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Lifetime plugin

Is on github here:

 

https://github.com/Horkonaut/Lifetime.bundle/

 

Just to warn you, this is my first plugin. I mainly made this so that another person could watch Project Runway on the Roku. But all the other shows/movies/clips work too. This is for videos at mylifetime.com.

 

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Comments

  • GerkGerk Plugin Developer Posts: 1,053Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    One suggestion with the code after a quick look, if it's intended for Roku users to run this plugin then I would suggest removing the 2 lines starting here:

    https://github.com/Horkonaut/Lifetime.bundle/blob/master/Contents/Info.plist#L7

    Those basically tell the plugin to exclude itself from being able to run on the Roku.

    Glad to see you got things worked out!

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,094Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I am a Project Runway watcher also, and use Roku.  I used to watch it thru the Lifetime channel on the Roku Nowhere TV channel, but that channel has stopped giving access to the Project Runway episodes, so thanks for the channel.  Tried it out and it works great. Even fast forwarded ahead in an episode with no hiccups. And it has a nice basic and clean interface.  I like it and will use it, though I will only be using it to watch Project Runway also.

    And great job for your first channel.  I am still just bugging everyone here constantly just to figure out what I am looking at so I can get a grasp on the basics.

    One problem I do see:

    The shows that offer full episode display the latest episodes as well as a few older episodes that have aired from the current season but you can only play the latest full episode from the current season.  It gives you an error saying video may no longer be available or is in a format that isn't supported. If you go to the Lifetime website, it tells you that you can only access the latest episode of the current season of a show unless you are logged in with a TV Provider. (they put a little + next to the play button of the icon of shows you need a provider to watch).  Episodes in older seasons seem to work fine and do not require the provider info.   It also says this applies to some of the movies too, but I do not know which movies you can or cannot watch.

    The problem is the TV provider info is only needed for older full episodes of shows that are currently airing.  The latest season of shows where all the episodes have already aired play fine.  So, I am not sure if there would be an easy fix to this. Maybe there is a special tag or something that is different about the code of these videos that need the TV provider info, since they have those little plus sign on the icons.  If so, maybe you could run a check for this before it pulls the info for the channel. (Again, I am still just learning about writing channels, so I'm not really sure)

    It doesn't bother me and I am not sure if it is even worth worrying about, but you may have confusion or complaints from people later, that do not understand why they are getting these errors on past episode of the current season.

  • HorkonautHorkonaut Posts: 40Members
    Gerk wrote on March 3 2013, 6:43 PM: »

    One suggestion with the code after a quick look, if it's intended for Roku users to run this plugin then I would suggest removing the 2 lines starting here:

    https://github.com/Horkonaut/Lifetime.bundle/blob/master/Contents/Info.plist#L7

    Those basically tell the plugin to exclude itself from being able to run on the Roku.

    Glad to see you got things worked out!

    Thanks for the previous help Gerk. I actually was just cut and pasting from the Daily Show plugin which also has that Roku client exception (even though I can play it on my Roku with no problem). Is there a reason the Daily Show plugin (and probably the Colbert Report plugin) does this? Also, what does the VERSION file in the root Contents folder do and how do I update it appropriately?

    shopgirl284 wrote on March 4 2013, 4:00 AM: »

    One problem I do see:

    ...

    It doesn't bother me and I am not sure if it is even worth worrying about, but you may have confusion or complaints from people later, that do not understand why they are getting these errors on past episode of the current season.

    I'm glad you tried out the plugin, and yes, some of the videos are protected by Xfinity/DirectTV access rights. I didn't notice the "+" next to those particular videos so that probably means the plugin should be able to detect them before loading them. So thanks!

    Is it better plugin etiquette to not show videos at all if they are protected, or to still list them but include a RESTRICTED label in the title?

    Also, since I don't have Xfinity or DirectTV, I can't really test the plugin to watch these restricted videos. I'm not even sure if the plugin will work in those cases. 

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,094Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited March 2013

    The channel works fine as it is for me and I use a Roku.

    You cannot just automatically access those videos through your channel, if the user has one of those TV Providers. Those sites that limit content by your TV Provider require that you enter a username and password to see these protected videos.  The only way your channel would work with those services is if you added some type of preferences section to your channel that allowed the user to input their TV Provider info or allowed them to login to their Lifetime account (if that account somehow retains their TV Provider info).  And even then, you would have to alter your channel programming to submit that info into the websites verification system for those videos to work.

    Actually, I do not know if it is even possible to provide that access in a Plex channel, since I am not aware of any current Plex channel that have tried to include access to TV Provider restricted videos.  Turner broadcating online channels (like TNT and TBS) require this info and I do not see any of their channels available through Plex. That may be the answer to your etiquette question.

