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Here is a little more from 2 years ago

HBO declares war on Game of Thrones pirates, but it may be a losing battle

More than 90 million fans pirated the season’s first episode, says one source

Sophia Harris · CBC News · Posted: Jul 30, 2017 5:00 AM ET | Last Updated: July 30, 2017

Season seven of Game of Thrones has only just begun, and already HBO is cracking down on people illegally downloading the wildly popular TV series. 

But it’s questionable how successful the TV network’s attack will be, especially when many pirates are turning to streaming — a form of piracy that’s hard to track but easy to do, even for Luddites.

“It’s just a lower technical bar,” says Dan Deeth of Sandvine, a broadband equipment company that tracks home internet usage.

According to TorrentFreak, a news site that covers piracy issues, HBO is targeting people suspected of illegally downloading Game of Thrones by sending notices to their internet provider.

The letter asks the provider to immediately inform the customer that they’ve behaved badly and need to stop.

The notice also encourages the provider “to inform the subscriber that HBO programming can easily be watched and streamed on many devices legally by adding HBO to the subscriber’s television package.”

Last year, HBO sent a similar message to pirates and raised the ire of many Canadian Thronesfans. That’s because new episodes of the show are only available to Canadians with a pricey, top-tier TV subscription.

“It’s just not viable for me to spend 150 bucks for HBO,” says Josh Randell, who lives in Corner Brook, N.L. He received two warning letters last year telling him to stop downloading Game of Thrones and informing him it’s never been easier to legally watch the series.

“It’s never been easier, then why can’t I get it easy?” says Randell. He says he would happily pay $14.99 US a month for HBO Now, a streaming service only available in the U.S. that offers full access to Game of Thrones shows. 

Streaming is king

Despite the warning letters, Randell continues to pirate Game of Thrones, and so do many other people across the globe.

According to the U.K.-based piracy monitoring firm, MUSO, this year’s season opener was pirated an astonishingly high 91.74 million times around the world.

“It’s a big number but it’s a big show and there’s high demand,” says MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley.

The company based its data on internet traffic to more than 23,000 piracy sites. It found that in most of the cases — a whopping 84.9 per cent — pirates used unauthorized streaming to watch the episode.

MUSO stands by its data but Sandvine’s Deeth believes the statistics should be viewed as an estimate, claiming it’s hard to track some forms of piracy. But he does agree with the company’s findings that streaming, instead of downloading, is now the preferred way to steal content.

“Streaming is just easier to now do because the technology has gotten better,” says Deeth, who’s based in Waterloo, Ont. “Things like those Android boxes have made it easier for the average consumer.”

He’s referring to TV boxes loaded with special software that are often advertised with the promise of “free TV,” and sold for a one-time fee, typically around $100. Once buyers connect the device to a TV, they can easily stream a vast selection of pirated movies and shows — including Game of Thrones.

“It’s as easy as Netflix,” says Deeth.

But the shift to streaming will make it even more difficult for TV networks like HBO to catch pirates. Deeth says illegal downloading is public, which means the anti-piracy police can at least figure out the internet provider involved and get it to send the suspect a warning letter.

But he says unauthorized streaming is much harder to track because the content is often encrypted.

“It’s impossible to tell what file’s what, who’s sharing what,” says Deeth. “The content is anonymous.”

Give them what they want

Deeth suggests the best solution is to offer people easy and affordable streaming services that include premium TV shows. 

“If you give people the services they want at a price they think is appropriate on the devices they want to watch it on, they’ll pay for it,” he says.

Thrones fan Randell agrees. “The content creators deserve their money,” he says. “But I want to pay for the content I want, not the content I want plus a bunch of extra crap.”

Bell Media owns the rights to HBO content in Canada. It told CBC News that while it continues to look at other options, for now Game of Thrones remains only available to traditional TV subscribers.

“We strongly discourage piracy, which hurts content creators, and encourage all Game of Thrones fans to subscribe to HBO Canada,” said spokesperson Scott Henderson in an email to CBC News.

CBC News also asked HBO for comment.”HBO aggressively protects its content but finds it counterproductive to publicly discuss our anti-theft tactics,” said spokesperson Jeff Cusson in an email.

