Chat about streaming TV issues

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ghost123uk
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Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by ghost123uk »

As per the section this is posted in, not a technical chat, just a chat about why !!

I have been actively promoting LM in my area for a couple of years now. I am a retired computer shop / service centre owner, and still do quite a bit, as I enjoy it. 90% Linux these days :)

3 times in just the last few weeks I have found a very embarrassing deal breaker, where I have been unable to put Linux on 3 customers computers (admittedly, this "3 times in a couple of weeks" is a bit of a coincidence). The issue is folks who want to watch "online TV". The Flash player thing seems to have been resolved with the current workaround, but only for the BBC player, here in the UK the ITV player (login required) and the channel5 on demand (plus others) simply don't work. I have spent days reading up on this. There have been fixes in the past, but changes in the TV stations output have broken them. As far as I can see there is just a brick-wall here now :(

In the year 2016, to tell folk that they cannot watch streaming TV using Linux (except BBC, and then the "watch later" is not available, without a load of faffing) is really not cool and makes me look daft for promoting an operating system that cannot do what every smart phone and £60 "streaming box" can do :(

I find it odd that the phones and streaming boxes, which as far as I know are based on Linux anyway, can do this, but "we" don't have software that can :?
I wonder why?
Please note, I am not a Linux expert by any means, I am still learning, but if I can pass on something that has worked for me, I will, but use at your own risk. Plus I am always ready to be corrected by those many helpful folk who ARE experts
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xenopeek
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by xenopeek »

ghost123uk wrote:The issue is folks who want to watch "online TV".
Streaming TV channels in my country all require Silverlight. You can possibly make that work with Pipelight (a Firefox plugin that can connect to Silverlight running in Wine). Netflix and Amazon Prime both work on Google Chrome.
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ghost123uk
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by ghost123uk »

xenopeek wrote:
ghost123uk wrote:The issue is folks who want to watch "online TV".
Streaming TV channels in my country all requires Silverlight. You can possibly make that work with Pipelight (a Firefox plugin that can connect to Silverlight running in Wine). Netflix and Amazon Prime both work on Google Chrome.
I don't think "we" should get into a technical chat here on this thread, but thanks for the input. Suffice it to say, I have tried many "fixes" over the last 2 full days I have been trying to resolve this, including Pipelight. Non of fixes worked fully. Some allowed ITV to work, but not C5 on demand, etc etc. Most unsatisfactory imho (what with Windows, Andriod, IOS, and Linux based streaming boxes having no problem in this respect). It needs fixing! (again imho)
Please note, I am not a Linux expert by any means, I am still learning, but if I can pass on something that has worked for me, I will, but use at your own risk. Plus I am always ready to be corrected by those many helpful folk who ARE experts
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by xenopeek »

Linux remains a minority on the desktop for the moment. Some companies thus ignore it and all their customers using it; meaning the things you mention aren't supported by them on Linux (or GNU/Linux specifically, to avoid the Android discussion). Other companies, like the ones I mentioned, don't ignore it and meet the needs of their customers. Right now you can't get away with using Linux and not expecting to make some compromises/changes. If one is unwilling to compromise/change then for some uses Linux isn't the right choice. Many programs and games don't work on Linux and if one is hung up on those specifically, and unwilling to settle for alternatives, Linux isn't the right choice.
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ghost123uk
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by ghost123uk »

Yes, I know what you’re saying, and of course you are right, but the inability to watch catchup (or live) TV is a huge shortcoming. I take it there must be legal rather than technical problems with regard to producing software that would allow us to stream TV in the way "other devices" can?
Please note, I am not a Linux expert by any means, I am still learning, but if I can pass on something that has worked for me, I will, but use at your own risk. Plus I am always ready to be corrected by those many helpful folk who ARE experts
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by Adelante »

