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Late to the party?

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Late to the party?   

Postby anime_guy » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:25 pm

Hi,

I've been a fan and user of my WDTVLive for several years now, but I never ventured into custom firmwares before.

I've always used it just for streaming video from my PC and NAS. But, I recently tried the network streaming part if the WDTV (Netflix, at first), and I realized I kind of like it.

And I also tried a lot of those other streaming channels - the ones with the cheesy movies and old cartoons - and I like them too.

But, I *hate* the advertisements every five minutes!

So, I'm here basically to see if there is a hack that let's me put in some ad blocking software.

But I'm not sure if the hacked firmware is still being developed, if it can do what I want, and if it is worth the work to install custom FW, as opposed to using the latest stock FW. I'm a noob.

I have been reading the forums and I haven't seen any specific answers to these general questions. ^_^

I'm sure I'll get pointed to some FAQ I've read already, but I'm used to that. Thanks for any help.
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Re: Late to the party?   

Postby mad_ady » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:16 pm

I don't know if you're late to the party or not - it depends what device you have. Live/Plus is kind of end of support, though I'm working to bring wdlxtv to 1.06. If you're using SMP, then it's still being developed.

But advertisements? I never heard of them! What online services are you using? Suppressing ads should not be impossible - you could do some packet captures to identify the domain where it gets the ads from and change the domain to 127.0.0.1.

But we need more info - firmware version/device.
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Re: Late to the party?   

Postby anime_guy » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:42 am

Ah yes, I always leave out the important stuff.

On the bottom of my unit it reads
WDBHG70000NBK-01
so I guess that makes it an SMP/Gen, right?

The current firmware I have (I always take the update when it is auto offered) is
2.02.32

As far as ads go, I watch streaming channels like Midnight Pulp, American Pop Classics, and Cafe Noir. They show these great, old, cheesy movies that look like VHS rips - I really love it.

But, every movie starts with a streaming advertisement (mostly some fantasy baseball gambling service). And then, on many channels, the same ad comes back *every five minutes*! I'm not kidding. It's unbearable to have so many interruptions.

I'm somewhat tech savvy and I follow directions very well, so if there was a plan to avoid these ads I would welcome it.

I also found a Canadian (!) website that offers an ad-avoidind DNS redirect, for the low price if $1.99 a month
https://adfreetime.com/

So that's everything I guess. I also did custom stylesheets for a while manually, but I needed a hardware reset and I never reinstalled them.

Glad to find your place here, if you could help my tiny dilemma I would be grateful! Thanks for taking the time.
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Re: Late to the party?   

Postby KAD » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:03 pm

well you're not particularly late to the party

the latest WDLXTV firmware for SMP aka Gen3 was released approx 1 month ago

as for an adblocking service on gen3
all that's been looked into is that the kernel does support IPTables http://wiki.wdlxtv.com/Differences_between_kernels
so it's theoretically possible, no additional research or work has been done towards this on Gen3

so unless you can do the work yourself, you're probably better off going with some sort of adblocking service, such as you described
your milage with those services will vary
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Re: Late to the party?   

Postby mad_ady » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:23 pm

One needs to do a packet capture and study it for a while. Determine where the content is streamed from and where the ads are retrieved from. Then if the servers are on different domains, it's simpler to use the /etc/hosts trick to redirect the ads traffic to nowhere. But this requires time to analyze the packet capture. An easier example would be just looking for DNS queries in the packet capture and see which go to ad sites.

Also, you should look into UMSP and see if there is something you like there.
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Re: Late to the party?   

Postby KAD » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:59 am

I'd have to review again, I remember once, I tried to add a blacklist to the host file on WD and gave up
but did not spend much time on it

had looked at including something like this
http://www.snbforums.com/threads/adblocking-with-combined-hosts-file.15309/

to try and improve the speed of the internal web browser
it's probably worth being looked at again

although, lately, I've been gone most weekends, and expect this to continue for some time
which leaves little to no time for developments

also remember, I haven't applied any patches to dmaosd on Gen3, so networking is still completely controlled by dmaosd
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Re: Late to the party?   

Postby mad_ady » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:59 am

I've looked at the link and it's a great idea for a router which acts as a dns proxy, but it's overkill for the wdtv. You could keep the wget line and build a static hosts file. It has a high chance of working and is easy to test.

Regarding patching dmaosd - I haven't reached that part yet on the 1.06 port, but when I get there I can have a look. Should be doable with just a hex editor
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Re: Late to the party?   

Postby anime_guy » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:04 pm

If any of this ad blocking gets implemented in the near future, I'll be all in!
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Re: Late to the party?   

Postby mad_ady » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:06 pm

@anime_guy: If you run WDLXTV you can try this one time command to populate your hosts file with the adblock rules:
Code: Select all
wget -qO- "http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.txt" "http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/zero/hosts" "http://pgl.yoyo.org/adservers/serverlist.php?hostformat=hosts&showintro=0&startdate[day]=&startdate[month]=&startdate[year]=&mimetype=plaintext&useip=0.0.0.0" | grep -w ^0.0.0.0 | sed $'s/\r$//' | sort -u >> /etc/hosts


It adds about 25000 blocked sites. See if it helps you.
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Re: Late to the party?   

Postby kroetkroet » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:14 am

This is golden information mad_ady - throwing all these hostnames in iptables deny on my router. Thanks for sharing!
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