Roku is Forcing Older Roku Channels to Update Their User Interface




Roku has slowly been upgrading not only its boxes but its user experience and now it seems that it has come to an impasse with older Roku SDK users.

You may have noticed that Roku has a lot of Roku channels that look similar. That happens because Roku offers templates for channel developers to build off of. Now Roku is sunsetting its SDK1 templates that you have likely seen a lot of.

(If you own a Roku this will not affect you. Your Roku will continue to work and operate just like it always does. This only affects channel developers not end users.)

Here is what the SDK1 looks like:

Roku is giving channel developers almost 2 years’ warning that they need to upgrade their Roku channels. On January 1, 2019, all SDK1 visual screen components will be removed from the Roku OS.

Roku also announced that effective immediately the SDK1 service will receive no new visual screens. On July 1, 2017, all new channels must use the new RSG or Direct Publisher system, and on January 1, 2018, all channel updates must use the RSG or Direct Publisher system.

So it seems Roku wants to be as friendly as possible to developers at the same time as they force developers onto newer and more powerful templates.

Why is Roku doing this now? We are really not sure. The Roku Blog post about this do not list any reasons, but this move is likely an effort to remove legacy OS software from its OS as Roku continues to bring improvements to the current OS. It also seems Roku wants to push developers to their newer and more powerful publishing SDKs.

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