA playback.

I tried the top of line Roku, and found it too slow, laggy, and limited.
Could not play my local media with out issues and did not have the app support i need.
Really liked the remote with headphone jack though. lol.

This thread been a thing since 2017.
Roku has not really changed much.
maybe devs might re-visit making a Roku app...some day.

Also, Plex is terrible, imo. Many users here are x plex users.
I had nothing but issues with it and also think its ugly and not very intuitive. (but that is a different topic)

And i am not so sure about Roku being so popular.
I have rarely seen them in use, aside form coming on cheap small tvs.
I see so so many Fire TV users and Apple TV user more than anything.
Also, the 30% market share you claim, is before the recent release of the TiVo Stream 4k device and Googles TV device. Android TV has greatly become far more popular than it once was.

I would like to add....that i very much do wish Channels DVR app on Roku would be a thing.

While I personally cant use Roku due to its limitations do not fit my IS a OS for techy dummies...perfect for my elderly family members.

Though, the TS4K with its remote with the numbers on it, took the place of that need, as my elderly parents can not understand how to use most any smart tv or navigate to open apps, they just press the numbers on the remote to tune to the channel they want.
U can't do that with Roku(or Apple Tv), and, far as I tried, does not reliably work with limited selection of third party remotes. I can plug in any usb RF remote to my Shield or other Android TVs and it works perfect.

Yes they can, because Roku only allows playback via their own media player, and their media player does not support MPEG-2/H.262 video, which is what most North American TV broadcasts are. Some Roku devices did support this codec, but not all. And even fewer do presently.

So the issue actually is that Roku's ecosystem is the reason why you cannot have a proper Channels app on that platform.

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I didn’t realize that Roku had a proprietary player. How do apps like a plex or Jellyfin handle live TV ?

Would an internal codec of some kind solve these issues for channels ?

Transcode it. Which might be an options for Channels, except that:

  1. It would lose one of Channels' key features which is its ability to quickly start a stream from a tuner.
  2. Not every Channels user has the DVR server. Channels supports direct streaming from HDHR tuners, which is not possible for the majority of channels.

That's the whole problem. The list of codecs that Roku's player uses does not include MPEG-2. Having it "internal" to the Channels app makes no sense, because Roku's player can't use it.

Also, to further complicate matters, Roku requires apps on their platform be written in their own programming language (BrightScript), which is like a mashup of several different languages, but without the best features of any of them.

In short, Roku is a crappy platform to develop for, requires massive compromises to make a program like Channels work on it, and overall the platform does not allow for the features/experience that the developers want their users to have. Sure, Roku may have the largest market share, but being in a race to bottom just for eyeballs is a poor way to deliver a great experience.

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So now you realize, after many many attempts to inform you, that Roku really doesn’t have a great product, nor do they do it well, but one thing you did say was correct - the only thing they do correct that no one else does it like Roku - suck like Roku.

$12 for a streamer is the only reason they have a large base, because people have no idea what they are buying, all they see is $12.

Roku is an ad company that sells an ad machine that people religiously defend as the best because they have no idea how crappy it is until multiple threads like this pop up as to why “can’t I have channels on this thing!!! Everything else is on it””. This thread, many before it and many after it is proof.

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I think it's unfair to say that Roku sucks. No it isn't a Shield. I've one of both, my Roku is an Ultra. If I didn't care about anything but watching from the apps Roku is fine. In fact it reminds me of Mac works, you don't need to know how, there's not much that can go wrong. Super simple. If you want anything else or you need to tinker you need a machine that you can move pieces and parts, add things and experiment. Sort of like a PC. Yes, you can have headaches and get confused but in the end it's the only way to get to the promised land.

Just my two cents.

My hope is that Roku will step up their game in the future and get away from their proprietary development language and the other restrictions that have been mentioned here. As the competition in the space continues to heat up, I think they will be under more and more pressure to do so.

Must admit after being given a free streambar I am very impressed. The hdhomerun clients works very well too - so I guess it is capable of direct playing live tv.

Sounds like a mode that supports mpeg2

UK content is mpeg2 for SD and h.264 for HD. Both work well and deinterlace correctly.

meawhile, you've all made me rethink my streaming life choices. buying myself an Nvidia shield today to play with it and figure out if it's the right fit for me.

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If you are not tied to the Android ecosystem, or plan on doing much Android gaming on the TV, you may want to look more closely at an Apple TV. I find that things tend to work better overall. And if you are using it for Channels, new features are always delivered first to Apple clients.

(While price is usually a consideration when choosing a streaming device, the Shield and Apple TV are competitively priced to one another, obviating that distinction.)

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I did the same last summer, Roku just can't handle timeshifting. Plex and Emby are useless for timeshifting also, and I consider it a must-have feature for watching sports.

I have RokuTVs that can decode mpeg2.

I would love to see channelsDVR come on over. I also use Philo and see the integration. I would love to use it.

When it comes to Philo does it record locally or does it just trigger Philo to record to their cloud?


Channels DVR uses the network web site to stream live TV and record live TV. Philio is not used, just your login credentials.

Ah ok. Cool. That is great to hear. I hope they can eventually come to the Roku. I know they're not the fastest, but work with HDHomeRun alright.

Does your Roku work OK with the HDHomeRun app? My TCL Roku TV consistently stopped playing mid-stream whenever I was watching anything from the HDHomeRun. I was lucky if it would play more than 5 minutes without it stopping. I thought maybe it was a network issue, but an Android TV dongle attached to the same TV had no such problems. This was a few months ago - haven't tried the Roku interface since.

My HDHomeRun actually just died on me, but yes when it was working I had no problems. It worked with the HDHR App, Plex, and JellyFin. I didn't have Plex set to transcode tho since the mpeg2 is quite large when using Wifi on the other side of my house.