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People Streaming should be aware of this.

Vader Streams Was Shut Down By ACE, Must Pay $10m Damages

  • BY ANDY
  • ON AUGUST 21, 2019
  • C: 18

NEWS

Vader – formerly one of the most visible brands in the pirate IPTV space – shut down in May amid mysterious circumstances. As was initially suspected, it’s now confirmed the platform was targeted by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. Following a secret legal process in Canada, the service is now on the hook for $10 million in damages.

There are several large IPTV providers with brands that are well known across the unlicensed industry. One of those was Vader, otherwise known as Vader Streams, or just Vaders.

Notable for its Darth Vader logo, the platform served large numbers of direct customers and subscription re-sellers with at least 1,300 TV channels and a library of VOD content running close to 3,000 titles.

This May, however, something went seriously wrong.

“We have no choice but to close down Vader. We can’t reveal much publically, but by now some of you should know through the other means what happened,” a notice posted to the site’s Telegram channel read.

“We tried everything in our power to avoid this, to avoid any outage, but enough people worked against us.”

With that, Vader went down, never to appear again. As highlighted in our subsequent review of the Vader closure, we had strong suspicions that anti-piracy giant the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) had become involved.

We’d obtained an unverified copy of what looked like a cease-and-desist notice, apparently sent by ACE members to Vader, over its VOD content. Unable to confirm its authenticity, we made a decision not to publish it.

However, it’s now 100% clear that ACE, the global anti-piracy company made up of dozens of powerful content companies, did indeed shutter Vader. And it’s now evident why they refused to comment.

ACE proceeded against Vader through a secret court proceeding in Canada through which it obtained a so-called “Anton Piller” order, a civil search warrant that grants plaintiffs no-notice permission to enter a defendant’s premises in order to secure and copy evidence to support their case, before it can be destroyed or tampered with. A similar process was used against TVAddons founder Adam Lackman in 2017.

While the case against Lackman is moving forward at glacial speed more than two years later, the Vader matter now appears to be over. After obtaining a permanent injunction from the Federal Court in Canada, ACE has shuttered the service and landed Vader with a bill for $10 million in damages.

According to ACE, Vader must also “cede administrative control” over its entire “piracy infrastructure”, permanently cease-and-desist from doing anything in future connected to offering, selling, or promoting unlicensed streams, and/or developing, updating, hosting or promoting any Kodi add-ons connected to pirated content.

“On behalf of all ACE members, I applaud the Court’s decision to permanently put an end to piracy operations conducted by Vader Streams,” Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in a statement.

“Actions like these can help reduce piracy and promote a dynamic, legal marketplace for creative content that provides audiences with more choices than ever before, while supporting millions of jobs in the film and television industry.”

Robert Malcolmson, Senior Vice President Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations, Bell Canada – a prominent ACE member – described the action by the Federal Court as “strong and appropriate”, adding that “illegal streaming services like Vader Streams cause serious harm to creators and distributors, the entire broadcasting and cultural sectors and ultimately Canadian consumers.”

While ACE says that Vader must “cede administrative control” over its entire “piracy infrastructure”, it remains unclear what that means in real terms.

At the time of the shutdown, Vader said that it was “going to make sure, no Email, IP, account + reseller name goes to the wrong hands. Everything will be wiped clean and that’s all.”

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How Does the Amazon Fire TV Stick Work?

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House, Abshier House

What is the Amazon Fire TV Stick? The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a new device joining the ranks of home entertainment streaming technologies. The Fire Stick plugs into your TV’s HDMI port giving you access to your favorite TV shows, movies, subscription services, music, photos, and games. The Fire TV Stick houses all of your favorite content and is easily transportable, so you can take your media anywhere!

How the Fire TV Stick works

The Amazon Fire TV Stick rivals other popular streaming devices like the Roku and Chromecast. How does the Amazon Fire TV Stick work? Your Fire Stick plugs into your HDMI TV via USB port, connects via Wi-Fi, and comes equipped with a Bluetooth remote. Simply plug your Fire Stick in and you will be directed through the setup process and prompted to sign into your Amazon account.

