Cannot stream HBO GO/NOW/NORDIC - But this does work in ChromeOS

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28 comments

  • On Air

    I should add that when I said that HBO streaming does not work in Linux (Ubuntu), I meant that this is when using the latest official Chrome browser (not Chromium). for linux  So the issue does not seem to be Chromium vs Chrome for linux. The fix seems to be something implemented in ChromeOS (the OS) itself, In which case if you can find out the fix, it should be possible to apply it to Cloud Ready.

     

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  • Forrest Smith

    Hi ,

    I'm not able to find any info about what exactly is missing from Linux Chrome vs. Chrome OS, so while it does seem possible that this could be fixed, it is also possible that something special about Google's official builds of Chrome OS is what allows HBO to play. 

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  • On Air

    Hi,

    I did take this up in the Google Chrome support site (to try and get it to work with Chrome on Ubuntu) but the so called 'Expert' that answered was pretty clueless - didnt seem to know more than to suggest changing settings. I doubt the person really was a software expert. Eventually they ran out of suggestions and stopped replying.

    I found a link to test the issue on an Adobe website, the case in question is way out of date but the test still reveals the difference.
    Follow the instructions on this link:
     
     
    You open a video player container, paste in a link to sample content and press play.
    In ChromeOS it works fine. In Chrome running on Ubuntu it hangs. I havent tried in CloudReady yet...
     
     

     

     

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  • On Air

    Last note: in the Sample Video Player you can tick off a box 'Show DRM events', that might help see whats going on...

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  • Forrest Smith

    Just hangs for me:

     

    If you open the image in a new tab and zoom in you can kind of read the DRM output - all seem to list "null"

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

     

    I would guess there is some form of verification that HBO does with only approved OSs. I also know that Widevine has multiple "Levels" of protection and that services can opt to only playback their content on higher "Levels" where the processing is done in increasingly secure ways. 4k Netflix playback is an example of something gated by this functionality. I believe an application or device must be certified in advance for that kind of thing, so perhaps this is something HBO intends.

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  • On Air

    I did wonder about that - but the Adobe test player is nothing to do with HBO, the test content is nothing to do with HBO, and yet it exactly correlates with the results when trying to play HBO content on the various platforms. ie if it doesnt work on the Adobe test, HBO doesnt work either. 

    Also, I did try spoofing Chrome in Ubuntu to report different OS's and browser versions using a User Agent Switcher but it made no difference, HBO would not play.

    So all this would indicate that it is not due to HBO filtering but something more basic.

    If you try the test again on a Windows machine running Chrome and on ChromeOS you might see more details, I certainly got a long string of info when I tried it on my windows machine..

     

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  • Phil Reilly

    Providers block Linux devices by choice. Only Showtime Anytime works on Linux & that's just recently.

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  • On Air

    As I said I dont think this is related to providers since it doesnt work even on the Adobe test page and it doesnt work even if you change the User Agent identifier to Windows, so I dont buy that in this case anyway

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  • On Air

    For info I get exactly the same result on the test page with the latest Ubuntu/Chrome.

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  • Phil Reilly

    Yep, Adobe test page is funky in chrome/chromium with that ask to play flash setting. I can ONLY play Showtime Anytime on Linux. All others (HBO MAX) even work on old os x with Waterfox.

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  • On Air

    Could it be due to Linux read/write file restrictions? I looked in the home/.adobe/Flash_Player/ folder in Ubuntu where (I think) licenses are supposed to be stored but I couldnt find anything. Maybe there are permission restrictions blocking the flash player write/read of the required license files?

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  • On Air

    I went thru the same test in ChromeOS and of course it worked, here are a couple of screenshots that show the complete DRM dialog:



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  • Phil Reilly

    Where does the dialogue (begin to) differ with cloudready?

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  • On Air

    Well if you look at the other screenshot posted above by Forrest Smith you will see the difference which is just about everything. 

    If somebody could probe ChromeOS installed data files to see how they did it that might provide some answers. 

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  • Phil Reilly

    Showtime Anytime doesn't use flash & it works just fine. When flash is outlawed only outlaws will run flash!

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  • On Air

    Unfortunately for me and millions of others, HBO streaming platforms use DRM Flash and I cannot use Cloud Ready exclusively as I have an HBO subscription, because of Westworld, Game of Thrones, Bill Maher, Silicon Valley, etc, etc.... Cloud Ready still doesnt work even though ChromeOS does.

    And there is no sign HBO will change. So this is a big deal for me. The fact that ChromeOS even the 32 bit edition which is still updated, plays HBO means that it is possible so I am sure that some forensic probing will find out how they do it. I am convinced it is something relatively trivial and easy to implement.

