hulu

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somewhat successful ad blocking

Postby mitpianoman » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:05 pm

resurrecting an old thread here, but I thought it'd be better to post in a place where there's already been some good discussion about the hulu adblocking...

I first analyzed the traffic from the hulu player using FireBug. I then decided to write a quick python web server (based on BaseHTTPServer that responded with the following):


Code: Select all
HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Server: BaseHTTP/0.3 Python/2.5.4
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2009 17:34:37 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.4 (Fedora)
Last-Modified: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 15:06:33 GMT
ETag: "1f5c4-3-432df137e9040"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 3
P3P: policyref="http://web.lightningcast.net/w3c/p3p.xml",CP="NON DSP COR CURa TAIo PSDo OUR IND PHY DEM STA LOC"
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

ok


Adding the following to my /etc/hosts file causes all traffic to the following servers to be served by my python server:

Code: Select all
127.0.0.1      stats5.lightningcast.net
127.0.0.1      stats6.lightningcast.net
127.0.0.1      stats5.lightningcast.com
127.0.0.1      stats6.lightningcast.com
127.0.0.1      stats5.lightningcast.net
127.0.0.1      ads.hulu.com


That successfully seems to remove all the in-episode ads, and eliminates any 30-second waits, but the 7-second intro ad is still being displayed as a 10-second adblock notice. Still working on that. Since the hulu player seems to dynamically set the length of the 'pause' between movie clips, if I can get a hold of a blank swf I think I can return that in place of the request for the intro ad, which should take the 10-second pause away.

Obviously, due to the steps involved this is all more of an academic exercise than a solution for people to avoid hulu ads en-mass, so lets try to avoid getting into a discussion of ethics.
mitpianoman
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:54 pm

Postby nick » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:19 pm

Simply removing the whitelist filter for ads.hulu.com in EasyList did the trick for me. Ads don't play and there is no 30-second pause/delay of any kind -- it just skips right to the next clip.

I publish my own AdBlock Plus list that I use to supplement EasyList when it makes mistakes like this. Can my AdBlock Plus list override a whitelist filter in EasyList somehow? I tried to add the exact same filter to my list without the "@@" in front, but I guess whitelists take priority over blacklists? Is there something like the "! important" declaration in CSS to force my rule to not be overridden?
nick
 

Postby Xixao » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:53 pm

nick wrote:Simply removing the whitelist filter for ads.hulu.com in EasyList did the trick for me. Ads don't play and there is no 30-second pause/delay of any kind -- it just skips right to the next clip.

I publish my own AdBlock Plus list that I use to supplement EasyList when it makes mistakes like this. Can my AdBlock Plus list override a whitelist filter in EasyList somehow? I tried to add the exact same filter to my list without the "@@" in front, but I guess whitelists take priority over blacklists? Is there something like the "! important" declaration in CSS to force my rule to not be overridden?


I tried what you mention and this works perfectly for ads. However, I still get a pesky 30 seconds blur about how ads support hulu at the start of the show.
Xixao
 

Postby nick » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:25 pm

Solved it. You can block the beginning "you aren't seeing ads" message with this filter:
Code: Select all
.hulu.com/*revenue/
nick
 

Postby mitpianoman » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:39 pm

nick wrote:Solved it. You can block the beginning "you aren't seeing ads" message with this filter:
Code: Select all
.hulu.com/*revenue/

Thanks, that worked. Have you had any success with blocking ads (and blocking the 30-sec delay) in the middle of the shows?
mitpianoman
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:54 pm

Postby nick » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:48 pm

nick wrote:Solved it. You can block the beginning "you aren't seeing ads" message with this filter:
Code: Select all
.hulu.com/*revenue/

Sorry, actually, this doesn't seem to work consistently. It solved the problem on Stargate but other shows still have the annoying message at the beginning. There must be something else in addition to this that must be blocked. I'll keep working on it. Also, feel free to subscribe to my list by visiting http://adblockplus.quietmint.com/ because I'll put the solution into my list once I get it working.

You can block ads during the show by removing the whitelist filter for ads.hulu.com. Simply update your EasyList and it seems like it will go away.
nick
 

Postby mitpianoman » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:56 pm

Thanks Nick. I started to notice the same myself. I have a feeling the solution will probably be more along the lines of a greasemonkey script or a full-out application that sits on your desktop and intercepts the traffic to/from hulu. I've noticed that simply blocking the traffic causes their flash player to either fall back to another url or display the "blocked" message with the 30 second timer.