The Fire Stick is a central repository for all your content. Once logged on, you will have access to any music and videos purchased through your Amazon account. In addition, you can view any pictures uploaded to your Amazon Cloud service.

Using your device, you also have access to thousands of apps and games. For instance, you can use your Fire TV Stick to open the Netflix app and watch trending Netflix videos. Or, open YouTube and browse the latest uploads from your favorite blogger. Other services like HBO Now, ESPN, and Hulu can also be accessed with your Fire TV Stick at a cost. However, even with the fee, you get the advantage of being able to choose your preferred services instead of being tied into a cable package.

Fire TV Stick vs. Fire TV

Amazon offers a Fire Stick and Fire TV. These products offer the same services and both come equipped with a Bluetooth remote. So, what’s the difference?

  • Size: The Fire TV Stick is far smaller than the Fire TV. The Fire Stick is about three inches long and plugs into your TV. Fire TV is a square console that, while sleek, is about four and half inches long on each side. If you prefer the minimalist look, the Fire TV Stick is the winner.
  • Cost: You will find that the Fire Stick is the cheaper option. The First Stick costs $39.99 while the Fire TV will set you back $99.
  • Speed: The Fire Stick will give you 1 GB of RAM, while the Fire TV offers 2 GB of RAM, making the Fire TV more responsive. If you’re a serious gamer, you might want to go for the Fire TV to avoid lags and frustration in loading speeds.
  • Additional ports and storage: With the Fire TV Stick, you won’t have options for expansion. The Fire TV console has a USB port, Ethernet port, and micro SD slot, making it easier to store and access content.
  • Capabilities: The Fire TV stick can support your watching habits up to 1080p. Fire TV is enabled for 4K streaming. With the trend leaning toward 4K TVs, the Fire TV might be a better option if you are looking to upgrade or already have. Although, if you haven’t (or don’t plan) to go the 4K route anytime soon, the Fire TV’s capabilities and portability factor make it a perfectly adequate choice for those just wanting to stream their favorite shows. Evaluate your needs and budget before determining which Fire TV option is right for you.

Why you need the Fire TV Stick

When people hear the phrase “streaming technology,” most groan and think about how they just want watching TV to be easy. Well, the Fire TV Stick makes it simple. Only now, instead of searching through those horizontal bars of endless TV shows, you can access what you want to see, when you want to see it.

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Husham.com, Article August 11, 2019

SMART IPTV Samsung Updated Manual Install Files

SMART IPTV Samsung Updated Manual Install Files

Samsung recently removed the SMART IPTV app from the Samsung App Stores. There was no official announcement as to why this is done.

Samsung did actually continue not announcing the return of SMART IPTV as the SMART IPTV APP Developers fight to put back the app to the store, and this was good as they place back the APP and then Took it off in 3 weeks again.

Smart IPTV sent me a message just a few weeks ago that SAMSUNG has agreed and placed the SMART IPTV back in the APP store, However, this was limited number of SMART TV that will be allowed to install this.

Users are now able to install SMART IPTV from the Samsung Store but not all.

Many users still require to install Smart IPTV manually to their Samsung Smart TVs

What Samsung Model Do I have

Smart IPTV will not install on any Samsung Smart TV that is a D series or older Samsung TVs.

To find out if you have the right model you need to look at the back of the TV and check the model number

Samsung TV model numbers use codes to describe TVs. Once familiar with the codes you can learn a lot about a particular TV just from glancing at its model code.

Using model UE55F8000AFXZ as an example we can see that:

U = LED

E = Produced for Europe

55 = Screen size (in inches)

F = Manufactured in 2013

8000 = Series. This will differ depending on the features for that individual model. You can find out the specifications for a particular model by entering the model code into the search area on the Samsung website.

A = Features or design

FXZ = Manufacturing information

DO NOT REST

Users who bought SAMSUNG TVs for their SMART IPTV application are very disappointed, as after purchasing the TV they always rush to obtaining an IPTV Service and watch live tv from the web using IPTV with the SMART IPTV Application.

Many users already have purchased IPTV Services and installed it in the SMART IPTV, now face the fact that SMART IPTV will most likely be removed by the next AUTO update or TV Rest.

