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As of about three weeks ago, I haven't been able to watch streaming videos from cbs.com. I don't remember making any changes to my system configuration around that time.

When I try to load any videos, I briefly see a throbber and then get a black screen. If I mouse over the screen, I do see a play/pause button, progress bar and other buttons, but they do nothing. If I leave the window open for several minutes, the following message eventually appears:

The video you have requested is either unavailable or is being blocked by an ad blocker installed in your browser.

This seems to be a computer-level issue. Another computer on my network can load CBS videos just fine, but Internet Explorer and Firefox on my computer both fail. I do have NoScript, AdBlockPlus and some other addons installed for Firefox (now version 7, but version 6 when the problem started), but the error persists even if I disable them all. Even if they were to blame, they wouldn't explain why my vanilla Internet Explorer (version 9) fails. My OS is Windows 7.

This seems to be a common issue on the Internet. There are generally two solutions: "disable ad blockers" and "clear your hosts file" (or, at least, exclude doubleclick.net from them). Neither one of these fixes worked for me.

What's stopping these videos from loading, and more importantly, how can I fix it?

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Have you tried Safe mode with Networking? How about as another user? CBS.COM seems to use Flash for videos (at least the ones I looked at), have you tried removing and reinstalling Flash (ActiveX for IE and plug-in for others)? –  techie007 Oct 29 '11 at 23:52
    
Using safe mode had no effect. Switching users had no effect. I did uninstall and reinstall Flash on both browsers. –  Pops Oct 30 '11 at 1:32
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2 Answers

I had this problem with Firefox 7 and CBS videos. In my case I was still able to stream with Chrome. I originally tried disabling all add-ins which did not help. I eventually solved it by deleting all the cookies in Firefox, so at least in my case, it seems to have been caused by a bad cookie.

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Clearing cookies/cache had no effect for me. –  Pops Nov 1 '11 at 17:25
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

This is... somewhat resolved. I connected the computer to a network getting service from a different ISP, and the videos played fine.

Ever since I did that, regardless of what network I'm using, the actual show videos work fine although the commercials sometimes don't. A third of the time, commercials load normally; a third of the time, they don't load at all; and the remainder of the time they don't have video or audio but I do have to watch a black screen for about a minute (which is how long commercials usually take when watching CBS shows online).

I know this isn't a particularly useful answer, but it is what worked for me.

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