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06-02-2018 2:42 PM
How do I get the Directv Now Beta channel for my Roku streaming Stick? The channel from the Roku store does not appear to have the Cloud DVR in it. The Google Chrome app on my Widows 10 computer has it. The Cloud DVR was a major deciding factor to g with Directv Now. If I can't get it on the Roku I may have to consider using something else for a streaming service.
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06-02-2018 3:14 PM
It is correct that the version in the Roku ChannelStore is still the 1.0 version. The Roku 2.0 version started testing later than the other 2.0 apps and while the others have been released, the Roku one hasn't yet (it probably will be soon - maybe within the next week or so?). The beta is closed - it was always by invitation only and with the actual release imminent, they aren't inviting new testers (and haven't for a while). There have been some reports that people who aren't invited beta testers have been able to install and successfully run the beta version - I have no idea if that is true or how one would find that version to try - I personally would probably give them a little more time to release the real thing rather than trying to get involved with the beta version at this point.
06-02-2018 3:25 PM
Thank you, that explains it quite well. FYI, Directv Now is advertising that the DVR is included with their service for ALL supported devices including the Roku. Guess marketing is a little ahead of engineering as usual ) I'll wait and see if the new version shows up on the Roku channel store soon.
06-02-2018 3:49 PM
That's true but the new version with DVR is not supported on Roku. So the Roku would be a non-supported device.
06-02-2018 4:21 PM
OK, the advertisement says that it includes DVR Beta, but it doesn't say that the Beta version for the Roku is by invitation only.
A little misleading, but as long as I can get it in a reasonable amount of time and get the wife off my back I'll be OK with it.
BTW, the app for Windows 10 has the DVR and it still says DVR Beta and that is the version you will get along with having to install Google Chrome in order to access Directv Now using a windows computer. No support for Firefox? Wow, no support for the best PC web browser around?
06-02-2018 5:28 PM
Chrome only. All browsers have their pluses and minuses.
I think the Roku DVR is very close to being released. I along with others have been testing it when getting it was by invitation only. Still has some bugs but it isn't bad. It will most likely indicate beta DVR also once it goes public.
- edited 06-03-2018 9:57 AM
The whole version 2.0 system (apps and web interface, and the updated backend to support them) were in closed beta test (by invitation only) starting around September 2017 - with different apps and functions actually starting test later than that - the last bit being the Roku app, which entered beta test in (as I remember) February of 2018, and not getting any DVR functionality until March. They started releasing parts to the open customer base (that is, they exited beta test) May 15 (apps for iOS and tvOS devices, plus Chrome and Safari access, and Chromecast), with more (Android and Amazon Fire TV apps) releasing a week later. At the time these released (switching from beta test release to full release), they marked the DVR functionality as "beta test". Obviously, it wasn't really a beta test version, since it was available to everyone, but this seems a somewhat cheesy way of doing a release but saying that part is still sort of shaky, so expect there to be problems and don't complain.
I don't like that approach, but all kinds of software and system vendors seem to play that game. Hulu Live launched May 2017 and the whole service is still marked "beta" (with paying customers). Gmail was in closed beta for 3 years and then "open beta" for another 2 1/2 (and probably only was then marked "released" because their commercial customers wouldn't pay them for "beta" software). Actually, Google does very long public betas with most of their products - partially to avoid complaints and partially for marketing reasons (apparently, using a "beta" version is considered trendy?). Even most consumer operating systems release as public/open betas these days. (Back when I ran an operating system development group, our beta releases went to 3 or 4 very controlled customers who did heavy duty testing in very controlled circumstances, and were under serious NDAs. But that was then - and this wasn't for consumer type systems.)
As far as supported browsers - I'm sure they would like to run on everything (the more things they run on, the more potential customers). But they made the (correct in my opinion) choice to avoid Flash or Silverlight or other deprecated mechanisms and stick with standard HTML 5 (and standard extensions). I believe most of the current top-line browsers implement all the needed bits at the overall level, they may not get all the details that are needed, so DTVN apparently decided to support the fewest they could that covered the needed platforms (multiple recent versions of Windows and MacOS). They then used a fairly cheesy way (there seems to be a pattern) to determine if they were seeing a supported platform - they look at the "User Agent" string that the browser sends to the server, and check it for browsers they "like". As it happens, most of these same browsers allow you to change the User Agent string (mostly for testing purposes), so it is possible to get a browser to spoof being a different browser. I tried this with several browsers (Firefox and Edge at least) for version 1, and even spoofing the UA string (so the DTVN servers thought they were talking to Chrome didn't work - the browsers could successfully log in and do some things (like display the guide) but they couldn't display video. I have now tried a couple of browsers under version 2. Spoofing Chrome (and doing just a very quick one shot test), Opera and Firefox both appeared to work, including displaying video. Edge came up and again could do a number of things, but reported an error (bad internet connection) when I tried to display video - this might have actually been a DRM failure. Given that, perhaps after Version 2 is stable on everything it is spec'ed for, they will go back and look at browsers. If Edge has DRM issues, I doubt they would do anything about it, but perhaps it is something simple - and those others may already work ok.
06-05-2018 2:05 PM
A quick followup to my original post. The Roku app with DVR(Beta) was just released, in fact I, was notified by email from Directv that it was released. I have updated my Roku with the new software and my initial impression was good. I did not have a lot of time to play with it, but it appeared to have decent response times to user inputs and the DVR function appeared to work pretty well.
Film at 11 on how stable it really is, but so far so good.
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