Using Vimeo with Instant TV Channel


In order to use Vimeo with Instant TV Channel, you must have a Vimeo Pro account.

You can use the Vimeo short-cuts discussed here for Direct Publisher Roku channels and for Developer SDK Roku channels built using Instant TV Channel.

To store a video on Vimeo:

  1. Log into your Vimeo account.
  2. Click the Upload a Video button.
  3. Click the Choose a Video to Upload button.
  4. Select the video that you would like to upload from your local computer.
  5. Click the green Upload Selected Videos button. The upload process will begin.
  6. Wait for the uploading process to complete.

Obtain and store your Vimeo Access Token if your channel is at Update #290 or greater. This only needs to be done once for each Roku channel:
  1. Log into your Vimeo account.
  2. Click on the Developers link at the bottom of the Vimeo page.
  3. Click My Apps.
  4. Click Create a New App
  5. Provide the requested information on the "Create a New App" page and click Create App when complete. The App Name, App Description, and App URL must be filled in, but their values are not critical. For example you can use the URL for the Instant TV Channel website, "www.InstantTvChannel.com" as the App URL. You do not need to provide an App Logo URL or any App Callback URLs.
  6. Click Authentication
  7. Click Generate Token. Do not check any of the Scopes checkboxes.
  8. The new 32-character access token will be displayed. Record the token, it will be needed later. This is the only time that the token is displayed, if you misplace the token you will need to create another.
  9. Log into your Instant TV Channel account, and navigate to the "Keys & CDNs" page for the Roku channel that you wish to add the Vimeo video or playlist to.
  10. Enter the 32-character Vimeo access token into the Vimeo Access Token parameter.

To use a video, Album, or Portfolio stored on Vimeo in your Roku channel if your channel is at Update #290 or greater:
  • Individual SD & HD Vimeo MP4 video file URLs (described near the end of this tutorial) can still be used with all Instant TV Channel Update levels, and can be used in the same Roku channel with the newer vm:// format URLs described here.
  1. Log into your Vimeo account.
  2. Navigate to the Vimeo video, Album, or Portfolio that you would like to use in your Roku channel. If necessary, click the Next button at the bottom of the page to show more videos to choose from.
  3. Click the Settings button. This may look like a "gear" symbol.
  4. Note the URL displayed in the address bar of your browser. Within the URL there is a sequence of digits. This is the Vimeo ID for the video, Album, or Portfolio. In the example below, the Vimeo ID for the video is 106675854:

  5. Record the Vimeo ID number, it will be needed in a later step.
  6. Log into your Instant TV Channel account, and navigate to the "Content" page for the Roku channel that you wish to add the Vimeo video or playlist to.
  7. Enter one of the following URLs into the Instant TV Channel content item. Substitute the Vimeo ID number that you recorded in a previous step in place of "123456789".
    • For a single Vimeo video, used as the Stream 1 Url parameter for an Instant TV Channel video item : vm://123456789
    • For a Vimeo Album, used as the Url parameter for an Instant TV Channel playlist : vma://1234567
    • For a Vimeo Portfolio, used as the Url parameter for an Instant TV Channel playlist : vmp://123456
  8. If you are using more than one Vimeo account, only the 1st account's Access Token can be stored in the Instant TV Channel "Keys & CDNs" page. The Vimeo Access Token for the 2nd and subsequent Vimeo accounts can be specified directly in the Stream 1 Url parameter like this: vm://{video id}/{access token}

    For example: vm://123456789/abcdef0123456789abcdef0123456789, where "123456789" is the Vimeo ID number and "abcdef0123456789abcdef0123456789" is the Vimeo Access Token.

    This same technique also works for Vimeo Albums (vma://) and Vimeo Portolios (vmp://).

    For example: vma://123456/abcdef0123456789abcdef0123456789 or vmp://123456/abcdef0123456789abcdef0123456789.

    Your channel must be at Update #305 or higher in order to use Vimeo Access Tokens in URLs.

  9. If your Vimeo video has multiple renditions, for example "HD 1080P", "HD", and "SD", the Roku device will automatically select the best possible rendition based on the speed of the device's Internet connection.
  10. Because many Roku-specific parameters are available which have no corresponding Vimeo parameter, it is possible to embed Roku-specific parameters into the Vimeo description field.
    • The basic format is: {[parameter_name:value][parameter_name:value]...}

      The {curly braces} and [square brackets] must be entered exactly as shown.

    • For example, if you want to load the Direct Publisher Genre information via Vimeo, you can do it using a string like this in the Vimeo description:

      {[DirectPublishGenre:comedy]}

    • Some parameters require multiple values which must always be loaded together as a set. For example, the Credit parameter has 3 sub-parameters: Name, Role, and Birthdate:

      {[Name:John Smith][Role:director][Birthdate:1960-07-18]}

    • Several different parameters can be embedded in the description at the same time:

      {[Name:John Smith][Role:director][Birthdate:1960-07-18][Name:Joe Screwdriver][Role:producer][Birthdate:1960-03-20][ReleaseDate:2008-04-10][Tag:robot][Tag:comedy][DirectPublishGenre:animated][DirectPublishGenre:comedy][ParentalRating:PG13][RatingSource:Motion Picture Association of America][AdBreak:00:05:00]}

    • Anything between the {curly braces} will be hidden from the on-screen Roku description.
    • Anything between the {curly braces} but not between the [square brackets] will be ignored:

      {This is a comment. [DirectPublishGenre:comedy]}

  11. It may be inconvenient to embed Roku parameters in the Vimeo description, for example if the Vimeo description is being displayed in a platform other than Roku which would cause the Roku parameters to be visible. In this case, Vimeo Tags can be used to populate most of the Roku parameters used in a Developer SDK channel.

