Hulu Continues To Shoot Self In Foot: Blocks More Browsers

from the lemme-explain-how-the-internet-works... dept

Hulu, at the behest of its corporate masters, continues to shoot itself in the foot and make it an increasingly less useful platform. Last year, Hulu got a lot of attention for blocking Boxee, a specialized browser to show internet video on a computer-connected television. Hulu was apologetic about it, but admitted that it was pressured to do this by its owners (though, NBC boss Jeff Zucker appears to have lied to Congress about NBC's role in this). However, it didn't stop there. Hulu, it seems, is hellbent on trying to block any browser it doesn't like from showing its content. It's blocked the PS3's browser and mobile browsers as well.

The latest is that it wasted almost no time before blocking the new Kylo browser from Hillcrest labs that, like Boxee, was designed to better format the content for television.

This is typical short-sighted thinking from the likes of NBC bosses who are bizarrely afraid that people might watch authorized television shows on their television. Of course, the real fear is that if people start doing this, the cable and satellite companies might start losing business, meaning that they'll pay a lot less to NBC to carry their shows. This is such typical thinking from NBC execs, who seem to go out of their way to pretend that they can hold people back from doing what they want, because it doesn't agree with NBC's increasingly obsolete business model. So instead of letting people watch authorized content, with very high paying advertising, they're instead driving people to get the content through unauthorized means. It's bizarre that anyone could think this is a smart idea -- but, then again, we're talking about NBC management here. They think that downloading movies is hurting the American corn farmer... so logic has never really been a strong suit.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ralph B, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    Heh

    Hulu still exists? I thought it went away few years ago.

     

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  2.  
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    ECA (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    Hulu is dying by contract..

    Until the TV execs, and the movie industry get their Corp HEADS out of the sand...

    Hulu has problems..and the WORST that takes up TO MUCH TIME, is dealing with the idiots..
    Everytime Hulu turns around, the CORPS are changing something to make it HARDER.
    HULU should tell them to SHUT UP. They are there to HOST the shows with the Current TECH available..

    RESTRICTING content, restricts ADVERTS, RESTRICTS purchasing..

    Hulu problems..
    SORTING videos..
    ADVERTS that repeat and repeat the SAME ADVERT..
    Using a STANDARDIZED video format that works for ALLL..
    Corps are NOT giving HULU anything. They are trying to develope their OWN services. AND NBC SUCKS, and SIFI is following close behind.

    The CORPS dont see what the NET could do for them. its like a Sack race with the SACK on your head. The Net could be used to TRIAL programs and see WHO LIKES a new show. Insted of just PUTTING CRAP ON TV..
    The problem the CORP also has, is HOW MANY shows they wish to create..WHO remembers when there were 24-36 shows per season?? now its 12-16??

     

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  3.  
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    Alessar (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    TV on TV

    "Of course, the real fear is that if people start doing this, the cable and satellite companies might start losing business, meaning that they'll pay a lot less to NBC to carry their shows."

    Yeah I have a news flash for the corporate overlords. I get my high-def TV off the air. Yes. I use broadcast. Well except for Fox, the local affiliate did something odd and now I can't get it at all. So I have to watch Fox shows online; but if they make it hard, then I just don't bother. There's lots of alternatives.

    Realistically, if they'd let me play hulu on my ps3 again - and it wasn't *great* before but it was watchable, pixelated SD quality - they'd gain the value of showing me ads. If they don't, they're just getting nothing. Meanwhile, I have Netflix and through them, Starz.

     

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  4.  
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    DanVan (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 6:38pm

    When they start charging, they are going to experience a huge drop in traffic

    It is coming too

     

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  5.  
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    Philipwisp, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 7:00pm

    About to Tip

    March Madness is online this year!! Between Netflix, Hulu, Youtube.com. I have more content then I can watch. We dropped cable several years ago. We have really noticed a change in what is available lately. I think, all it will take is a couple more options especially live action and local news outlets to get online and there really isn't won't be anyway to hold back the content. Now the only question is how to keep ISPs profitable while half of their subscribers streaming live TV all day?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 7:06pm

    Re:

    I wish hulu would start charging. It's a hugely popular site whose only advantage is that it offers content that's a hassle to get elsewhere. I'm not going to bother with a torrent when I can just watch 90 seconds of ads.

