How to Configure Automatic Playback

Automatic Playback, also known as AutoPlay, allows Roku channel developers to play back multiple video and/or audio content items sequentially without any distracting Springboard screens. Optionally, the on-screen buffering progress bar and transport (Fast-Forward, Rewind, Pause) control indicators can be removed. Any Horizontal List, Vertical List, Series, or MRSS feed can be converted to AutoPlay with only a few mouse clicks. An entire channel can be converted to AutoPlay too.

Your Instant TV Channel account Developer Mode must be set to Advanced in order to view or change AutoPlay settings. You can change the Developer Mode from the Instant TV Channel Account page.

There are five Content Editor parameters that control AutoPlay: AutomaticPlay, AutomaticPlayBookmark, AutomaticPlayControls, AutomaticPlayBuffering, and AutomaticPlayText.

Directions for configuring AutoPlay for selected content within a Roku channel:

  1. From the Content Editor, select an existing Horizontal List, Vertical List, Series, or MRSS Feed by clicking on the yellow folder or orange RSS icon in the upper left hand window.
  2. Scroll down the parameter list until you see the AutomaticPlay parameters.
  3. Choose an AutomaticPlay setting:
    • Off - Do not enable Automatic Play. This is the default setting.
    • Once - Play all items in the list once, then stop. The remote UP and BACK keys exit the list. A single blue arrow is overlayed onto the folder icon .
    • Repeat - Continuously play all items in the list. After the last item in the list is played, start over at the first item. The remote UP and BACK keys exit the list. A double blue arrow is overlayed onto the folder icon .
    • Repeat No Exit - Continuously play all items in the list. After the last item in the list is played, start over at the first item. The list can only be exited if the remote HOME key is pressed. The remote UP and BACK keys advance to the next item in the list. A double blue arrow is overlayed onto the folder icon .
    • Schedule - Play all items in the list according to a schedule. The remote UP and BACK keys exit the list. The folder icon is replaced with a clock icon . For more information please see the Automated Linear Playout Scheduling walk-through.
  4. Choose an AutomaticPlayBookmark setting:
    • True - When the list is selected playback will start with the item that was being played when the list was last exited.
    • False - When the list is selected playback will start with the first video or audio content item in the list. If the list is exited and then re-entered, playback will again start with the first item in the list.
  5. Choose an AutomaticPlayControls setting:
    • full - All remote control transport functions are enabled, including pause, fast-forward and rewind. The buffering progress bar is displayed. The buffering message text format options are not available. A bug/watermark overlay is not displayed.
    • pause+skip - The remote control pause button is enabled. The fast-forward button skips ahead to the next video. The rewind button skips back to the previous video. The buffering progress bar is not displayed. Several buffering message text format options are available to control how an optional buffering message is displayed. The HDOverlayUrl and SDOverlayUrl parameters can be used to specify a bug/watermark overlay to be displayed on top of the video.
    • pause - The remote control pause button is enabled. The fast-forward and rewind buttons are disabled. The buffering progress bar is not displayed. Several buffering message text format options are available to control how an optional buffering message is displayed. The HDOverlayUrl and SDOverlayUrl parameters can be used to specify a bug/watermark overlay to be displayed on top of the video.
    • none - The remote control pause, fast-forward and rewind buttons are disabled. The buffering progress bar is not displayed. Several buffering message text format options are available to control how an optional buffering message is displayed. The HDOverlayUrl and SDOverlayUrl parameters can be used to specify a bug/watermark overlay to be displayed on top of the video.
  6. Choose an AutomaticPlayBuffering setting:
    • show no text - Do not show any text while the videos are buffering.
    • show content Title - Show the Title text while the videos are buffering. This is the default setting.
    • show content ShortDescriptionLine1 - Show the ShortDescriptionLine1 text while the videos are buffering.
    • show content ShortDescriptionLine2 - Show the ShortDescriptionLine2 text while the videos are buffering.
    • show AutomaticPlayText - Show the text of the AutomaticPlayText parameter while the videos are buffering.
  7. Optionally change the AutomaticPlayText parameter text. The default text is "Please wait, buffering...". This text is displayed while the video is buffering when AutomaticPlayBuffering is set to show AutomaticPlayText.
  8. If AutomaticPlayControls is not set to full, then several additional buffering message parameters are available. These parameters determine how the buffering message is displayed.
    • AutomaticPlayTextColor - The color of the buffering message text.
    • AutomaticPlayTextSize - The size of the buffering message text.
    • AutomaticPlayTextHAlign - The horizontal position of the buffering message text.
    • AutomaticPlayTextVAlign - The vertical position of the buffering message text. One or more %0a linefeed characters can be added to the beginning or the end of the AutomaticPlayText parameter to adjust the vertical position of the text higher or lower on the display.
  9. Playback always starts at the beginning of the content item, regardless of whether the item was partially played.
  10. Bug overlays are never displayed over preroll and postroll advertisements.

An entire channel can be configured to start playing immediately when it is selected from the main Roku channel list. No button clicks are required after the channel is started. The channel must be a Classic, Vertical or Series type.

Directions for configuring AutoPlay for an entire Roku channel:

  1. From the Content Editor, select the top-most yellow folder.
  2. In the parameter list, set AutomaticPlay to once to play the channel content once then exit to the main Roku channel list Home screen. Or, set AutomaticPlay to repeat to continuously loop through the channel content.
  3. Set the remaining AutomaticPlay parameters as desired. The default settings will work for most situations.
  4. Playback always starts at the beginning of the content item, regardless of whether the item was partially played.

AutoPlay items can be mixed with non-AutoPlay items. For example, assume that a Horizontal List with AutomaticPlay enabled contains several individual video content items as well as a child Horizontal List:

  • If the child Horizontal List also has AutomaticPlay enabled, then its contents will be played along with the parent list's video content items.
  • If the child Horizontal List has AutomaticPlay off, then it will be displayed as a regular list for the viewer to select from.
  • When the viewer exits the child Horizontal List then the AutoPlay of the parent list will resume.

Roku Remote Control Button Functions for AutoPlay
Remote Button Video
AutomaticPlayControls=True
Video
AutomaticPlayControls=False
Picture Text
Play/Pause Pause Video Pause Video Pause and restart PictureTimer No function
OK No function No function Skip to the next autoplay item Skip to the next autoplay item if onscreen OK button is present
Rewind Rewind the video Back up to the previous autoplay item Back up to the previous autoplay item No function
Fast Forward Fast forward the video Skip to the next autoplay item Skip to the next autoplay item No function
Left Step back and pause No function Back up to the previous autoplay item No function
Right Step forward and pause No function Skip to the next autoplay item No function
Up Exit autoplay to previous level Exit autoplay to previous level Exit autoplay to previous level No function
Down No function No function No function No function
Instant Replay Rewind several seconds Restart the current video Reload the current picture No function
Back Arrow Exit autoplay to previous level Exit autoplay to previous level Exit autoplay to previous level Exit autoplay to previous level


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