    If the videos have distinct coding that would allow you to note that they are restricted, why not use that code to exclude those videos from your channel?  There are only two possible providers that will even give you access to these videos, so it would help a very small portion of potential viewers to your channel. And they would still have to go to the Lifetime site to view these videos. (unless you wanted the headache trying to get these videos to work for this small group)

    Also, I look at Plex as an alternative to cable or other TV Providers, so why include access to videos that require I have a TV Provider for them to work properly. 

    If you do not want to mess with the channel anymore, leave it as it is and some of the episodes just won't play. It  is not a big issue. Other channels have a videos here or there that do not play, and otherwise your channel works great.  But if you plan on tweaking the channel more, I would see if there is an easy way to flag those videos and tell the channel to just not load them. It would save the end user some headaches or frustration of seeing links to videos they cannot watch and it would save you from complaints about supposedly broken videos in your channel. The few user who may notice you didn't include these restricted videos in your channel would only know this if they visited the Lifetime website and therefore would see that those videos require TV Provider info.

  • HorkonautHorkonaut Posts: 40Members
    shopgirl284 wrote on March 4 2013, 4:54 PM: »

    You cannot just automatically access those videos through your channel, if the user has one of those TV Providers. Those sites that limit content by your TV Provider require that you enter a username and password to see these protected videos.  The only way your channel would work with those services is if you added some type of preferences section to your channel that allowed the user to input their TV Provider info or allowed them to login to their Lifetime account (if that account somehow retains their TV Provider info).  And even then, you would have to alter your channel programming to submit that info into the websites verification system for those videos to work.

    The thing is, the ESPN3 plugin works for me without having to input a username and password in Plex (although it is possible I might have to be logged in to ESPN3 via my browser first). And it also blocks videos based on which cable provider you are using. So I am not sure this Xfinity/DirectTV restriction would be any different.

  • HorkonautHorkonaut Posts: 40Members

    More changes to:

    https://github.com/Horkonaut/Lifetime.bundle

    I found a way to access 720p videos. Roku exclusion is gone. Some videos weren't playing - hopefully corrected that.

    For now, I have labelled restricted videos with a "Premium -" prefix. If it is really the case that no one would be able to watch them, I can just remove them from the video list pretty easily.

  • sander1sander1 Channel Developer/Admin Posts: 3,277Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    Horkonaut wrote on March 4 2013, 12:53 PM: »

    Thanks for the previous help Gerk. I actually was just cut and pasting from the Daily Show plugin which also has that Roku client exception (even though I can play it on my Roku with no problem). Is there a reason the Daily Show plugin (and probably the Colbert Report plugin) does this? Also, what does the VERSION file in the root Contents folder do and how do I update it appropriately?

    Hello Horkonaut!

    Some channels are excluded from Roku, because Roku has a channel of its own for the same content (that's their policy, no duplicate functionality).

    The VERSION file tells me that you have created your own plugin/channel from another channel that you downloaded throught the Channel Directory. The file is not required if you create your own channels, so you can safely remove it.

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,094Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Horkonaut wrote on March 4 2013, 5:50 PM: »

    The thing is, the ESPN3 plugin works for me without having to input a username and password in Plex (although it is possible I might have to be logged in to ESPN3 via my browser first). And it also blocks videos based on which cable provider you are using. So I am not sure this Xfinity/DirectTV restriction would be any different.

    I know Plex channels use some of the settings that are associated with Flash and/or Silverlight from the computer that hosts your Plex server, but I did not think that Plex used any type of cookies or cached info since that is related to a specific browser.

    I think the ESPN3 channel works because it uses the Flash Player to store some information (maybe its the content licensing of protected content settings). Because when I try to open a video in the ESPN3 channel, I get a message on the screen saying I need to have a local provider. Since the only thing you are accessing through the channel is the Flash Player, I would think the message is coming from my Flash Player. The Lifetime videos do not give me any type of message on the screen, so I think they may not use the Flash Player to store that info.

    But I will be curious to see what you find out about this.  Definitely let me know if you find the answer elsewhere.

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,094Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Horkonaut wrote on March 5 2013, 12:48 AM: »

    More changes to:

    https://github.com/Horkonaut/Lifetime.bundle

    I found a way to access 720p videos. Roku exclusion is gone. Some videos weren't playing - hopefully corrected that.

    For now, I have labelled restricted videos with a "Premium -" prefix. If it is really the case that no one would be able to watch them, I can just remove them from the video list pretty easily.

    Just wondering, the premium prefix how does that show up? I thought you had a Roku, so we would see the same thing, but I do not see any mention of Premium when I pulled up the channel today.

  • HorkonautHorkonaut Posts: 40Members
    shopgirl284 wrote on March 8 2013, 11:28 PM: »

    Just wondering, the premium prefix how does that show up? I thought you had a Roku, so we would see the same thing, but I do not see any mention of Premium when I pulled up the channel today.

    It is a per video clip thing. So if you go into the Project Runway Season 11, you should see "Premium - " in front of all the episodes that are not the latest one. If you don't see that, maybe I didn't add the code to github properly. Or maybe check if you have the latest code.

