How to fix DRM playback issues on Linux

We have been having issues playing back new content on TVNZ On Demand due to their accepting a new DRM protected video format for their service.

This has only happened in the last few weeks and confirmed by their techs. From the text of their email to us when we notified them of the error, they do not have a fix and only suggested a starting point for some potential solutions.

It appears that it is the HAL module that is the sticking point.

Following the Adobe link provided, correctly mentions that the HAL module is the missing piece, but the instructions to install it do not work. It appears that the HAL module is no longer available. A “HAL-INFO” package was available, but this did not solve the problem.

After trying all of the solutions proposed by Adobe, I tried a few additional options, such as installing the Flash plugin provided as an installable package from within Mint (this did not work either)

I did some more research on the net and found the following page

http://linuxg.net/how-to-enable-the-playback-of-flash-content-protected-by-drm/

Specifically this to install a package including HAL

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mjblenner/ppa-hal
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install hal

The key thing here is that there is a PPA in the repository that contains HAL. Since trying to install HAL by itself fails, this packaged version includes the HAL libraries.

Interestingly, there was a mention in the output of the installer about “Keeping HAL alive” so it does seemt o be in response to the demise of HAL as an installable piece in it’s own right

With all of my trial and error, I have not gone to a clean system and installed just the above PPA to test it outright. However, I am pretty confident that this PPA will resolve the issue.

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