     

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  • Forrest Smith

    Hi On Air,

     

    Which Chromebook do you have which runs the 32bit version of Chrome OS and is still updated? 

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  • On Air

    Hi

    I have an Asus Chromebit on loan which I just watched HBO on (Bill Maher) in between posts, currently running Version 65.0.3325.209 (Official Build) (32-bit)

     

     

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  • Forrest Smith

    Ahh I see - that's an ARM chipset where 32bit builds are still supported by Google. x86 32bit builds are completely deprecated.

     

    While I agree that there must be some way of getting this working, I think you've jumped to a conclusion a bit too quickly in being convinced that it is something relatively trivial and easy to implement. If this were the case, I expect the wider Linux world would have a solution for this already.

    Cartoon Network is another streaming source that fails on CloudReady regardless of what we try on our end. I believe, in both of these cases, it is possible there is a blocker on the server-side from HBO/CN, or an issue with the Widevine implementation that's available to non-mainstream OS (as mentioned in my comments a bit back) that could make solving this outside our control.

     

    If you find something that indicates a path forward please do share - we're happy to work on something like this if it turns out to be technical, rather that administrative/logistical/legal.

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  • Phil Reilly

    ..I think the provider is blocking it because of the support implications of 100's of Linux/device configuration possibilities.

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  • On Air

    OK well I come back to my earlier comment that the DRM test fails even when the provider is not HBO er whatever (its an internal Adobe tester). So until proven otherwise its not the provider.

    That tells me its something more basic. And it doesnt work on 64 bit system either, other than ChromeOS. 

    I am surprised that the technical people at Cloud Ready cannot figure this out by some kind of clinical probing of the differences between systems . I mean if you can look into each system and see how they interact it should be easy to locate . but I am no expert.

    I have taken this up in the Adobe Flash support website - first they said DRM was not supported in Linux but the fact that it works on ChromeOS had the team stumped so they sent me on a to new forum for Adobe Access DRM

    No reply there yet....

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  • On Air

    Just got another post from a member of the Adobe Flash team:

    I know that the Access team explicitly built DRM support into Flash Player for ChromeOS as part of our partnership with Google and the Chrome team.  I can't find anything that specifically mentions Linux or Ubuntu.

     

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  • Jesse Pierce

    Hi On Air,

    Appreciate your passion for this particular feature. As a business, our core customer base is Education and Enterprise customers. Right now the demand is not there for those users to facilitate a deep dive into why the HBO streaming network is not functional on CloudReady. We spent time developing the feature set to support Adobe Flash, Widevine and Proprietary Codecs because our Education and Enterprise users demanded it, we don't hear the same demand for this.

    I would also caution against trivializing development work to support this or any feature. We certify CloudReady works on over 200 devices, which includes a regular cadence of rigorous QA testing for a stable release schedule every 6-8 weeks. No feature is easy to implement and maintain.

    Thank you for using CloudReady and I hope you can find other uses for it even if this feature is not feasible.

     

    Thanks,

    Jesse Pierce

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  • Phil Reilly

    I have NEVER seen it work on ANY BROWSER on ANY Linux other than Google Chrome. If it did you might have a point but it doesn't work because the provider doesn't want/care it to/if works!

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  • On Air

    Jesse:

    Thanks for taking the time to explain your position on this. I can only hope that HBO move away from Flash sometime soon but from what I have read they are not about to. I will still be chasing this up with Adobe to see where I get, there does seem to be something not quite right there. I am sure you would have to admit that HBO is a fairly big player and the lack of access might be a deal breaker for a lot of people, enough that they just go out and purchase a real chromebook but I appreciate that this s not your primary focus - although it could have a knock on effect. From a commercial point of view, I for one would be willing to pay a one off fee for an OS that did give me slick access to all my media outlets.

    Phil:

    Thanks for your input. Lets agree to disagree :)

     

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  • Phil Reilly

    It works on Mac, Windows & Chrome OS! I call conspiracy!

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  • Forrest Smith

    Hi All,

    I'm seeing Cartoon Network & HBO Now both working in v72.1 64bit CloudReady on the dev channel - I know this is a stale thread, but if anyone can try it out and report back, it'd be great to confirm that everyone sees the change.

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  • Tony Baloney

    Looks like HBO GO not using flash plugin anymore so it seems to stream on any platform now.

    Maxgo still using flash so not working on all platforms yet.

    Showtime Anytime has been the first to abandon flash and is still working.

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