I don't understand why There is no Channels Client for Roku

Why isn't there a channels client for Roku like there is for Plex which basically does the same thing as Channels does?

Roku devices do not have built-in storage or a DVR feature"

This makes no sense as I only use the client to connect to the server and to choose what shows to record and watch.

Read the many threads on the subject. The short answer is that the Roku platform is insufficient to support Channels. The developers have given it a hard pass. I don’t see that changing unless Roku changes.

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This has been explained in many places. I’ll summarize here:

  1. We are a small team of 3 people.
  2. Roku development can not share any of the work we’ve already done like android and iOS/tvOS can. This includes our custom video player.
  3. Roku development uses a specific scripting language that we don’t find very inspiring.
  4. Roku hardware is not particularly good. While it can decode h.264 fine, it can’t do mpeg2 well at all which means it will always have to be transcoded, which means it wouldn’t have Channels’ most unique features, which is direct playback without resources being used in the server.
  5. We just generally do not like Roku or their business model and are not a very friendly shepherd of their platform.

I could go on and on but don’t feel like I actually need to.


Firestick might be a cheap, viable alternative.

Home Depot $49.99

Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote


We don’t suggest the cheapest fire tv sticks either as they are very slow and bad hardware too. Stick with the latest 4k stick amazon sells.

While they can work, we get the support emails, and boy do people’s mileage vary.

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Thanks for the explanation. I just started exploring Channels and it's an impressive platform. I especially like the integration with streaming services and the HD Homerun devices. I've been using SageTV for many years but it's getting long in the tooth. Plex looks good but there's no streaming integration.


I was a long time Roku user and was also frustrated that there wasn’t a Channels client. I ended up buying a couple TiVo Stream 4K‘s since they’re very reasonably priced and started using Channels with those. They were OK but got …frustrating for a variety of reasons though Channels itself ran fine. I ended up going all AppleTV haven’t looked back. Not sure if the Stream 4K’s are any better now. I keep mine around to tinker with but haven’t used them much lately.

I don’t have as much recent experience with the FireTV’s but my advice is to go wired Ethernet over wireless if at all possible.

Apple is polarizing for some people for whatever reason and yes even with the lowered pricing they are expensive but in my experience ATV’s are worth the price not just for the improved Channels experience; most everything runs better (for me anyhow).

And you can pick a refurbished ATV 4K 2nd gen for ~$100.


A Roku app would be worth your time to produce. Plex runs on Roku. I would also suggest that you explore writing an Xbox app. The HDhomerun app runs better on Xbox than on Roku.

Thanks but we're not writing any more new apps.


TIL: Roku devices do not support IPv6 at all. No version of their OS has ever supported it, it looks like there aren't any plans to do any time soon. From Daring Fireball:

Yet another reason to stay away from them.

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It sucks because everybody in my family has a Roku at their TV, but oh, well. As much as I hate to spend money twice it looks like I'm going to have to start looking for some Apple TVs.

Seems like many people in this thread don't get the concept that the Roku is not capable of doing the things that make Channels DVR such a premium product. They could dumb it down so it could use the proprietary Roku streamer, but then it would be a pile of crap.

We don't need another pile of crap media center in the mix when we already have Plex and Emby to screw up our timeshifting fun.

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That is your opinion about EMBY but I have no problem time shifting and setting up my My Movie Collections automatically. I more or less use Channels DVR as a backend to EMBY because it does not have profiles or automatic movie collections.

Recording worked fine on Emby, only as long as I played it back after the recording was done. Even then the stopping and starting was almost as slow as channel changing, which was horrendous.

If I am watching sports, pretty much 99% of my need for a DVR, pausing and restarting after a leak or a beer/fridge run failed miserably pretty much every time.

Emby works great as my movie or video player.