    Price, convenience, and quality are all good for me, and I use the service regularly on a HTPC.

    But I'd like to see them charge and then fail. Corps like GE/NBC need to learn that they can only hurt themselves by annoying customers. We need more Dr. Horribles so that cable and broadcast actually have some new competition.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 7:08pm

    Agreed...

    I moved to the Philippines and would love to be able to watch Hulu on my PC, or better yet, on my WDTV live... However, they don't allow viewing in this country... So, I can either watch shows that are weeks to months behind the US schedule or find alternate sources of the shows online. Of course, these alternate sources do not have any advertisements. (Which, I would not mind FFing through, like I did at home with my Tivo...)

    They just don't get it...

     

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  8.  
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    ECA (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 7:11pm

    I wont

    I WONT pay to be adverted to..

     

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  9.  
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    ECA (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 7:18pm

    wHERE TO FIND

    http://www.slashcontrol.com/
    mOSTLY aol tv

    http://www.publicdomaintorrents.com/nshowcat.html?category=animation
    legal RELEASED VIDEOS..

    http://www.sling.com/show/list

    http://sharetv.org/watch

    aS far as I know, these are all legal sites..
    The problem I SAW was NBC pulled all online video.

     

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  10.  
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    Cameron B. (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Authorized TV on my TV

    Literally 30 minutes ago I watched an episode of House on Hulu using the Google chrome browser ON MY TV. I plug an HDMI cord into my laptop and TV, hit the fullscreen button, and bam, instant 480p streaming to my fullsize television.

     

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  11.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 8:01pm

    Hrmm

    Is there any way for Hulu (et al) to ID a browser other than the browser ID sent back to them?

    If not, that could be a serious problem for locked down platforms (iPad, iPhone, etc.) vs. general purpose computers (iMac, MacBook, etc.)

    Interesting either way.

     

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  12.  
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    Jim L, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 8:29pm

    re: TV on TV

    I still get Hulu, Netflix and more streamed to my TV. You can use ps3, Wii, xbox or almost any dlna box with PlayOn.tv which runs on a windows machine on your network.

    If they try to stop that it also runs scripts that it will get almost anything including video sharing sites and things like StreamTorrent and Sopcast.

    I've dropped cable and don't miss it much. NBC shouldn't get used to those big cable bucks.

     

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  13.  
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    CmdrKeene (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 8:30pm

    They want to restrict it until they can charge for it

    Hulu wants to be your TV provider and replace Cable & Co. And don't think there won't be ads just because you're paying for it -- you pay for newspapers, magazines, and TV today and still have ads.

     

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  14.  
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    ervserver (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 8:32pm

    dying

    Hulu was great until execs started messing with it Hulu will never be cool again

     

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  15.  
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    Lyle, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 8:46pm

    Suprise Comcast now will own NBC

    Given that Comcast is a cable company and they will soon own NBC is there any suprise here. This is a synergy of the merger.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Authorized TV on my TV

    CRIMINAL! Report yourself to the authorities immediately.

     

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  17.  
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    Rob Pegoraro (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 9:46pm

    FWIW, I still haven't heard from Hulu on this

    The site's Twitter feed and blog also have yet to address this issue. Perhaps Hulu is not particularly proud of what its owners have directed it to do?

    - R

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 9:50pm

    Re: I wont

    I WONT pay to be adverted to..

    Maybe not, but most people will. For an example, look at cable TV.

     

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  19.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 10:16pm

    Re: FWIW, I still haven't heard from Hulu on this

    No, I'm sure they're not. The folks at Hulu actually get it. The problem is that they're beholden to the suits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    ECA (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 11:58pm

    Re: Re: I wont

    "Maybe not, but most people will. For an example, look at cable TV."

    And look at all those that QUIT cable, and sat.
    DISH is out on sale, trying to get some to come back.

    Do you know how many idiots DIDNT know that 95% of the USA has Standard broadcast TV, with 4-20 channels? Pay

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 12:27am

    Torrent time

    ok, basically i used torrents to get my tv, but then came hulu, i stopped downloading almost completely. I used hulu for my shows because they had all of the ones that i watched. Then my ps3 got blocked from hulu. so what did i do, i went back to the torrents. and this time i dont think i will leave

     

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  22.  
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    ECA (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 12:59am

    Its not the idea.