I'd also be curious about the 'hulu video downloader' I saw mentioned on lifehacker. If that thing has a way to rip out the streams, that's potentially useful.
mitpianoman
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:54 pm

Postby nick » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:42 pm

Hulu only complains and shows the "you're not seeing ads" message when one of the .swf files is blocked (e.g., intro sponsor message). Hulu will skip the ad without pause or complaint if it is an .flv file that is blocked.

First, I updated EasyList so ads.hulu.com was no longer whitelisted.

Next I created a whitelist filter specifically for the .swf files (intro ads):
Code: Select all
@@||ads.hulu.com/*.swf


At this point, you'll see the 5- or 7-second intro ad ("The following program is brought to you with limited commercial interruption", which is an .swf file and whitelisted) but none of the in-show ads (which are .flv files and blocked).

Finally, I used your hosts trick to redirect ads.hulu.com to my web server:
Code: Select all
206.130.96.83      ads.hulu.com


I have a PHP script that responds with a "Content-Type: application/x-shockwave-flash" header and no content. (I also tried a valid "empty.swf" file with only one frame, but got the same result). With the hosts file in place, I can replace the intro ad with 10 seconds of black silence before a show starts.[/code]
nick
 

Re: hulu

Postby anon » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:43 am

Nick,

Would you mind posting the code for the .php file?

Thanks!
anon
 

Re: hulu

Postby Razor512 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:56 pm

seems like the ads are back again.

Hulu used to be ok and i didn't mind the ads but now it seems there using every dirty trick in the book

the ads are loud, flashy and annoying especially if your watching a show where not everyone is loud and you need to crank the volume up to hear things.

I cant use my speakers any more because if i turn up the volume to heat the show and a ad comes on, it wakes up everyone in the house because the sub woofer goes crazy and it sounds like an explosion just went off in the house

I am used to seeing ads as they come up on tv shows all the time, but hulu just goes overboard with obnoxious ads which ate getting longer day by day

greed will be their downfall
Razor512
 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:31 pm

Re: hulu

Postby boston » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:54 am

I've found that blocking this
http://ll.a.hulu.com/*


blocks the loud annoying add but instead brings up the 30 Sorry we are unable to load a message from our sponsors.
so pick your poison I guess. either 30 seconds of that msg or 1 few seconds of a loud annoying as hell commercial

also noticed
the addblock plus blockable items this one is blocked by Easy List (USA)
http://ads.hulu.com/published/coca_cola_company/coke_zero_mainthrust_digital_09/coke_zero_video_mean_troy_30/HuluAdsTranscode_31478_FLASH_700K_16x9_29.97.flv


and this link which isnt being blocked
http://ll.a.hulu.com/published/coca_cola_company/coke_zero_mainthrust_digital_09/coke_zero_video_mean_troy_30/HuluAdsTranscode_31478_FLASH_700K_16x9_29.97.flv
boston
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:44 am

Re: hulu

Postby dson » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:17 pm

If anyone finds out how to make it completely skip adds, like it did before hulu made the recent update, can you please let us all know here.
dson
 

home run

Postby ohnoeses » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:14 pm

nick wrote: to my web server:


there are several tiny applications that answer on loopback with nothing, a transparent image, or whatever single file speficied. Great for people who have no need for a full webserver application. :)

I use Homer (XP)

Image


... such a concept might make an interesting extension
ohnoeses
 

Re: hulu

Postby asdf » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:25 pm

Easy! Block the following domains

ads.hulu.com

p.hulu.com

t2.hulu.com

You can get along on hulu completely without these domains. Hell, hosts file them.

Then block object subrequests from huluim.com

Other third-party ads for hulu come from bluekai.com, edgefcs.net, securestudies.com, 2o7.net, rewardtv.com, edgesuite.net, quantserve.com, quantcast.com, and google.

I find you can also get videos to play even if you block "datastreamerror."

When you block edgefcs, make sure to mark it third-party. There are header requests made by hulu that require a connection to cp47346.edgefcs.net via the rtmp: protocol, but that protocol is obfuscated a bit and appears as a subrequest made by t.hulu.com.
asdf
 

Re: hulu

Postby kol » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:05 pm

someone please tell me how to get rid of the 30 second notice?
kol
 

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