    For Direct Publisher channels, Vimeo Tags are used for the DirectPublishTags parameter only and are not used for other parameters.

    • The format for a Vimeo tag is RokuParameter: Value.
    • The Roku parameter names are spelled exactly as they are displayed within the Instant TV Channel editor screens.
    • For example, to display "2014" as the Release Date for a video, this Vimeo tag entry would be used: ReleaseDate:2014
    • Multiple-value Roku parameters can be set using multiple tags. For example, the Roku Categories parameter can be set to the two values "Comedy" and "Drama" using this Vimeo tag entry: Categories:Comedy,Categories:Drama
    • Several different Roku parameters can be set at the same time. For example: Director:Ed Wood,Categories:Comedy,Actors:John Smith,Actors:Sally Doe
    • Some Roku parameter tags may not be supported in playlists.
    • There may be a limit to the number of characters that Vimeo will accept as a Tag.
  12. That's it, your Vimeo video or playlist should now be playable from your Roku channel. For a production-quality channel, you'll probably want to replace SD and HDListPosterUrl as well as any other parameters necessary to customize the appearance of the new video or playlist.

To use a video stored on Vimeo in your Roku channel if your channel is at Update #289 or less (this method works for all update levels):
  1. Log into your Vimeo account.
  2. Navigate to the Vimeo video that you would like to use in your Roku channel. If necessary, click the Next button at the bottom of the page to show more videos to choose from.
  3. Click the Settings button. This may look like a "gear" symbol.
  4. Click the Video File link or tab.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and locate the "Access your video files" section.

    Change the Get directs links selection to "Use with your own player".

    If present, the following URLs are Roku-compatible and can be used with Instant TV Channel:

    • Standard Def
    • High Def
    • High Def 1080p

    If more than one Roku-compatible URL is present, they can be used together to provide multiple different bitrates for this video, allowing the Roku player to automatically choose the best bitrate for the speed of its Internet connection.

    The Mobile and HTTP Live Streaming URLs, if present, are not currently usable with Instant TV Channel.

  6. Copy the URL or URLs so that they can be pasted into the Instant TV Channel Content Editor during a later step.
  7. Log into your Instant TV Channel account.
  8. Click the Channels link at the left side of the page.
  9. From the Channels page, select the channel you wish to add the Vimeo video to.
  10. Select the Content link at the left side of the page.
  11. Right click on a folder in the Contents Tree, and select New Audio or Video.
  12. If you only have a single Roku-compatible URL from Vimeo:
    1. Scroll the parameter list down to the Stream 1 Url parameter box that contains "http://www.archive.org/download/Plan_9_from_Outer_Space_1959/Plan_9_from_Outer_Space_1959.mp4".
    2. Replace the "Plan 9" URL with the URL from Vimeo.
    3. Because there is only a single URL, it's ok to leave the Bitrate parameter set at "0". This has the side-effect of not displaying the quality dots next to the buffering bar.
  13. If you have more than one Roku-compatible URL from Vimeo:
    1. Scroll the parameter list down to the Stream 1 Url parameter box that contains "http://www.archive.org/download/Plan_9_from_Outer_Space_1959/Plan_9_from_Outer_Space_1959.mp4".
    2. Replace the "Plan 9" URL with the Standard Def URL from Vimeo.
    3. Change the value of the Bitrate parameter to "1000". This is a typical bitrate for an SD stream. If you know the exact bitrate, it's ok to use it instead of "1000". Do not use "0" for the Bitrate parameter.
    4. Click the New button. This creates a set of "Stream 2" parameters.
    5. Replace the Stream 2 "Plan 9" URL with the High Def URL from Vimeo.
    6. Change the value of the Stream 2 Bitrate parameter to "4000". This is a typical bitrate for a 720p HD stream. If you know the exact bitrate, it's ok to use it instead of "4000".
    7. Optionally, change the value of the Stream 2 Quality parameter to "True". This will cause the "HD" indicator to be displayed next to the quality dots when loading Stream 2. This also has the side effect of preventing Stream 2 from being used if the Roku device does not have an HD screen attached.
    8. If you also have a High Def 1080p URL, Click the New button again to create a set of "Stream 3" parameters.
    9. Replace the Stream 3 "Plan 9" URL with the High Def 1080p URL from Vimeo.
    10. Change the value of the Stream 3 Bitrate parameter to "8000". This is a typical bitrate for a 1080p HD stream. If you know the exact bitrate, it's ok to use it instead of "8000".
    11. Change the value of the Stream 3 Quality parameter to "True". This will cause the "HD" indicator to be displayed next to the quality dots when loading Stream 3. This also has the side effect of preventing Stream 3 from being used if the Roku device does not have an HD screen attached.
  14. For security, change "http://" in the each Vimeo URL to "https://" in order to mask the stream URL from network sniffers like Wireshark.
  15. That's it, your Vimeo video should now be playable from your Roku channel. For a production-quality channel, you'll probably want to replace the Title, Description, Length, poster URLs, Short Description Lines 1 and 2, and any other parameters necessary to customize the appearance of the new video.


Want to know more about using Instant TV Channel? Check out this Quick 5-Minute Walk-Through.

 

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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