Sunday 1 April 2007

BYU-TV on linux

This weekend I was watching the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons).

The church itself no longer provides windows media streams of the video during the event, but audio only. This allows them to use their resources to provide audio streams to a wider range of users and in more languages.

Users wanting video are instead directed to Alas, whereas before I was able to use my linux video player of favour (totem or mplayer) to watch video, BYU TV streams video using a proprietary video format and requires a proprietary video player which seems to require the purchase and licensed use of certain proprietary operating systems. (Windows or MacOS). I may have mentioned that I’m using Ubuntu Linux.

Fortunately, as I have an x86 platform, I was able to watch all of conference on Linux by using windows firefox running under WINE with the Move Networks plugin. It was a simpel matter of making sure I had WINE installed and then installing Firefox for windows and then browsing to where I was prompted to load the Move Networks plugin.

Sadly the move-networks plugin thought it was running in 256 colour mode, and so rendered the 24 bit colour into 8 bit hatching. (I took a screen-grab I can send to demonstrate this if you like). This required the combined processing power of 2 3GHz CPU’s to show video at full screen.

Fortunately move networks plugin WOULD play even when it thought it was in 256 colour mode, and fortunately I did have 2 3GHz CPU so I COULD watch in full screen.

Implications are that move networks could do an x86 linux plugin without too much hard work, if they would link with winelib.

It would still be a horrible proprietary video format and player, btu at least i would be able to choose my operating system.


  1. “btu at least” typo eh?

  2. So this time they’ll have a few MMS video streams, the English one at . The whole list of video streams is at,5161,8046,00.html . I can play these on my Linux box and Xbox Media Center :) Unfortunately the quality isn’t as nice.
    In the past, I was also able to play the Move Networks video using Linux + Firefox + wine. My processor isn’t quite as fast though, so I had to abandon the idea since audio skipped and went out of sync constantly.

  3. As I have a good 3D graphics card, I can use compiz and zoom in on the Linux + Firefox + Wine Move networks screen, so I don’t thrash my CPU trying to scale the video to full screen.

  4. Sam,
    Thanks for the post. I was able to install the move Firefox extension / plug-in in my Wine installation of Firefox. The audio plays fine, but the video is horrible: I get mostly black, with some seemingly random pixels of red, blue, and green. At first, I can select a program from the menu (when I rollover the menu, the individual items appear in bright green), but later the menu is gone. I tried closing Firefox with CTRL+F4, along with CTRL+Q, to no avail. I finally restarted X to get my system back.