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CBS All Access serves ads, but not content, to Linux users

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Movies

I'm both a Linux user and a CBS All Access subscriber myself, but I had been unaware of the problem since I do all my own watching on a Roku. Technically, the Roku is a Linux PC in its own right—but CBS has its own app in the Roku store, which works perfectly.

Moving back to one of my own PCs, I was quickly able to confirm the issue: trailers autoplay properly, and even the ads work—but the actual content won't play on a Linux desktop PC on any browser including Google Chrome. Diving into the Chrome Web Console, we can see HTTP 400 (Bad Request) errors when the browser attempts to fetch a license from CBS' Widevine back end.

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You Can't Stream 'Star Trek: Picard' on Linux

  • You Can't Stream 'Star Trek: Picard' on Linux Without This Workaround

    It’s 2020, and you think that it would be easy to stream any content you want on any device you want—especially that brand-new Picard series on CBS All Access. If you’re an ubergeek who loves both Star Trek and Linux, you’re out of luck. Thanks to the joys of digital rights management, or DRM, you’re unable to use CBS’ All Access service to stream Picard on Linux.

    In a cruel twist, not only can you not stream the show, but you can stream all the bullshit that comes wrapped around it.

    [...]

    That is, however, slightly more than you’d pay if you signed up for an annual plan via CBS itself ($60/year for limited commercials and and $100/year for no commercials). Amazon doesn’t offer these options, so this route is best if you’re only planning to binge a show or two and then cancel your service. If you’re looking to stick with CBS All Access for the long haul, you might just want to try not watching it on Linux; a tablet, phone, or app on your Smart TV will save you more cash.

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