Right. The fixes generally work for a while before they need fixing again. For me, currently, Hulu and Acorn TV don't work on Chrome or Firefox. If the past is an indication, a fix will come along and they will work again.
ghost123uk wrote: I don't think "we" should get into a technical chat here on this thread, but thanks for the input. Suffice it to say, I have tried many "fixes" over the last 2 full days I have been trying to resolve this, including Pipelight. Non of fixes worked fully. Some allowed ITV to work, but not C5 on demand, etc etc. Most unsatisfactory imho (what with Windows, Andriod, IOS, and Linux based streaming boxes having no problem in this respect). It needs fixing! (again imho)
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phd21
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by phd21 »

Hi "ghost123uk",

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

First, I do not think that because you cannot watch a certain streaming TV station, or two, that this should be considered a serious shortcoming that would prevent me from using a computer operating system as wonderful as these Linux Mint systems are. You can always install a version of Ms Windows into a Virtualbox, and run anything Ms Windows related in that, or setup a dual boot system.

It would help if you could provide specific details, instructions, and specific website addresses on these streaming sites that you are having a problem with, so that people (like me) can verify this, and try various things to see if we can get it to work. If there are private login requirements, then you can send me that in a PM, and it will be considered confidential.

It is likely, that there are workable solutions in Linux Mint that you, and some others, are not aware of. For instance, awhile ago I was helping a user who had a paid subscription to a European streaming TV station that would only use the "real player" protocols, fortunately, you can download and install a version of "Real Player" for Linux, and that did work.
Install Real Player 11 on CentOS, RHEL, Fedora and Ubuntu
http://tecadmin.net/how-to-install-real ... on-linux/#

* From a terminal prompt, type in command below, and double click the easy install ".deb" file.
wget http://client-software.real.com/free/un ... 11GOLD.deb

Helix Player 11 for Linux Gold: 11.0.2.1743
RealPlayer 11 for Linux Gold: 11.0.2.1744
https://player.helixcommunity.org/
And this is the place for a technical chat on anything, including this topic. Because we are all in a world wide community, and every streaming station everywhere are not using up to date streaming systems, or are using very new streaming systems, and some are very proprietary, & other issues because of ridiculous country boundries, you might have to actually try various things to get them to work, and there is always a possibility that it might not work well regardless of the operating system because of the streaming providers themselves, or under powered computer hardware.

* Of course my comments pre-suppose that you have already done this:
If you do not have the "Fresh Player plug-in" for FireFox installed, "PepperFlash plug-in" for Chrome, "Flash Plug-in installer", then you might consider doing that. If you do not have Google Chrome installed, do that too, because it is a great browser and there are other positive benefits to that as well.

Fresh Player Plug-in Sees New Release 2015
http://www.webupd8.org/2015/01/fresh-pl ... lease.html

To install this using the PPA method, open a console terminal, type in, or copy & paste, each line below one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install freshplayerplugin

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer
sudo apt-get install pepperflashplugin-nonfree


This is an alternative installation command. If the above pepperflash command did not work, type in:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure pepperflashplugin-nonfree

Really good post - HTML5 and Firefox -- advanced settings
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... lit=+html5
===========================================================================================

* Some people have also been suggesting installing web browsers in Linux "Wine", with silverlight, etc..., which might also be a good alternative for this.

** Although, you can install "Silverlight" (pipelight) in Linux.

Pipelight - Windows plugins in Linux browsers
http://pipelight.net/cms/installation.html

Pipelight is a Silverlight alternative plugin for Linux distributions, it allows one to use windows only plugins inside Linux browsers. Pipelight project team is focuing on Flash, Silverlight, Shockwave and the Unity Webplayer.
http://www.noobslab.com/2014/04/pipelig ... e-for.html

How-to Install Silverlight Browser Support on Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela LTS 32-64bit GNU Easy Guide (June-2015)
http://tutorialforlinux.com/2015/06/30/ ... asy-guide/
===========================================================================================

* You can run Android (ex: phone) applications in Linux, and there are good posts in this forum on setting that up (requires Google Chrome for some Android options).

