Tag Archives: Roku

Introduction to BrightScript Scripting Language

BrightScript is a scripting Language Developed for a tiny little device called Roku. Roku is a small computer specially designed for Video Streaming purpose from the Internet. You can check more about this fascinating computer at http://roku.com/. The language BrightScript is written in C. Roku runs Linux 2.6. BrightScript program runs over BrightScript Engine that resides above the kernel layer in Roku. Below you will find a picture showing the Internal Architecture of Roku.

Architectural View of Roku

Architectural View of Roku

The language though written in C is not like C in its syntax. Its more similar like Python / Ruby / Lua / Basic. You can check BrightScript Reference document at http://sdkdocs.roku.com/display/sdkdoc/BrightScript+Language+Reference. The language reference won’t be enough to write useful applications for Roku, you will need to know about the BrightScript Components too reference doc of which can be found at http://sdkdocs.roku.com/display/sdkdoc/Component+Reference. The language can be compiled by device only so for development in Roku. So for development of Roku programs you need the followings:
->  Roku device as you can only compile your programs in Roku device, no emulator or simulators are available
-> a text editor where you will write your programs
-> A web browser to access development interface of Roku
-> A terminal from which you can telnet to Roku Development console

To access development interface you need to enable development mode in a Roku,  use the following key combination to enable development mode:

Home key -3 times, Up key 2 times, Right key, Left Key, Right Key,Left Key, Right Key

Once development mode is enabled you can open http://ip_of_roku_/ in your browser to see the development interface. From the development you can upload zip file of your program and your program will be compiled and will run in your roku device. To make a setup file you can use the packager application in the development interface and use the setup file to create a channel in Roku’s developer website. But for packaging you will be needing to use a password created by the device which can be generated by the command ‘genkey’ after you access Roku’s console using

telnet ip_of_roku 8080

For debugging purpose you can telnet to port 8085. To access interpreter console,  when the program is running you can hit Ctrl + C. The console prompt for Interpreter mode is :

BrightScript>

Hope that helps you get some insight on BrightScript Language.

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