On the 24th February Roku will be removing my private channels. This includes the unofficial FilmOn, TVPlayer and TVCatchup apps.
The developer scene has changed at Roku since I first worked on this project over 5 years ago. Private channels have gone, and have now been replaced with beta apps. With these you can only have 20 beta testers and apps expire after 120 days.
If you wish to submit a channel to appear for everyone you need to complete certification and as all of my apps involved streams that were never my intellectual property I have no plans to submit them for approval.
It may still be possible to “sideload” the app via the Developer Settings on your own Roku. It’s been years since I’ve needed to do it, but the instructions can be found here.
The zip files which contain the Brightscript code can still be downloaded from my Google Drive, and you are welcome to reuse the code, if you manage to get anything working feel free to let me know.
TVPlayer.1.8.12.zip (this app hasn’t worked for years, but code is available to view)
So over the last few weeks FilmOn have,
a) restricted the free streams to only 4 minutes
b) blocked those outside of the UK from accessing the main UK channels.
Continue reading Latest FilmOn Update
Couple of recent updates.
NOW TV have chosen to block the dev channel slot on their hardware. I respect their choice, but this does mean that the FilmOn app will be removed if you have it installed.
Several people have asked for a work around or suggestions, the answer is to get a full Roku.
Not only can you install the FilmOn app without the need for dev mode you also get Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. I migrated from the NOW TV small black boxes to the Roku 2
. Hardware wise they are identical. The only thing you’ll be missing from a NOW TV box is Sky Sports News HQ, Sky Sports Box Office and for some reason the BOX Plus.
Continue reading NOWTV Dev Channel and FilmOn abroad
When FilmOn made their changes last month they blocked a loophole which allowed users to watch the higher quality (note, I’m not going to call them HD as I feel they aren’t high enough to have that label) streams without the need to have a premium FilmOn account.
Several people requested that I support being able to login to FilmOn to reach the better streams, so today I’m please to announce version 2.0.8 of my FilmOn app.
You can now login with your FilmOn email address and password and if you have an active pro account watch the higher quality streams.
Continue reading FilmOn Higher Quality
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.
Continue reading FilmOn on Roku and NOW TV boxes, an update
UPDATE: At present changes made by TVPlayer have blocked the streams from loading.
However I’ve created an alternative app using FilmOn feeds.
Latest Version: FilmOn 1.5.1 Sideloadable ZIP / Roku Private Channel
So I set myself the challenge of building an app for Roku, and thought it couldn’t be too hard to get either TVCatchup or TVPlayer working could it.
Turns out that TVCatchup is pretty simple and within 2 hours I had a working example built.
However their selection of channels isn’t great and I wanted Dave as we don’t get that with Freesat and have no aerial on the house for Freeview.
TVPlayer have at least some level of protection around their stream URLs, however after watching traffic within Chrome and also over the mobile app I worked out a way to get the streams playing.
So if you want TVPlayer on your Roku or NOW TV box you can use my unofficial app.
For Roku just use the private channel arteseatvp, or on NOW TV you can sideload* the ZIP file
*To sideload an app on to your NOW TV box you’ll need to enable the Developer Mode and push the file via a browser. I’ll do a blog post on the exact method, but this Engadget guide should help.
To the TVPlayer devs, if you need any help building your own app drop me a line, I can tell you why the UKTV feeds fail to work without intervention.
April Update: As per the red box above, TVPlayer streams are currently blocked, however you can use the FilmOn app instead.
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