What is the best way to access DRM Flash sites like Hulu or YouTube using the Raspberry?

I have a Neuros (Ubuntu) box on the same network that runs these sites now using the Flash plug-in.

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    VLC network streamer? Aug 5, 2012 at 19:05
  • I think it is a question of architecture. Hulu only allows paid subscribers to use embedded devices. I believe Adobe reports when it is on the ARM architecture. In other words, I doubt that this can be done on the Raspberry at this time. An Android Mini USB PC and a android app called Flash Video Browser might work. I have not tried it yet though.
    – jcalfee314
    Aug 5, 2012 at 23:17
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    What OS do you have? tried Raspbmc? or OpenELEC? forum.stmlabs.com/showthread.php?tid=1404 Aug 5, 2012 at 23:58
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    Are there any DRMd Youtube videos? Aug 6, 2012 at 14:41

2 Answers 2


I've been playing with VLC on a desktop computer the last few weeks. Now, please bear with me a moment...

VLC can play natively the FLV and MP4 files that Youtube uses. You just have to know the correct URL. And for the last few years, VLC has had this functionality where you can script it to take the URL of some arbitrary webpage and extract the video URLs, which then play. You can literally take the URL for some particular video (page), open it in VLC, and it will play automatically, by default.

But the script they include to play a whole list of Youtube videos was broken. I fixed it myself last night. As it turns out, they're just regexing the video URLs out of the html source. No DRM. No fancy URL obfuscation in javascript. Haven't really checked out Hulu, I imagine that stuff is locked down pretty tight though.

  • And the fix was? Aug 6, 2012 at 15:05
  • Parse the html and extract the video url. No drm after all.
    – John O
    Aug 6, 2012 at 15:38
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    Just for reference, directly accessing the video from the flv/mp3 links is against the policy on those sites like youtube and may be against the law, which is the answer you get when asking about this sort of thing on a forum for one of those sites. I'm not saying there's another way to access the videos, but legal provisions have a habit of ignoring the real world.
    – AlanSE
    Aug 6, 2012 at 19:13
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    I've never agreed to use any particular client for those websites. I'm not breaking any promises. One should be careful of the law, I suppose... but past that, I enjoy watching Youtube in VLC. It's pretty snazzy.
    – John O
    Aug 7, 2012 at 2:27
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    No, agreeing would constitute agreeing. If someone could just make up the rules as to what constitutes agreement, then I could say that your comment above constitutes agreement to be my slave for the next 10 years. If Youtube doesn't like this, then they can make it opt-in, where no one is allowed to view until they've signed and notarized the agreement.
    – John O
    Aug 7, 2012 at 13:11

Not sure about Hulu, because I don't have access to it and I know that it's DRM is typically quite stong, however I've been successfully playing standard youtube videos using the youtube-dl package and omxplayer. You can download the video completely or use the --get-url parameter to get the underlying URL. Then omxplayer should be able to play it as most videos use MP4 format with H264. Some YouTube videos use rtmp but they are reasonably rare, and rtmpdump should work, and omxplayer may even have it built in (don't remember).

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