How to run Android apps in Linux
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... t=+android
Android emulator in linux
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... t=+android

===========================================================================================
You might be able to use a multi-media center, like Kodi/XBMC with various plug-ins, to do this.
===========================================================================================

"Hulu" should be working in newer versions of Linux Mint, as far as I know the "HAL" library below is already installed in 17.2 or higher Linux Mint systems. If you are using an older Mint version, then install the PPA below. I do not know enough about the "Acorn TV" system to comment about it.
How to Watch Netflix Natively on Linux – the Easy Way
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/watch-netf ... -easy-way/
"Hulu" is possible now though thanks to a PPA made by Martin Wimpress, the founder of Ubuntu MATE.
To install this using the PPA method, open a console terminal, type in, or copy & paste, each line below one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:flexiondotorg/hal-flash
sudo apt update
sudo apt install libhal1-flash

Then reboot your system, this is not strictly necessary but is advised to ensure that browser and plugin processes quit correctly.
Note* – this will fix Hulu in Firefox, for any Linux distro, but it will also fix Amazon Prime Video as well. :)
===========================================================================================
A very interesting article on this topic -
The Ultimate Guide to Watching Online TV with "Private Internet Access" (really good lowcost VPN provider)
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/the-ultima ... et-access/
===========================================================================================

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint 20 and 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Mint Xfce + Kubuntu KDE) & KDE Neon 64-bit (new based on Ubuntu 20.04) Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 (7573) 2 in 1 touch screen, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics.
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ghost123uk
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by ghost123uk »

Thanks for your very comprehensive reply phd21 :)

Phew, where to begin :wink:

Firstly, I was hinting at avoiding a technical discussion for two reasons, firstly because I think I have tried, (over my 2 day research / testing period on this), all / most of the things you suggest above, and secondly because I got a mild rebuke from a mod not long ago for letting a discussion in this section "Chat about LM" drift into a technical discussion. However, if ok with the mods, we can continue.

I certainly know what you mean about not avoiding LM just because it cannot play certain online TV streams, but my problem is I am not the end user. I install LM for customers of mine and it's when they ring up and ask why, since moving from Windows, they can no longer watch most of the mainstream UK TV channels and I have to explain (in simple terms) that it's because Linux cannot do it. I then have a certain amount of egg on my face :oops:

Stations I was working on =
BBC, currently no problem.
ITV player the second most watched channel in the UK (login required, takes seconds to do, but will send mine if required).
Channel 4 the third most commonly watched UK station.
5 on demand another very popular UK station. The "loading circle" appears, but just continues for ever.
Sky channels, insists that you have Silverlight installed, does not seem to recognise Pipelight, cannot get past the "Silverlight required, please install it" bit.

All of the above tried with Freshplayer, Pepperflash in Chrome (and patched into FF), Pipelight, etc. Non of them allowed viewing (tho BBC iPlayer ok).
In fact I had CloneZilla images of both machines (right after install & update) which I used after each "mess around", just in case residuals of Flash etc might get in the way

Computers / OS I was working on = Hi-Spec Intel based laptop, and Hi-Spec NVIDIA based Acer "all in one" desktop, both with totally fresh LM17.3 (so no HAL issues).

I have also tried numerous of the multi media centre softwares, but non of the (around 6) I tried had access to the main UK TV channels :( (was fun watching TV from the likes of Cambodia though :roll: )

I would rather not go down the Wine road (though the Pipelight thing is pretty unobtrusive) unless I have to :wink:

I read with great interest your mention of running Android apps on LM. I will be looking at that tomorrow. I wonder though if the Android apps are just front ends and rely on decoding / streaming software already present in the phone / tablet. It is the fact that that a simple (and cheap) mobile phone, and the likes of my £60 WD-TV streaming box can do all of this with absolutely no bother, that has me frustrated about the situation. What software have they got inside that we haven't :twisted:

Once again, thank you very much for your input and interest in this :D
Regards,
John
Please note, I am not a Linux expert by any means, I am still learning, but if I can pass on something that has worked for me, I will, but use at your own risk. Plus I am always ready to be corrected by those many helpful folk who ARE experts
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by AdamH »

Hi John,

I know you said you'd rather not go down the WINE route - however, the following link (by Clem, the founder of Linux Mint) may be useful, if you can't find any other work-around:

http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2028

This involves using WINE to run the Windows versions of Firefox and Adobe Flash Player, so that DRM content can be played.

