How to make UPC Horizon TV work in Linux
In an earlier article I have explained how you can use pipelight to run a Windows-based browser plugin seamlessly in your Linux browser. This solution makes use of a modified Wine under the hood. This way, you can for instance display web sites using Microsoft’s SilverLight technology (many dutch schools use a proprietary SilverLight based pupil management system), or use the Windows Flash Player which is much more up to date than Adobe’s plugin for Firefox.
The pipelight plugin loader also supports the Widevine content decryption module, which is used to decrypt a DRM-protected Flash video stream. Widevine is used by UPC‘s service to subscribers to watch television channels on your computer: Horizon TV. I pride myself to be the initiator for getting widevine support added to pipelight because I am a UPC subscriber, but when it actually got added, I found out that I could not make it work with Horizon TV. Bummer!
After a lot of frustration I accidentally stumbled across a thread on the UPC community forum, where cause of the issue was explained and the solution was provided.
The widevine plugin as installed by pipelight is actually too new! In order to make Horizon TV work in a Linux browser, you need an older version of the Widevine DLL. That older version is still available for download, but to be safe I made a copy.
These are the steps you need to perform to make it work: Download the Widevine plugin for Firefox (an XPI file); unzip it in order to extract the DLL file it contains; and then copy the DLL file into the wine-pipelight prefix where Widevine has been installed – this will overwrite the newer (but non-functional) version of the DLL with the older (but working) version.
$ wget https://dl.google.com/widevine/188.8.131.5278/WidevineMediaOptimizer_Win.xpi $ unzip WidevineMediaOptimizer_Win.xpi plugins/npwidevinemediaoptimizer.dll $ cp -p plugins/npwidevinemediaoptimizer.dll \ ~/.wine-pipelight/drive_c/windows/system32/
Thanks to Theo Band for the instructions! With these three commands, I was able to watch television in my Slackware Firefox browser.
Hope this helps some of you. Eric