Roku is the best streaming device to watch live and on-demand streaming on your TV. The channels on the Roku devices have a customized OS for Roku. If you are developing a new channel for Roku or want to use an app that is unavailable on the Channel Store, you can use the developer mode to test or get the app on your device. Moreover, you can do the action with the standard web browser.
The Developer mode on Roku is used to test the channels that are under development. It also lets you modify the existing channels on Roku. To create or debug the app for Roku, you will need the following requirements.
- Roku device with an account
- Enrolled in the Developer Program
- Code Editor(BrightScript)
How to Set up the Development Environment
There are four steps you need to follow one by one to enable developer mode and debug apps on Roku.
- Enable Developer Mode on Roku
- Use Development Application Installer
- Sideload Channels on Roku
- Examine Channel using Developer Settings
How to Enable Developer Mode on Roku
The developer settings on the Roku device have the option to enable the Developer mode. You need to follow the series of remote buttons to get the option.
1. Set up your Roku device and make sure it is connected to the internet.
2. Press the following buttons on your Roku remote.
- Home button– 3 times
- Up button– 2 time
- Right button – 1 time
- Left button– 1 time
- Right button-1 time
- Left button– 1 time
- Right button– 1 time
3. Now, you will be taken to the Developer Settings screen.
4. Make a note of the IP address and Username.
5. Next, click the Enable installer and restart button.
6. Read the SDK License Agreement and select the I Agree button.
7. Create Password on the development web Server.
8. Enter the Password and choose Set password and reboot.
9. After enabling the developer mode, your Roku device will restart.
How to Use Development Application Installer
The next step in Developer mode is authenticating the device with a username and password.
1. Turn on your PC and open the web browser.
2. Ensure your Roku device and PC are connected to the same WiFi network.
3. Enter the IP address in the search bar that you noted down previously.
4. Now, an Authentication Required window will appear on the screen.
5. Type the Username and password in the provided field.
6. Once entered, click the Log In button.
7. Now, you will be redirected to the Roku Development Application Installer screen.
How to Sideload Channels on Roku
If you want to sideload the channel that is unavailable on Roku, you need to download the app’s zip file on your PC or Smartphone. The channel you select must be under 4MB in size.
1. Go to the Development Application Install screen.
2. Tap the Upload button and locate the ZIP file to upload the file.
3. After uploading the APK file, hit the Install button.
4. Now, the app will be installed on your device.
5. You can find the sideloaded channels in the My Channels section.
6. Locate the app and stream it on your Roku device.
7. If you are unable to find the app, you need to update your Roku device to get the app.
How to Examine Channel using Developer Settings
You can use the developer settings tools mentioned below to examine a channel.
1. Package Inspector is used for details of the package, like Developer ID and the creation of the date.
2. Rekey Utility lets you replace the signing key on your Roku device. This tool will be useful, especially while developing channels on the same Roku device.
3. Screenshot Utility tool allows you to take images of the sideloaded channels, and you can upload them with the channel during the submission.
4. BrightScript Profiler helps you gather essential metrics like CPU usage and wall-clock time.
You can turn off the Developer mode on Roku by following the remote button series and choosing the Disable Installer option.