Setting up a Roku Channel in the Kaltura Solution using Roku Direct Publisher

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Kaltura enables a quick Roku template applications launch based on MRSS feeds. This service is called "Direct Publisher" and is offered for free. The setup process is designed to be self-served on both the Roku and Kaltura systems.

The following topics are described:

Specifications

Feature

Type

Comments

Feed format

MRSS

 

Name in KMC Syndication List

Roku Direct Publisher

 

Streaming Format

HLS ABR

 

Metadata

Kaltura passes the following KMC fields:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Tags

 Titles and descriptions are mandatory fields.

Images

The default thumbnail should be 16:9 -

and at least:

800w x 450h

The MRSS will only include the thumbnail if it was marked as "default" in KMC.

Captions

Supported (in-progress)

Roku is fixing an issue on their end. Once complete, in-band captions will be supported and customers could simply upload DFXP or SRT to KMC.

Multi Audio

Not supported

 

Advertising

VAST 2.0

VAST 3.0

VMAP

Within Channel Builder, publishers are able to specify the ad server they wish to use or choose to work with Roku to monetize their content via Roku's Audience network (US Only).

 

Details on support for specified VAST for VMAP features can be found here:

http://sdkdocs.roku.com/display/sdkdoc/Roku+Advertising+Framework 

Analytics

Web-based by Roku

Publishers will have access to web-based channel and content-level analytics for each of their channels.  Publishers will also be able to export daily aggregated data in order integrate with other analytics and visualization tools. However, plays on Roku are not displayed under "plays" in the KMC analytics dashboard.

Search

Enabled

When you publishing a channel using Direct Publisher, the content becomes searchable via Roku Search (subject to Roku approval). 

DRM

Not supported

 

Global Coverage

 

Direct publisher channels can be made available in the following channel stores:

  • Unites States
  • Canada
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • United Kingdom

 

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Prerequisites

 You will need to have a Roku developer account set up. Go to this website to enroll for an account.

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Requirements and Limitations

The Kaltura MRSS feed refreshes automatically according to predefined intervals, based on the number of entries it includes:

Entries

Refresh time (in seconds)

50

900

100

1800

200

3600

400

7200

>400

Once per day

  • There is no way to refresh the feed manually.
  • Kaltura's MRSS feed is limited to 10K entries. For best performance (see above), it is recommended to include less than 400 entries.
  • The rule-based playlist is limited to 10K (can be extended).
  • Titles and descriptions are mandatory fields.
  • The mandatory thumbnail (16:9) should be marked as "default".
  • Roku does not support HTML in descriptions. Any links (from the KMS fields, for example) will be shown as plain text.
  • Currently, subscriptions, transactions or any type of authentication are not supported.
  • Roku can display up to 1,000 entries (25 category rows with 40 items per row)

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Creating a Direct Publisher Channel

  1. Create a Roku customer accountmy.Roku.com/signup.
  2. Enroll in the Roku Developer Program: developer.Roku.com/enrollment/standard.
  3. Enroll in Billing services (required for ad monetization): developer.Roku.com/enrollment/billing.
  4. Create a Direct Publisher channelhttps://developer.Roku.com/publish/channel-tutorial.
  5. Under the Feed URL, paste the syndication URL created by Kaltura. For Video Format,  choose HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).

    For additional information, see https://developer.roku.com/publish.

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Setting up a Roku Direct Publisher Feed in KMC

Publishing to the Roku Direct Publisher is based on an MRSS feed that is generated in the KMC. The allocation of content to the different categories in the Roku application is based on entry tags. See additional information in Step 2.

Step 1 (Optional) - Create a Dynamic Playlist within Kaltura

We recommend creating a rule-based playlist that will include the KMC categories and entries you may want to publish on Roku. With most publishers, only a number of categories in KMC include videos that should be publicly available. We suggest including only these videos in the playlist to improve performance; however, you can also skip Step 1 and simply create a mRSS feed that includes all the content in your account.

To create a playlist

  1. In the KMC, under Content, click Playlists.
  2. Add a Rule Based Playlist:
  3. Name the playlist (e.g., Public Videos - Roku).
  4. Under Filter by Categories, check all folders that include the content that you would like to publish on Roku.
  5. Below the playlist, set the order of the videos.
  6. Set a limit to the playlist results (up to 500 entries). This determines the maximum number of videos that would be published in Roku.
  7. Click Save.

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Step 2 - Prepare your Tags

When creating the category structure in Roku, you will be prompted to add tags for each one. These tags will be used by Roku to associate your KMC videos with the relevant category in the Roku app. We suggest using a simple naming schema that will make it easy for your editorial team to publish to Roku. For example, if you have a Roku category called "Tutorials", set "roku_tutorials" as the tag. 

Tip: It is recommended to create these tags and associate them with at least some videos, before creating the syndication feed. You can always add more tags later, but since the tags are pre-ingested by Roku when you create your application, it is better to create the tags early in the process.

Going back to the "Tutorials example", an way easy to publish all video under the KMC Tutorials category would be to filter for them in KMC, select all videos and under Bulk Actions click Add Tags and add "roku_tutorials" to all videos. You can also unpublish videos in bulk by removing this tag.

 

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Step 3 - Create a Content mRSS Feed in KMC

  1. In the KMC, under Content, click Syndication.
  2. Choose Create New Feed.
  3. Under Add Video Feed, name the feed (e.g., Roku Channel Feed).  
  4. Choose either to include all content in the account or  "only content from this playlist” (recommended).
  5. From the dropdown list, choose the playlist you created previously (for example, Public Videos - Roku).
  6. Under Feed Type select Roku Direct Publisher.
  7. Click Save.
  8. In the next screen under Syndication Feeds, you will find the Feed URLCopy and paste it. You will need it when setting up the channel within Roku.

About Direct Publisher Categories and Tags

When creating the categories in Roku, you will be prompted to add tags for each category. These tags will be used by Roku to publish your KMC videos in the right category within your Roku application. We suggest using a simple naming schema that will make it easy for your editorial team to publish to Roku. For example, if you have a content category called "Tutorials", set "roku_tutorials" as the publishing tag for the Roku category. As a result, when you add "roku_tutorials" to any video in your KMC, the video will be published in Roku under the Tutorials category. 

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