The comments below the article suggest that it should work with ITV Player, 4OD (Channel 4 On Demand) and Demand5 (for Channel 5) - I have no idea about Sky.

Worth a try maybe? I must admit, I haven't tried this myself just yet, but will probably give it a go soon.

Also - for BBC iPlayer, the giPlayer program (based on get_iplayer) is very useful: http://sourceforge.net/projects/giplayer/
If you click on the "Browse all files" link, there are also browser plugins for Firefox & Chromium under the "Browser Extensions" folder - however, you have to disable signed add-ons (see: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/ad ... =inproduct - "Override add-on signing (advanced users)" section half-way down that page) for the browser plugin to work in the latest version of Firefox (v 43.0 or later).

Kind regards,

Adam.
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by phd21 »

HI "ghost123uk",

You are most welcome.

I have not had a chance to try out these services you mentioned, but when I do, I will let you know.

Let us know how you are getting along with this as well ...
Phd21: Mint 20 and 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Mint Xfce + Kubuntu KDE) & KDE Neon 64-bit (new based on Ubuntu 20.04) Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 (7573) 2 in 1 touch screen, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics.
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by BlackVeils »

i have installed wine, installed Windows firefox using wine, and then Windows flash using wine. this is where i watch catch-up tv services in the UK.

i create a menu item for it, and a separate menu item i call Netflix which is run through the google chrome web browser. i even connect to hdmi and watch video with my partner this way.

i didnt want to use wine either, i have not used wine for anything before. but eventually i gave-in and tried it, been using for a ltitle while now: ITV, channel 5, channel 4. updating flash can be a bit awkward, as far as i could figure out, you have to manually download and install it again. i'm fine with this workaround.

ironically my partner's Windows 7 computer never wants to work with these websites, no matter what browser etc, its annoying, so for now we do this, until we can be bothered to get a new tv and a roku 2.
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by ghost123uk »

Amongst the lots of other useful and interesting things "phd21" wrote this ->
phd21 wrote:Some people have also been suggesting installing web browsers in Linux "Wine", with silverlight, etc..., which might also be a good alternative for this.
And this from Adam ->
AdamH wrote:Hi John,

I know you said you'd rather not go down the WINE route - however, the following link (by Clem, the founder of Linux Mint) may be useful, if you can't find any other work-around: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2028

This involves using WINE to run the Windows versions of Firefox and Adobe Flash Player, so that DRM content can be played.

The comments below the article suggest that it should work with ITV Player, 4OD (Channel 4 On Demand) and Demand5 (for Channel 5) - I have no idea about Sky.
Prompted me to give it a go (on one of my own machines as the others have gone back now, with W7 on them :roll: )
I am pleased to say that running the Windows version of FF, along with the Windows version of Flash, allows me to watch all the UK TV stations (but not Sky}.

Re Sky in FF via Wine, I did try installing the "proper" Silverlight software (via Wine), the install seemed to go OK, but on attempting to use it to watch Sky, I either get no "Play" button to push, or I get a message stating "This program is only available to view online" ( :roll: :? ) or I get a message stating "Silverlight is not responding"

However, thanks to the inputs pushing me towards FF in Wine, at least I can now offer a build that allows my customers to view all 5 UK "terrestrial" channels :)

Thanks, to all for your input, but perhaps we can keep this thread going with regard to any further developments on the "best way" to do this, as in, I was wondering if I should try Pipelight on Linux FF again to try ad get Sky working, though it would be better to have a "one stop shop" for all "online TV" viewing ;)
Please note, I am not a Linux expert by any means, I am still learning, but if I can pass on something that has worked for me, I will, but use at your own risk. Plus I am always ready to be corrected by those many helpful folk who ARE experts
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by phd21 »

Hi "ghost123uk", and anyone else interested in this,

I have another piece of new information that might be of interest to you and others.

I recently re-installed my Linux Mint KDE 17.2 from scratch because I wanted to see if there were any differences rather than upgrading to the new versions, which is what I have been doing for a long time. I somehow saved a lot of space after restoring all my stuff, well over 50 gigabytes? Then, I upgraded to v17.3, love it, and all is well, and working as well as can be on this very antiquated computer hardware that I am currently using. As a result, I lost my previously installed Android abilities, so I have to re-install that. But, I was able to install and run Android apps before in my Linux Mint system per my replies in the posts I linked to.

