How Roku is revolutionizing Internet TV

How Roku is revolutionizing Internet TV

I’ve been on the Roku bandwagon for 2 years now.   I love my Roku.  My wife loves our Roku.  My daughter loves her Roku.  I bought one for my brother-in-law, he loves it!

So what is a Roku?

A Roku is a small device (about 3″x3″) that connects to your WiFi and your TV.   Even the most novice computer user can have this box streaming online content in about a minute.

Costing only $49.99 for the basic model (which is more than enough for most users) it is value priced and very simple.   That is where the true secret of Roku shines… it’s simplicity.

The unit comes with basic online services like Netflix, Crackle and Vimeo.  Then to blow it out of the park, Roku allows small companies to start their own channels!

Just click to the “Channel Store” and select a channel from over 450 different selections.

So what does this have to do with web talk shows?

Imagine being able to record a video podcast, upload it to a server from where it is broadcast to millions of set top boxes around the world.  Free of content restrictions, just pure creative freedom.  This is the world of Roku.

One barrier to the world of online streaming has been the lack of software to stream content easily to these devices.   Usually you need to higher a web developer to build the backend system, an app developer to build the Roku app and a specially trained staff member to keep content up to date.

I actually searched for months for software that the “average joe” could purchase that provided content to Internet connected televisions.  Most where either terribly restrictive or just not functional for a professional level production.

Enter Robotic Video XML

Roku is very open to how the device accepts content.   Using XML as a data storage medium and a video hosting service (I use Vimeo Pro), I was able to push content out to my channel with relative ease.

After perfecting the routines, I formed a new WordPress plugin known as RoVidX which adds a simple layer for a Roku app to connect to your WordPress installation.

I even include a Roku application template that you easily edit, test and upload to Roku’s channel store!  No coding experience necessary!

To top it off, I also included a step-by-step training series that teaches you how to setup your plugin, test your Roku app and publish it to there channel store.

Where does Roku go in 2014 and beyond?

I’m guessing straight up.  I heard the name Roku in 3 different conversations on radio programs this week.  Everyone is buzzing about this device.

With the announcement that YouTube is finally returning to Roku (only on the Roku 3 currently), it seems big things are in the works for this year and the new mantra of “Cord-cutting” (ie: getting rid of cable TV) is going to be one of 2014’s hot topics.

We, the content creators, need to seize the moment and get our content to the masses.  Hollywood is on the ropes and it’s our turn to shine.


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