So yesterday I began to get reports from users that streams would no longer play, this occurred around 16:30 (GMT) as I was preparing to leave work to head home. Once I arrived home I could see that some of the tricks previously used to generate the m3u8 urls returned an error from the FilmOn servers.
I quickly built some new code which used more of their API and successfully allowed me to watch most of the channels, this was the 1.5.0 release at 19:15.
Again reports came in of issues for some channels with the new “Unable to fetch stream URL” error message that I added. I could only replicate this issue with BBC News, Really and some of the french channels. I was able add some more code which fixed this issue for me and 1.5.1 was released at 21:25.
Users outside of the UK continue to report they can’t watch UK stations, whilst those who can watch the channels get the streams stopping after 2 minutes.
It’s my belief that FilmOn yesterday applied some changes after pressure from the UK broadcasters.
- Non UK users can no longer request UK stream
- Several channels have been completely removed (Dave)
- A loophole which allowed you to watch the high quality streams without paying has been patched.
An updated version 1.5.2 was pushed to Roku at 20:10 on today, this downgraded the streams to low-res, but they continue to play for longer than 2 minutes.
Version 1.6.0 has now been released which hides channels which FilmOn won’t let you watch in your region (most of the UK channels if you are in America) if you have a Roku you can force an update by visiting Settings -> System -> System update -> Check now. If you use a NOW TV box you can download the zip to sideload.
6th Nov update 1.6.1 is now available in the Roku store, this includes a work around for those who were restricted from viewing the UK channels. A big thanks to those who help provide debug logs and tested the app for me last night.
11th Nov update 1.7.1 is now available both as a ZIP or an update on the Roku store. This should fix the “Unable to fetch a session key” error message, however their API is very slow tonight and requests may timeout resulting in different error messages. I suggest to keep trying.
12th Nov update I’ve worked out why 1.7.1 wasn’t working on NOW TV boxes, turns out the request URL returns a CURL error on older Roku firmware. I’ve worked around this via the backend call and I can now watch on my NOW TV boxes. But I’ve also updated the app to 1.7.2 to help with some of the error messages. It has been pushed to Roku or can be downloaded as a ZIP.
A couple of extra patches have been rolled out. 1.7.7 is the latest version, ZIP file here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B787MtHYmgPnZDhBTG5mM3JWOE0 or update will be available via Roku. It fixes a bug for users in America which caused the app to crash, and a bug for everyone when they went towards the French channels in the channel list.
If you can’t see any of the UK channels, if you visit About within the app can you please let me know the Log Code you see.
22nd Nov update 1.7.8 contains a fix which I though had already been patched for a couple of missing lines which caused the app to crash on low res screens, and occasionally on other devices (I don’t believe the block of code is actually required at all, but don’t have time to check through to make sure it’s safe to remove). ZIP file is available here https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B787MtHYmgPnYVdiWUxZVlEyYkk, already up on the Roku store and most likely you already have it.
Finally, I built this app in my own time and support it by myself. I spent the whole of last night trying to fix these issues instead of playing with my children. The app has no adverts and according to my Roku developer dashboard, last month nearly 2.5 million minutes were watched where as the total donations received were just $10. So if you want to help, you can make a donation via this page blog.artesea.co.uk/donate.