Developer Updates: Roku Publishing Platform

Roku Direct Publisher


October was a massive month for Roku developers, introducing several new tools that simplify the experience of developing, publishing, debugging, and monitoring Roku channels.

At a glance, the October updates include:

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Give us your feedback — take the 2016 Platform Survey!

Take the Roku Platform Survey!

As 2016 nears a close, the Roku Developer Relations team has already begun prioritizing our efforts for the coming year. To help inform our decision making, we’re asking all Roku developers and publishing partners to complete our 2016 Platform Survey.

Take the survey:

This 10-minute survey is your chance to directly tell us how we can better serve your needs as a developer on our platform! Our team is responsible for supporting the efforts of our developer community, including:

  • Writing SDK documentation
  • Building sample channels
  • Distributing developer tools
  • Creating instructional how-to guides
  • Resolving bugs
  • Offering developer support

How do you find news about our platform? Do you learn best through video tutorials, written guides, or picking apart a sample channel? By letting us know how you interact with our platform, we’ll be able to focus our efforts on the tools and communication channels you’re already tapped into.

Your feedback is important to us! Don’t miss this opportunity to tell us what aspects of our platform are working flawlessly and which can stand to be improved.

Help shape our platform in ten minutes by completing the Platform Survey.


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Join the Roku Beta Developer Program!

Join the Beta Developer Program!

There’s no better way to see how an OS performs than by actually using it. That’s why we are excited to open enrollment for the first time ever to the Roku Beta Developer Program! As of today, any developer with a public channel listed in the Roku Channel Store can begin receiving pre-release builds of Roku OS 7.5.

Beta OS access enables developers to test their channels for bugs before Roku OS is released to customers, ensuring your channel is properly optimized for the update when it launches. Developers in the program improve the Roku Platform by reporting bugs and making feature requests, which directly helps the Roku team prioritize our resources. Continue reading

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Developer Updates: September 2016

Mashup of screenshots from sample channels

In this update, we provide an overview of the latest tools for the Roku developer community. Read on for information about our year-end Channel Store blackout dates, our new sample channels repository, and developer guides to channel publishing.

Channel Store blackout notice

The channel certification process shuts down every December in observance of the year-end holidays. Accordingly, we ask that developers note the following dates:

  • Friday, November 18th, 2016: Submission deadline for channels to be reviewed before the Channel Store blackout begins
  • Thursday, December 15, 2016: Channel Store blackout date – No channels will be published or updated after this date
  • Monday, January 9th, 2017: Channel certifications resume as usual

Note also that channels will not be published or updated during the week of Thanksgiving (Friday, November 18th through Sunday, November 27th). Please plan appropriately. Continue reading

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Check out our collection of sample channels!

Centralized repository of all Roku sample channels and templates

Mashup of screenshots from sample channels


In order to help ensure developers stay on top of all our sample channels, we’ve added a Sample Channels Repository to our Roku Developers GitHub page. Whether you’re looking for a template to quickly publish your content on the Roku Platform or you’d just like to improve your BrightScript/SceneGraph expertise, we encourage you to “Star,” “Watch,” or bookmark this repo for easy access.

View the channel repo:

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Sample Channel: Menu overlay for video playback

Navigate a list of content without ending video playback

Screenshot of navigation bar during video playback

Our Custom Playback sample channel demonstrates how to allow viewers to navigate a list of content while still playing the video they are currently watching.

Download the sample here:


  • Pop-out playlist navigation that doesn’t interrupt the video player
  • The ability to set the list’s opacity
  • The ability to display the list immediately upon launching the channel

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Sample Channel: Content grid with featured row

Utilize various content displays for multiple RSS feeds on the same screen

Screenshot of hero row


Our Hero Grid sample channel demonstrates how to build a channel UI that includes multiple display types on the same landing page. We encourage developers to use this template as a starting point for building a conventional UI to better structure the way their content is presented.

Download the template here:

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Guide + Sample: SDK1 channels to Roku SceneGraph

Use this sample channel to migrate off our legacy SDK



Many of the older channels on the Roku Platform were built using a now-outdated sample template called “VideoPlayer,” which makes use of our legacy SDK. Today we’re introducing a sample channel and migration guide to update these channels to SceneGraph, our front-end XML framework. Roku encourages developers to start using Roku SceneGraph in the interest of creating performant channels on the platform.

Get started at

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Sample Channel: Multiple live streams in one channel

Use this sample to publish a channel containing multiple live feeds



Today we’re releasing “Multi-Live,” a new sample channel that includes support for several live streams in one channel. The sample channel can be downloaded at our github account.


  • The channel comes pre-integrated with the Roku Ad Framework
  • When multiple live streams are present, a lower third navigation tray is visible for switching between feeds.
  • Older devices (Roku 1, 2, etc) have extra performance support for getting through certification
  • Custom icons can be loaded in the live stream navigation bar. Continue reading
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Guide to channel publishing

How to distribute channels on the Roku Platform

My Channels dashboard screenshot


Once a Roku channel has been designed, developed and thoroughly tested, the final step is publishing on the Roku Platform. The following guide goes over the channel distribution models available on the Roku Platform and how to:

  1. Difference between public and private channels
  2. Create a public channel
  3. Create a private channel
  4. Update an existing channel

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