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Note also that channels will not be published or updated during the week of Thanksgiving (Friday, November 18th through Sunday, November 27th).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

Continue reading

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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

Continue reading

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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:

Continue reading

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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

Continue reading

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Developer Tutorial: Building a podcast channel

Audio creators can easily bring their content to the Roku platform

Screenshot of StarTalk Radio podcast channel

StarTalk – © 2016 Curved Light Productions. All Rights Reserved

The introduction of smart cars and “connected living rooms” have led to a 25% increase in podcast listening since 2015, with over 57 million Americans listening to podcasts monthly. In response, we’ve built a sample podcast channel that publishers, content creators, and developers can easily modify to quickly get their own podcasts on the Roku platform.

To get started building your own podcast channel, start by cloning our sample channel from GitHub. Continue reading

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Guide to in-app billing with the ChannelStore node

Integrating Roku Billing with SceneGraph channels

Roku Billing transaction flow


ChannelStore node is now available with the release of Roku OS 7.2. This component allows developers to utilize Roku Billing Services to monetize with in-channel purchases, as well as monthly and annual subscriptions.

The transaction flow is as follows:

  1. Set up a purchase
  2. Check to make sure the product has not already been purchased
  3. Create and submit the purchase

The firmware handles most of the transaction flow and the channel only needs to initiate the purchase and process whether the transaction was successful or not.

Those already familiar with the roChannelStore component will find many of the existing features are available in the ChannelStore node, with the added benefits of:

  • The ability to embed a ChannelStore node in SceneGraph
  • No longer having to create the roChannelStore instance in the main BrightScript thread or in a task thread
  • No longer having to set up a MessagePort for ChannelStore events Continue reading
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Developer Tutorial: Creating Screensavers with SceneGraph

Entertain your viewers with custom screensavers

Sample Screensaver


Screensavers are simply channels designed to be customizable display screens that can be played in the background. Screensavers use the same features as any other channel to design a UI; all they require is a different entry point from the main(). With the release of OS 7.2, screensavers can now be created in SceneGraph for flexible and customizable UIs and animations.

Continue reading

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