Users with SMART IPTV already installed in their TV are advised not REST their SAMSUNG TV and to Switch AUTO UPDATE OFF. This will result in the SMART IPTV uninstalled and will be needing to install it manually.

Disable Auto Update

Follow the steps below to stop auto update on your SAMSUNG TV

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Support.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. Select Auto Update.
  5. Select OFF

J Series TV Models

Also On J series Tizen TVs, you can try turning off Menu -> Smart Hub -> App Auto Update to avoid losing the application on every TV restart.

Manual Install

The information we have is that Samsung has suspended the app for Some SAMSUNG Smart TV‘s from the Apps store. You can however manually install the app by downloading the Software and placing it in a USB stick and placing it in your SAMSUNG USB Slot.

Updated – The files in the ZIP Files  have been updated on 11/08/2019

Tizen TVs (J/K/M/N/Q/R)

The application will appear on My Apps screen among other apps.

Non-Tizen TVs (E/ES/F/H/HU/J4/J52):

The application will appear on a Samsung Apps screen among other apps.

Important! The steps does NOT work on D series or older Samsung TVs. ( Click here Find out what Samsung Model you have )

Follow the steps below

  1. Download this file ( Updated files 11/08/2019 )
  2. Extract and place on the ROOT of your USB Stick
  3. Place in your SAMSUNG TV USB slot
  4. Power your TV
  5. Wait for the application will install
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Why use a VPN service

Why Would you Use a VPN?

There are many reasons why people use a VPN, some of the most common are as follows:

  • Anonymity on the internet: A VPN connection hides your IP address and location. With a VPN connection you use an IP address that belongs to the VPN server. This way your own IP address stays hidden. Websites and other parties won’t be able to trace your online actions back to your location and identity. All they will see, when you are using a VPN, is a strange IP address that has nothing to do with you. With a VPN you can browse the internet anonymously.
  • Protection against hackers and governments: People are becoming more and more aware of their vulnerability on the internet. Without a secure VPN connection, it is easy for others to intercept the data that you, sometimes unknowingly, spread when you are online. Without knowing it, others could tap your devices and use your personal information. You can prevent this with a VPN because it encrypts all your internet traffic.
  • Secure internet access on public networks: Using a public network can be very risky. Other users on the same network can easily tap into your data and personal information. Since you don’t want others to have access to, for instance, your email login or credit card information it might be wise to use a VPN connection. The VPN encrypts all of your internet traffic. A hacker will only see encrypted matter and won’t be able to see or use your personal information.
  • Bypassing censorship and geographical restrictions: For a normal internet user there can be many restrictions as to what you can and cannot access online. For instance, you cannot watch all the content available on BBC iPlayer if you are not accessing the internet via a British IP address. Also, some services like Netflix offer different content in different geographical zones. Some governments (e.g. China and Turkey) block access to certain internet services, such as, WhatsAppSkypeFacebook, or Twitter. By changing your geographical location with a VPN, you can bypass these different restrictions.
  • Downloading and uploading anonymously: Downloading is illegal in most countries and more than ever before downloaders are tracked down and sometimes even prosecuted. To make sure nobody knows what you are downloading or uploading you can use a VPN connection. Because of the encrypted traffic and the rerouted IP address you can download anonymously with a VPN.
  • Prevent companies from building a file on you: Advertising networks such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter are constantly collecting information about you through your online traffic. With this information they can show you tailored adds but more importantly they are free to sell this information to a third party. By encrypting your data using a VPN these networks won’t be able to collect information on you and they will have less influence on what you see online.
  • Access to your company’s network: More and more companies are giving people the possibility of working from home. Some people use a VPN connection to access the company network at home. This enables people to efficiently work from home.

Disadvantages of a Free VPN

Disadvantage free VPN

With free VPNs it is always good to think about how these services can be free. You might not pay for their service in money, but there is always another way you pay. For this reason, you might want to check what these free services do with your information. Do they protect it with their lives or sell it without hesitation? Moreover, a free VPN often doesn’t have the same advantages of paid VPN services. The provider can limit your data, speed, and safety to convince you to eventually buy their paid service. 