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,094Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Yep. It is there.  I just had not updated my version of your channel.  It was a duh move on my part. Sorry

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,094Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Just an FYI, your channel is not working in the latest version of the Roku Plex test channel (v2.6.4). It works fine in the regular Roku Plex channel and also worked in the test version 2.6.3 before they updated it. I even went and downloaded the channel bundle again today to make sure I had the latest version of your channel.

    Some other channels are also having the same issue including CBS, Navi-xtreme (Unsupported Appstore), Food Network, CBC, HGTV, and CW and there is a post in the Roku section of the forum, so I take it that the Roku Plex channel programmers are aware of it.  Just thought I would make you aware of the situation in case you do not use the Roku test channel.

  • HorkonautHorkonaut Posts: 40Members

    I can confirm the behavior that you are seeing, but I have no idea how to fix it on my end. The Lifetime plugin works fine on my Windows client and the official Plex channel for Roku. It does not work on the test Plex channel for Roku.

  • GerkGerk Plugin Developer Posts: 1,053Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    There's nothing you can do on your end to fix this, it's something that the Plex folks need to fix in the framework and know about -- and I think the fix is in the works.

  • suzuki98suzuki98 Posts: 1Members

    Hello,

    I'm new to Roku and found this forum.  Where can I find a tutorial to add code to Roku?  My wife is dying to get the mylifetime channel.  

    Thanks

  • HorkonautHorkonaut Posts: 40Members
    suzuki98 wrote on July 21 2013, 10:11 PM: »

    Hello,

    I'm new to Roku and found this forum.  Where can I find a tutorial to add code to Roku?  My wife is dying to get the mylifetime channel.  

    Thanks

    The Lifetime plugin is not a supported Plex channel so you have to manually install it.

    First you have to grab the Lifetime plugin code from github:

    https://github.com/Horkonaut/Lifetime.bundle/

    Then place the Lifetime.bundle folder in the appropriate Plug-ins directory. On Windows 7, you can locate the Plug-ins directory by right-clicking on the Plex Server icon in the Windows tray and select "Open Plug-ins Folder."

    You'll need to install the Plex channel on your Roku. You have to make an account on the Roku website first and then add the Plex channel with:

    https://owner.roku.com/add/plex

    I can't remember if this is a problem for a manually installed plug-in, but sometimes Plex will delete customized files in the Plug-ins folder occasionally. If the Lifetime.bundle folder disappears at some point, you can either get around this by manually reinstalling it, or you can place the Lifetime.bundle folder somewhere else on your hard drive and make a symlink to it in the Plug-ins folder. To make a symlink on Windows:

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16226/complete-guide-to-symbolic-links-symlinks-on-windows-or-linux/

    Plex won't delete symlinked files in the Plug-ins folder.

    And finally, currently the Lifetime plugin doesn't work with the default "Experimental" transcoder on the Roku. On the Roku Plex channel, in Preferences --> Advanced Preferences, you'll have to change it to the "Stable" transcoder.

    See here:

    http://forums-test.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/67194-video-unavailable-roku-2-xd/

  • HorkonautHorkonaut Posts: 40Members

    Bad news. It appears Lifetime switched their video protocol from RTMPE to encrypted Adobe HDS. Currently Plex can't handle this format so the only way to update the plugin would be to use a site configuration, but it is an inferior method. I'll see if I can't whip up a site configuration for it, but it most likely won't be as nice or as functional as it was before.

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,094Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Yeah, I tried to see if there was something I could tweak a few days ago and when I saw it needed a signature as long as my arm to find the video I gave up. Site config means you are changing it to webkit. I hate to hear that since webkit no longer works for me on Windows. If it is webkit, it won't work for anyone with Windows PMS (though there are a few Win users who have implemented some very complicated work-arounds). I only used it to watch PR, but it was the only consistent source for their latest episodes.

  • HorkonautHorkonaut Posts: 40Members

    Well I'm running Windows 7 too so if webkit channels don't work on Win 7, then there is no point in trying to develop the channel anymore. If you don't mind, what is an example webkit channel that you know should work, but doesn't work for you on Win 7? 

  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,094Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Window 7 hasn't liked webkit for awhile now. I used to be able to get around this by enabling the show webkit window option in PMS, but they took that option out in v9.8. Every once in a while on the forum I see someone that uses Windows saying they don't have issues with webkit, but I am not sure if that is because those webkit channels just work for them or if that is because they are using an old version of PMS and enabling the webkit window. Most Windows PMS users cannot view webkit channels.

    Here is a list of webkit channels in the channel store, though there are others out there that people have designed like ESPN and HBO2Go:

    http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/80534-updated-webkit-channel-list/?hl=webkit

    Also, many have been removed from the channel store like Netflix. See http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/75265-readme-first-broken-andor-problematic-channels/. Netflix I think still works on Macs, Hulu on the other hand is just broken and does not work on any platform.

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