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Flash Player required for remote projector access

Jan 24, 2021 Jan 24, 2021

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Flash Player... my projector requires flash player to remote control it via the ethernet.

I am being FORCED to lose this ability by the loss of Flash Player with an enforce cessation of use.

Yes, I have contacted the manufacturer. No, they will not update the firmware to make it so I do not need FlashPlayer.

What is my alternative?

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Adobe Employee , Jan 29, 2021 Jan 29, 2021
For what it's worth, we announced that Flash Player was EOL back in 2017, before you bought the projector.  I suspect that had a lot to do with why you got such a good deal on it.  There's an aphorism in computer science: "Change is the only constant".  There's no such thing as "write once, run forever", but part of the reason that hardware includes updatable firmware is to manage that change without wasting hardware.  It's still up to the vendor to provide that support, and/or have the right fi...

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 25, 2021 Jan 25, 2021

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The projector manufacturer has had since 2017 to produce an update removing the Flash Player dependency.  While I hate to see good hardware go to waste because of bad firmware, updating to a new projector is probably the best answer.

 

The alternative is to use the Enterprise Enablement features to allow the content required for your projector to run; however, you have mulitple problems at this point. 

 

  • Flash Player is EOL and no longer available for download. 
  • You need to use the enterprise administrator controls to discover what's being blocked and then allow it.  Depending on how this is built, it may be non-trivial (particularly now that we're past the EOL date and AllowListPreview isn't really an option). 
  • All of the major browsers are removing support for plug-in interfaces.  This means that you'll also need a browser that will continue to support Flash Player, *and* you'll want to make sure that you sequester things such that you're not using an outdated browser when browsing the open web (as this is a great way to get malware). 

 

Given the time, risk and hassle involved, you're probably better off upgrading to a modern projector (and maybe prioritizing vendors that stand behind their products in a more meaningful way). 

 

Hope that helps!

 

Here's the Enterprise FAQ that talks about Enterprise Enablement: 

https://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/enterprise-end-of-life.html

 

Here's the Admin Guide.  The Enteprise Enablement section is on page 28:

https://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/flash_player_admin_guide.html

 

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Jan 25, 2021 Jan 25, 2021

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Actually, no, this really didn't help me like I wanted.
This projector is only 2 years old.
We, as a church with a small congregation, do not have the money to go buy
another projector. This is not an option for us. It is a perfectly good,
nearly new projector.
I am so sad that there isn't a better solution.
The projector mfr won't change their firmware.
The web browser people shut this out even if the user chooses to allow the
security risk associated with FlashPlayer.
Shouldn't this be something that the end user should decide instead of
having the decision forced on us?
I really wish there was another option. ...... disappointed..... 😕
*Ralph*
*WA2PUX*
*Ralph*
*WA2PUX*

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 29, 2021 Jan 29, 2021

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For what it's worth, we announced that Flash Player was EOL back in 2017, before you bought the projector.  I suspect that had a lot to do with why you got such a good deal on it.  There's an aphorism in computer science: "Change is the only constant".  There's no such thing as "write once, run forever", but part of the reason that hardware includes updatable firmware is to manage that change without wasting hardware.  It's still up to the vendor to provide that support, and/or have the right financial incentives to do so.

 

Anyway, here's the original announcement from 2017:  

https://theblog.adobe.com/adobe-flash-update/

 

You *do* have the option to use Enterprise Enablement, but it's non-trivial. 

 

We didn't do this in a vacuum.  All of the browser developers are simultaneously dropping support for browser plug-ins.  Safari, Firefox and Chrome have all dropped plugin support at this point.  IE and Edge aren't too far behind. 

 

The reality is that browser plug-ins really needed to go away for the web to move forward from a security perspective, and because Flash Player's footprint is roughly a couple billion active installations, on machines largely owned by non-technical people, we had an obligation to put them in a secure-by-default state. 

 

Now that the generally available Flash Player shipped by Adobe is no longer maintained, it's a matter of time before the malware/ransomware scene develops an exploit.  Limiting Flash Player's behavior to loading only explicitly allowed content minimizes the risk that the average user is going to encounter a malicious banner ad that leads to their machine being compromised.  This is important for the health of the ecosystem at large.

 

So, you'd really need to make a dedicated, air-gapped machine for managing the projector.  You'd need a copy of Flash Player and the latest Firefox ESR, which then never get updated.  You would configure Flash to load the necessary content from the projector using the Enterprise Enablement features, and you'd discover what that content is by using the related logging features.  Once you get it working, this configuration would absolutely not be suitable for browsing the web with, and you would want to think about how to best prevent that from happening.

 

You can read more about Enterprise Enablement on pp.28 of the Flash Player administrator's guide: 

https://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/flash_player_admin_guide.html

 

Your organization also has the option to license a maintained copy of Flash Player moving forward, from our support partner HARMAN; however, replacing the projector would be far more cost-effective. 

 

You can read more about enterprise options for Flash Player, here: 

https://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/enterprise-end-of-life.html

 

Good luck!

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 29, 2021 Jan 29, 2021

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The other alternative would be to rethink how you interface with the projector.  Do you actually need the Flash-based interface?  Could you buy an inexpensive dongle, jam it in the HDMI port, lock the projector to that input and use screen casting to get the same outcome?  I'm guessing you've considered it, but if not, there are a number of wireless streaming options to get from a laptop to an HDMI input at this point.  The more expensive ones (AppleTV, nVidia Shield,etc) are probably better tested, supported and easier to use, but there are a lot of options and some at pretty cheap price points if you wanted to take a risk and experiment.

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