Sunday, August 18, 2013

Huell Howser Roku Channel

In honor of Huell Howser, I wrote a free private Roku Channel to stream his episodes.  It was my first stab at Roku development, but I think it turned out quite well.  It provides a nice interface on your TV to access the videos archived by Chapman University (http://blogs.chapman.edu/huell-howser-archives/).  You can search for episodes, or my favorite just click the random button to roll the dice and marathon episodes in random order.

To add it to your Roku, login to your account at https://my.roku.com/account/add and type in "Huell" on the Add Channel screen or go to https://owner.roku.com/add/Huell













13 comments:

bryan said...

oh my god this is amazing! I just bought my friend's mom a Roku and was googling to see what all it could do, now that I know there's a Huell Howser channel I'm going to have to get a Roku for myself! Thank you for your work!!

Unknown said...

Thank you! I was hoping something like this existed. This is great!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thank you so much for making this! I use it all the time!! Quick question: Any idea why the new episodes that have been uploaded won't play in the Roku channel? Are they in a different format than before? Thanks again!!

Unknown said...

I have the same problem,there are more videos that won't play than do.Is there a fix?It's strange and annoying.Thx

Unknown said...

Fixed and updated in version 2.0 published now!

Dave said...

Hello Josh-- we have been enjoying your Huell Howser Roku channel since you updated and fixed it, but tonight it once again was not working at all and every single link we clicked on did not work. Do you have a fix for this? Let me know- thanks!

Unknown said...

Updated, thanks for the heads up!

Unknown said...

Thank you for the update Josh,you're the man!

Synclexia said...
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Brent said...

I love this Roku Channel. My whole family loves Huell and we watch him frequently. I was upset there were shows not airing on PBS and I wanted to watch the Chapman University videos on my TV. I added this to my Roku, and hours later I went and bought my folks a Roku just for this channel. I set it up and added this channel for them and showed them how to work it. Thank you very much for making it.

I have a few questions for you. When I search for a show it does not save my searches to recent searches. I thought I could search for each show title for them, so the list of shows would be under recent searches. Do you know why it doesn't save?

Would it be hard to add a tab titled "Shows" which, when you click on it, gives you a list of shows? Thanks again and have a nice day. -Brent McAlister Citrus Heights, CA

Joex said...

Thank you for the Huell Howser Roku Channel. I have been enjoying watching it for many years now. Just a couple days ago I watched an episode I never had before: Cars and Cowboys - Visiting (230). The first half was about Checker Cabs and was awesome. To be honest I actually watched that via the PBS.org website on a pc and not the Huell Howser Roku Channel.

I have two rokus: an older Roku 2 XS (model 3100R) and a newer 2018 Roku Express+ (model 3910).

I'm not sure what's wrong but I am saddened to say that at this time the Huell Howser channel only works on the older Roku 2 XS one hundred percent perfectly. On the Express+ it doesn't work at all. Clicking Random crashes it out to the home screen and entering search data just results in a Retrieving... with no results. It's not frozen as I am able to back out from Retrieving to the main screen or back out to the home screen.

I'm not sure what is causing the problem but here is the current info on the two units if it helps:

Roku 2 XS, OS 9.1, composite output, display mode set to 4:3 composite, tv is an older 20" tube tv with composite input.

Roku Express+, OS 9.4 and now 10.0, hdmi output, display set to Auto Detect 1080p.

When I first got the Roku Express+ I had it in my bedroom connected via composite cables to my old tv and displaying in 4:3 composite mode but that was over a year ago. I can't remember if the channel was crashing at that time or not. I've tried setting the display to 1080p and 720p and it crashes in both display modes connected to the hdtv in living room. My next troubleshooting test will be to try hooking the Express+ back up to the bedroom tv via composite and see if Huell works or not.

If it does work on the Express+ via composite cable then my theory is the channel is programmed only to work in standard definition mode and and not hdtv. I have observed a similar occurrence with the Classic Arts Showcase Roku Channel but in reverse. After CAS shutoff their SD feed from the c-band satellite and went HD-only that channel now only works on the Express+, the Roku 2 XS now displays a message in spanish when trying to play the CAS live feed before exiting back to the home screen. Maybe someday I will run the message through google translate and see what it says.

Joex said...

OK my test of the 2018 Express+ hooked up via composite cables and set to display 4:3 on the old tv also was a colossal failure. It still crashed when clicking Random and only saying Retrieving when searching. Both units are running the 2.1.3 version of the Huell Howser channel. My next guess is there is either a big difference in the internal hardware between the two units, or a bug in the newer versions of the operating system. The working Roku 2 XS unit has OS 9.1 and hasn't been updated in years. The Express+ started on 9.4 and took maybe a couple minor updates to tweek 9.4 before taking the major update to 10.0 last month. I hope you read these posts Josh and are able to do something to fix this really great channel so it will work on newer roku units as older ones are replaced because new roku channels no longer support them.