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In an attempt to block pirate channels Roku has begun blocking users from entering Developer Mode on their Roku.
Developer mode was a way to sideload channels to your Roku for testing purposes if you are a Roku channel developer. Some prohibited paid and free private channels which Roku removed were using developer mode as a workaround for their users to still watch content from their channel.
Earlier this year Roku has begun cracking down on users who had side-loaded channels into developer mode and basically made it so they were unable to use developer mode again on that particular device, or any other device linked to their Roku user account.
When several users complained about this on the Roku Forum a while back, here is what Roku Forum Moderator had to say.
"A change recently went into effect that would remove your ability to access the Application Installer (i.e. from side-loading channels) on devices that have violated our End User License Agreement or our Developer Tools Agreement.
I followed up with our dev. relations and was told that about a dozen people have contacted us about this but when researched further, not one of them has turned out to be a genuine developer, i.e. they did not have a published channel or a bona fide app under development.
Turns out some additional security measures are in place to curb organized content piracy since side-loading was being abused by some apps to circumvent restrictions."
For many who had used Roku in the past to enjoy some of their favorite channels like developer versions of m3u players, or MyVideoBuzz to watch content from YouTube or iStreamItAll, it looks like the party is now over on Roku.
Roku intends for its customers to only watch legal licensed content on their platform and they are cracking down on any channel that does not follow their License agreement.
Roku also knows precisely which channels you are using on your Roku and for how long you are watching them. They intend to profit from selling ads, so they now have sophisticated tracking software in place so they can measure what is being used on their platform. Since a large majority of its users are using their platform to watch content from legal sources they are not overly concerned from the small percentage that will simply choose to go elsewhere.
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