How Does a VPN Work Technically?

When you have found a reliable VPN provider you download and install their software. Then you select your preferred security settings and set up a safe connection with your desired VPN server. When the connection has been established the following will happen to your data traffic:

  1. The VPN software on your computer encrypts your data and sends it to the VPN server through a secure connection.
  2. The encrypted data from your computer is decrypted by the VPN server.
  3. The VPN server will go on the internet with the decrypted data and will receive all traffic sent back, that is meant for the user.
  4. The traffic is then sent back to you (the user) after the VPN server encrypts it.
How Does a VPN Work Illustration

The VPN connection will encrypt your data traffic, making it virtually impossible for hackers or governments to intercept it. The secure connection also provides the user with anonymity because your internet traffic is rerouted through an external VPN server. Because you are surfing the web via the IP address of the VPN server your own IP address will stay hidden. Normally your location and even your identity could be revealed through your IP address because it is unique to your internet connection. By using a different IP address on the VPN server none of your actions online are traceable to you and you can now cruise the web anonymously.

The VPN application will run in the background of your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can access the internet as you normally do and you won’t notice anything different.

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KODI

To set the record straight, Kodi is not a physical device. By itself, it’s open-source software that’s freely available to the masses. It essentially transforms any smartphone, computer, or tablet into a digital streamer or set-top box, giving users the ability to stream content from the Internet. Better yet, there is no licensing or any other curated garbage attached to it. Thanks to readily available add-ons, it directly pulls content into your bedroom or living room in a hassle-free manner.

So, users are able to watch TV shows, movies, live sporting events, and much more on demand without any fuss. It’s both time-saving as well as convenient. Unlike traditional broadcast, you don’t have to wait for a specific time to watch your favorite stuff on TV. The built-in interface, downloadable add-ons and compatible IPTV services makes content streaming a simple and seamless affair. Simply put, it opens up a new world of entertainment for the viewers. You will mostly find smiles among Kodi users.

Kodi’s ability to stream live TV via add-ons and IPTV services really sets it apart from the crowd. This might sound like an echo of all other posts that you must have read about Kodi Live TV. With its Live TV streaming possibilities, it is able to beef up its user base like nothing else in the market. Folks out there are going bonkers over it. Frankly speaking, people have gone head over heels for this software. All things considered, it’s proving to be an ideal solution to one’s TV viewing needs. It’s considered by many as the holy grail of streaming platforms.

Is Kodi Legal?

Furthermore, Kodi is perfectly safe and legal to use. Therefore, it won’t lead to wet eyes down the road. However, some unofficial Kodi add-ons can prove to be a bottleneck for Kodi users.

The fact that Kodi is an open-source platform, it’s possible to download a range of add-ons, which are known to extend the functionality of the core software. Unfortunately, some of them enter the ambiguous territory. So, the Kodi software isn’t notorious on its own, but some people have abused it for their own benefit. Therefore, it’s important to play your cards right while using Kodi to be able to enjoy all its benefit without any trouble. As such, Kodi’s developers are also keen to distance themselves from the foggy world of add-ons, which have already created a lot of ruckus for them.

At the end of the day, the onus is on you to use the product safely and legally. One’s best bet over here would be to stay away from free add-ons because it can land one in legal trouble. Furthermore, not all of the free add-ons work properly. Above all, ignorance isn’t a valid excuse in the eyes of the law. So, you might land yourself in trouble even if you had no idea about doing anything wrong on intention.

To sum it up, there is nothing illegal about downloading and using Kodi. The trouble arises when one uses certain Kodi add-ons, especially the free ones out there. Generally speaking, if you find a free add-on that provides film library or any other coverage that’s too good to be true, your BS-alarm should trip you that something should be wrong over here. So, you should stay away from these free Kodi add-ons, unless you are feeling too bold to mess things up for yourself.

Even if you intend to use Kodi in combination with a paid IPTV provider, it is advisable to cover your tracks by using a VPN. Whilst not necessarily required, it does give many users peace of mind. We recommend having a look at PureVPN. It is very affordable and easy to install.