How to Make a Slideshow in a Roku Channel

You can create a slideshow in your Roku channel using a single URL pointing to a webserver or S3 bucket that contains a collection of JPG, PNG or GIF images.

This Instant TV Channel walk-through applies only to Developer SDK Roku channels. Your Instant TV Channel account Developer Mode must be set to Advanced in order to view or change Slideshow settings. You can change the Developer Mode from the Instant TV Channel Account page by clicking the "Account" link on the left side of the page.

Slideshow Features:

  • A single URL is used to display a large number of pictures.
  • Pictures can be presented alphabetically or randomly.
  • Picture display time/speed can be adjusted.
  • Viewers can skip pictures or redisplay previous pictures using the remote control.
  • Pictures can be displayed in a continuous loop until the viewer exits using the remote control.

How to add a slideshow to your Roku channel:

  1. Enter the Content Editor by clicking the Content link on the left side of the Instant TV Channel page.
  2. Right-click on the List or Grid Row to which you want to add the slideshow, and select "New Picture Screen". A new Picture icon will appear at the top of the list.
  3. In the Picture Parameter list on the bottom half of the Content Editor screen, enter the name of the slideshow into the ShortDescriptionLine1 parameter.
  4. Optionally, enter a brief description of the slideshow into the ShortDescriptionLine2 parameter.
  5. Replace the SDListPosterUrl and HDListPosterUrl with URLs that point to the posters that will be used to select the slideshow. The optimal image sizes in pixels are shown to the right of the parameters, and will vary depending on parent list's ListStyle parameter value. If you are testing, it's OK to leave the SDListPosterUrl and HDListPosterUrl parameters at their default values which will display the standard Instant TV Channel posters.
  6. Change the Slideshow parameter to one of the following values:
    • "once" - Display the pictures in alphabetic order, stopping after all pictures have been displayed. The picture icon changes to .
    • "repeat" - Continuously display the pictures in alphabetic order, stopping when the viewer presses the UP, BACK, or HOME button on the remote control. The picture icon changes to .
    • "shuffle once" - Display the pictures in random order, stopping after all pictures have been displayed. The picture icon changes to .
    • "shuffle repeat" - Continuously display the pictures in random order, stopping when the viewer presses the UP, BACK or HOME button on the remote control. The picture icon changes to .
  7. Set the PictureTimer parameter to the maximum number of seconds to display the slideshow. A PictureTimer value of "0" will allow the slideshow to play until complete, or until the viewer exits using the UP, BACK or HOME button on the remote control.
  8. Set the PictureRefresh parameter to the number of seconds that each picture should be displayed. The timer begins from the moment the Roku player starts to load the picture, so pictures that take a long time to load may not display for the full time specified by PictureRefresh. A PictureRefresh value of "0" will cause each picture to be displayed until the viewer presses a button on the remote control.
  9. Change the SDPictureUrl and HDPictureUrl parameters to the URL of the webserver directory or S3 bucket containing the slideshow pictures. It is OK to use the same URL for both parameters, although the pictures may be displayed differently depending on whether the viewer's TV set is HD or SD.

    Examples (these are non-functional URLs):
    • http:/www.webserver.com/pictures/boats
    • s3://my-picture-bucket/boats

    To use a web server to contain slide show pictures, the server must be configured to allow indexing in the directory that contains the images. In other words if using a URL like "http:/www.webserver.com/pictures/boats", the web server must return a list of the picture files contained in the boats directory.

    To use an S3 bucket to contain slideshow pictures, the bucket must be set up using IAM keys as described here:
        http://www.InstantTvChannel.com/roku/s3content
    The IAM keys must be entered into the Access Key Id and Secret Access Key parameters of the AWS S3 Content Storage section of the Instant TV Channel Keys & CDNs page.

  10. Test the slideshow by viewing the Roku channel on a TV set or monitor. If this will be a public channel, it is important that you test all images of the slideshow using both an HD display and an SD display.

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Please see this walk-through for more information about how to quickly build a Roku channel using Instant TV Channel.

Questions and comments about this Roku developer walk-through can be forwarded to .

Instant TV Channel is a cloud-based tool for Roku developers and content providers that shortens development time and eases maintenance after deployment.



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