Maybe How to Use Roku

I just discovered Channels and am very interested in it.

Right now, I'm still committed to Tivo and Comcast since Tivo is installed and paid for. I'm using some used lifetime Tivo equipment combined with PlayOn. It seems Channels is a next generation PlayOn if I understand the bits and pieces I read about Channels.

Channels is definitely where I will go next after what I am currently using looks old. $80/year is just fine for easy delivery combined with the extra it offers.

That being said, it still needs a little smoothing out so it can become wife-pleasing. I have a 24/7 home Windows server for media and more. Channels looks like it can provide a nice interface to anything I may want to see with one big exception.

Currently PlayOn has a Roku app. It appears to be an interface to the PlayOn server. Basically it's a media player with commercial skip for anything I have already recorded. I think it uses VLC for media player duties. The Roku app is basically an interface. I'm pretty sure the Window's PC does much of the work.

If Channels only concentrated on using Roku for playing apps, as opposed to using Roku as a mini pc, then Channels would have a much wider potential customer base.

Perhaps it would require Channels for file servers and Channels for PCs as two separate offerings?

As I understand PlayOn, it basically records streamed/video content from a computer, essentially by recording a portion of a computer's display. Is this wildly incorrect?

On the other hand, Channels is primarily a DVR for HDHomeRun network tuners. If you need information about HDHR, check out A network tuner takes OTA or cable television broadcasts in ATSC, DVB-T, DVB-T2, ClearQAM, encrypted QAM (with a paired CableCARD), and DVB-C, and offers that video stream as a MPEG Transport Stream accessible on your home network.

Recently, Channels has added support for TV Everywhere streams, which are OTT streams provided with your qualifying and authorized login to access cable streams, which are additionally available via the providing channel's internet site. If a TVE-participating network does not offer a live stream via their website, it will not be available in Channels.

More recently, Channels has begun to offer Locast streams in their DVR, too. Locast is a non-profit that distributes local OTA TV streams over the internet, based upon your local TV market.

The problem with offering a Roku channel, is that Roku has only recently begun to support MPEG-2 video, and most OTA streams are provided as MPEG-2. This is a shortcoming with Roku's platform and not something that is easily worked around.

I'm referring to playing recorded videos with commercial skip. Also, playing apps as job #2. It would take something a little more sophisticated than DLNA for the recorded videos. The commercial skip is the biggest problem. the MPEG-2 problem is unrelated to this.

Playon has nothing to do with recording a video as you watch it. You record on demand or schedule for later, both from the provider's host site. Just like it seems Channels offers although Channels offers live DVR capability also. Playon offers less flexibility and has a lot of maintenance issues with providers ... lots of fixes to keep it running. Annoying, but not a major problem.

PlayOn also operates as a DVR. I record from it frequently for later playback. I rarely use Tivo as a DVR anymore. Channels seems to be an advancement over PlayOn except for this little issue.

I'm sorry, but I'm finding your post difficult to follow.

Perhaps if you were more explicit about what goal you are trying to achieve, and what your specific difficulties and/or problems are, perhaps someone can offer the answer you are looking for.

Use Channels to play recordings with commercial skip using Roku. The MPEG-2 issue is not a problem if thought through properly.

Other improvements are welcome. PlayOn is a good example to follow and improve on. PlayOn can do much of what Channels does, but the descriptions here makes Channels look like a superior follow on if the Roku issue can be resolved.

Except, it is. If not all Roku devices support MPEG-2 recorded content, and the majority of content received and recorded by Channels is MPEG-2, then there is a disconnect.

While some content will work with some Roku devices, for a shipping product (like Channels), the goal is for it to work for all content for all devices. Commercial skipping is secondary to being able to even play to content in the first place.

Primary development effort seems to be focused on existing platform support—meaning iOS, tvOS, and Android (including Android TV and Amazon FireOS-based devices). Posted in the Beta forum is a link to an alpha-quality Roku channel from the developers from nearly 2 years ago I believe.

Commercial Skip is Goal 1 for playing of recorded TV programs on multiple platforms, including the #1 platform .... Roku. It's not worth much without it. It's a niche product without easy delivery. I would have no use for it.

Rather than make excuses for why it can't be done, just figure it out. Someone else already has.

We are a small team and don't have the resources to invest in Roku apps right now. If Roku support is important for you then Channels is not the right product. This may change in the future, but that's just the way it is right now. We have great apps for the Apple TV, Android TV and FireTV devices.

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Thank you. I'll look in now and then.

Channels has more potential than you may realize. Delivery is the nut to crack down the road. This means access to materials, which your web site clearly shows you are on top of.

Then Delivery beyond Fire to the living room TV is key for you to becoming the next big thing. Seriously. All it would take is a different approach to Delivery, as opposed to Access / Recording.

PlayOn understands Delivery well, but access is not as advanced as yours.

Can't Channels DVR transcode the MPEG-2 content to MPEG-4 or another (roku friendly) format? I have no troubles playing MPEG-2 on my Roku Ultra's, but I understand some of the older roku devices do.

I guess it is a moot point if the developers don't want to, or don't have the means to support a full featured roku app. It's just a shame as Roku is by far the most popular streaming device (41 million devices in the US). That's more than double the next closest streaming device competitor.

I have to imagine there is some other issue going on that just compatibility. I don't see why a company (no matter how small) would exclude the largest share of the market. Surely adding new features wouldn't increase revenue as much as adding full support the most popular streaming device?