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Roku is getting ready to remove a group of channels later this week. February 23rd will see the removal of all non-certified channels, according to the Roku Developers website. This means users won’t be able to install or launch these channels, and they also can’t be installed via a vanity access code. Instead, Roku is replacing non-certified channels with beta channels and the Independent Developer Kit (IDK). The reason given for the switch has to do with aligning with industry standards on Roku’s two different use cases: developer QA testing of channels to be certified and published to the Roku Channel Store, and limiting distribution of channels to a small set of users.
As mentioned before, beta channels and the Independent Developer Kit (IDK) are taking the place of the non-certified channels. The definitions of both read: “Beta channels enable developers to continue distributing pre-release versions of their streaming channels for QA testing to a limited set of users for a limited time,” and “The IDK is a non-commercial development kit that enables individual developers and enthusiasts alike to build and sideload applications on their IDK-supported Roku streaming players for their own personal use.”
A developer can create up to 10 beta channels, which is more than the originally announced limit of 2 after Roku received feedback from its developer community. The beta channels are only available for 120 days after creation, which means they will disappear for any users that download them. Beta channels are also limited in distribution to a maximum of 20 test users at a time. Roku also provides instructions on migrating a non-certified channel to a beta channel, along with migrating a non-certified channel to a public channel.
Roku is developing an original biopic centered on the career of “Weird Al” Yankovic, with Daniel Radcliffe portraying the Grammy-winning musician and pop cultural icon in WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story. “When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I’m very happy to say we’re on schedule,” Yankovic said in a statement. “And I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.”
“There clearly aren’t enough biopic movies about famous musicians and we were excited to shine a light on the incredibly true, unexaggerated story of Weird Al,” said Colin Davis, Roku’s Head of Original Scripted Programming. “This is sincerely the ultimate combination of talent, creativity, and friends, coming together to make something genuinely funny and we could not be prouder to call this film a Roku Original.”