updated 10:20 pm EST, Sun November 22, 2009
Roku launches open channel store
Roku late Sunday gave its Internet media players a boost in the form of the Channel Store. Now considered an open platform, the avenue lets content producers of any scale implement their own video services. The service also brings major content providers such as Facebook's photo service, Flickr, Mediafly, Pandora, Revision3 and TWiT; relative newcomers like blip.tv, FrameChannel, Motionbox and MobileTribe are also onboard.
The SDK to implement a channel is free and only requires contacting the company through its partners e-mail address. Updating to add the channel is equally free and is supported by all of Roku's existing devices, including the newer Roku HD-XR and SD.
Roku's expansion makes it one of the few if not only universal media hubs. Apple, TiVo and others typically only add content through special deals. VUDU apps have offered much of the channel store's functionality but have been tightly controlled. Notably absent from the initial channel store lineup is Hulu, however, as cable and satellite providers have pressured the multi-studio service to keep its shows off of TV-ready interfaces like Boxee or Roku's hubs.