Then, I came across this article today, regarding a new Android operating system called Remix OS v2.0, see link below. Well, Obviously, since you said that all your Android devices could easily play everything regarding the streaming TV stations that you and your customers wanted, I thought this would be of interest.

You can obviously install Virtualbox, and install any edition of MS Windows in that to run anything that you previously ran in Ms Windows while in Linux Mint without having to reboot into MS Windows. If I am not mistaken, you can now install this Android operating system as a virtual machine in Virtualbox to run any Android applications while still in Linux Mint. I am currently going to check this out, and will let you know how it goes. Below is the link to this new article.

"Virtualbox" is in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM) (get virtualbox guest add-ons too)

Remix OS 2.0 Brings Android To Any Computer
http://itsfoss.com/remix-os-2/?utm_sour ... ux_stories


How to Install Android in VirtualBox
http://www.howtogeek.com/164570/how-to- ... irtualbox/

Android 4.4 (KitKat) in VirtualBox
http://www.linux.org/threads/android-4- ... lbox.7175/

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint 20 and 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Mint Xfce + Kubuntu KDE) & KDE Neon 64-bit (new based on Ubuntu 20.04) Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 (7573) 2 in 1 touch screen, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics.
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ghost123uk
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by ghost123uk »

Thanks for that, sounds interesting :)

On each install, I spend a brief moment disabling the Virtual box guest updates (before installing updates) to prevent that annoying "VitualBox guest client is not running - exiting" message on boot up :roll: Looks like, if your tests prove positive, I will be running VB 8)

I look forward top hearing how it goes.
Please note, I am not a Linux expert by any means, I am still learning, but if I can pass on something that has worked for me, I will, but use at your own risk. Plus I am always ready to be corrected by those many helpful folk who ARE experts
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ghost123uk
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by ghost123uk »

Not had time to do much on this subject in the last couple of weeks. However, as I think I mentioned further up, I have been able, with the help of posts from phd21 and others to get most of the UK's main stream TV channels working via Wine / FireFox / Flash / etc (though Silverlight doesn't play nicely with Wine at all). However, it's all a bit of a faff what with having the Linux version of Firefox plus the Windows (Wine) version with it's plugins etc, especially as I am building systems for end users rather than for my own use.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday I had a thought. On my own front room entertainment system I don't have a computer. I do have a Western Digital "Live" box ( Linky ). I read elsewhere (likely on here) that this box uses a version of Linux as it's OS. The poster explained how he had used a serial port socket (on the actual pcb) to "log in" to the unit and he had been able to use some tools to probe it's OS, but only get limited access / rights.

It occurred to me yesterday that this box decodes all streamed content with absolutely no fuss at all. Everything, BBC, all other terrestrial channels (using the internet) and includes Netflix, YouTube and all the other "on demand" systems I am aware of. All this (and much more) from a box that only costs about £70 new.

I wonder what software is embedded in that which enables it to do what it does (and what we are trying to do) so seamlessly?
Please note, I am not a Linux expert by any means, I am still learning, but if I can pass on something that has worked for me, I will, but use at your own risk. Plus I am always ready to be corrected by those many helpful folk who ARE experts
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Re: Chat about streaming TV issues

Post by ghost123uk »

ghost123uk wrote:I wonder what software is embedded in that [the WD TV Live box] which enables it to do what it does (and what we are trying to do) so seamlessly?
I have registered here WDLXTV Forum to try and gleen some info on what software they use in their 3rd party firmware for the "WD TV Live" box (Linux based I am pretty sure after reading some of the posts on there). I have started the conversation here. I doubt very much their software will run on a PC, (VB or whatever), but the discussion might lead to what they use for decoding streaming TV etc.
Please note, I am not a Linux expert by any means, I am still learning, but if I can pass on something that has worked for me, I will, but use at your own risk. Plus I am always ready to be corrected by those many helpful folk who ARE experts
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