• How to use Roku with Wowza Streaming Engine

    This article provides basic instructions for packaging and uploading your application and creating a private channel on a Roku set-top box to stream video from Wowza Streaming Engine™ to the Roku device. Consult the documentation included with the Roku SDK for more information and supported video formats.

    Setting up a stream in Wowza Streaming Engine

    The Roku supports the Apple HTTPS Live Streaming (HLS) protocol. To get started, use one of the following tutorials to set up a video on demand or live stream for playback on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch):


    Notes:
    • You may need to configure your stream as a multi-bitrate stream as outlined in How to create Apple App Store compliant streams (audio only rendition).

    • If you experience playback problems, see How to switch between absolute and relative URLs in Apple https Live Streaming playlists. This article describes how to switch back to using absolute paths for iOS playlists. This has been fixed in recent Roku firmware updates.

    • If your stream only uses AC3 surround sound audio, set the Roku Audio mode (found in Settings > Audio > Audio) to Auto. If Audio is set to Stereo and the stream only contains AC3 audio, users unable to playback surround sound will not hear audio in the stream. Viewers can identify if their HDMI device can decode Dolby Digital AC3 surround sound by looking for a (DD) or (DD+) label next to the Auto setting. To increase accessibility of your stream, make sure you have both stereo and surround sound audio tracks in your stream.

    Setting up the Roku device and Roku SDK

    1. Get your Roku running and associate it with an online Roku account.

    2. In your online account, sign up for the developer program, and then download the Roku SDK (Software Development Kit) and unzip RokuSDK.zip.

    3. Navigate to the Packaging Your Application section of the Roku SDK documentation, and then follow the instructions to set up a DevID and Password. These credentials are used when packaging your application before uploading to a channel.

    4. Unzip the RokuSDK/examples/zips/simplevideoplayer.zip example and edit the simplevideoplayer/source/appMain.brs file as follows:

      1. Comment out the following lines using an apostrophe (') character:
        'urls = ["https://video.ted.com/talks/podcast/CraigVenter_2008_480.mp4"]
        'qualities = ["HD"]
        'StreamFormat = "mp4"
        'title = "Craig Venter Synthetic Life"
        'srt = "file://pkg:/source/craigventer.srt"
      2. Uncomment and modify the following lines so that the urls line matches the one below:
        ' Big Buck Bunny test stream from Wowza
        urls = ["https://wowzaec2demo.streamlock.net:1935/vod/smil:BigBuckBunny.smil/playlist.m3u8"]
        qualities = ["SD"]
        streamformat = "hls"
        title = "Big Buck Bunny"
        srt = ""
        Note: To play your own content, change the urls value to the playlist URL of your content.
    5. Select all files in the simplevideoplayer folder and compress these files (not the folder itself) into a zip file to upload to the Roku box.

    6. Follow the Run the package Utility instructions in the Packaging Your Application section of the Roku SDK documentation to upload your package zip file and register your application to the Roku player. After successfully uploading the application to the Roku box, the application will show up as a channel.

    After completing these steps, a prompt to run your application appears on your Roku box. After the application is running, you can refer to the Roku SDK documentation for information on how to set up a private channel and make it accessible to users to subscribe.

    Originally Published: 04-16-2011.
    Updated: For Wowza Streaming Engine on 06-08-2016.

    If you're having problems or want to discuss this article, post in our forum.