    The idea is to GET YOUR PROGRAMS INFRONT of the customer.
    If the corps dont want the service, WHO CARES.
    Those that USE it will figure things out.
    They will find ways, BETTER WAYS to make things work.

    What is funny, is that CBS and NBC are pulling ALL content off Other sites..
    TRYING to use their OWN systems.
    There OWN PROPRIETARY FORMATS, to gain ADVERT dollars.

    Funny thing,
    The Big corps are NOT supposed to make money from adverts.
    They SELL the programs to OTHERS to show. The adverts are to the RENTERS of the program. who them PAY to broadcast them.
    They are NOT supposed to make money on adverts. but OTHER companies CAN. such as the NET site, being setup by OTHER THEN the corp.
    Fun isnt it..
    NOW think of the OLD programs that are sitting in VAULTS, ROTTING. Thank GOD for the net.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Jim, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 1:53am

    You've got a lot of this all wrong, Mike

    Hulu will block any "browser" that can run as a set-top interface. That is, except for the Hulu Desktop. They're not blocking because of pressure from their parents. They're blocking because Boxee and other set-top browsers are strategic competitors. When Hulu said they were blocking due to pressure from its parents, that was pure BS masquerading as candor.

    The recent fight with Viacom shows how week Hulu's current position is (i.e. Viacom could walk away so easily). Hulu needs to increase switching costs for consumers and content providers. They can do that by making the Hulu Desktop the over-the-top platform (OTT) for accessing Hulu. If they could make that happen, then you wouldn't see Viacom walking so easily.

    If Hulu's parents didn't like OTT, then they wouldn't have let Hulu develop the Hulu Desktop, which does pretty much the same thing that Boxee does. And if NBC can cut out cable networks, they would. With Hulu, all ad revenue, subscriptions and PPV will not be shared with the cable companies. With Hulu, all the money goes to the content providers. Long term, it's much better for Hulu's parents not to have a middle man. Short-term, they'd probably prefer not to piss them off too much. It's probably a good PR move right now to make it look like Hulu is looking out for the cable companies. That is, until they're ready to cut them out completely.

     

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  24.  
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    ECA (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 2:13am

    Open target

    HULU
    is an open target.
    THEY WANT THE SHOWS.
    They know the market and what can be done.
    The corps dont give a DAM. They have a CLOSED LOOP, where all the money ends up in the TOP pockets.
    From commercials, and all the rental of the shows. THEY GIVE NOTHING. and have closed eyes.
    They saw HULU starting to do good, and pulled the rug. either to CONTROL HULU or to make their OWN sites and control ADVERTS and sales.

     

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  25.  
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    a-dub (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 5:41am

    Like Cameron B. mentioned. There is a very simple fix...just plug your laptop or computer into your TV and enjoy. This is non issue for anyone that has a VGA cable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 6:46am

    Re: Suprise Comcast now will own NBC

    Lyle ... CableVision bought Newsday, not a smart move. Comcast is buying NBC, this is also not a smart move. Buying any media company at this point in history is a losing proposition. Newspapers, record labels, TV studios, and movie studios are all either failing or going to fail over the next 10-15 years. They all show the same precursors to failure, the inability to adapt, dropping profits, reduction in quantity of produced goods, lack of cost saving measures, greatly increased external competition, efficiencies being adapted by external competitors and not them, new technologies making what they do widely and cheaply available to anyone, competition from other sources, etc. Any single one of these has historically caused the collapse of an entire market. Now you have all of these causes of market collapse happening in the media distribution industries ... it doesnt bode well for them.

    "This is a synergy of the merger." I think you meant "the" not "a"

    For a short period perhaps there will be a synergy, until NBC's profits begin dropping. Then they will become a company Comcast will try very hard to sell off.

    This reminds me of the EMI purchase a couple years ago. I think we know how that is working out ...

     

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  27.  
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    Joel (profile), Mar 24th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    Hulu wow

    I used Hulu when it was in Beta and thought it was great at soon as it got out of Beta it went down hill, I think I used it one more time after that... I rather just visit the Networks website and watch the content there.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    Re: Hulu is dying by contract..

    > Until the TV execs, and the movie industry get their Corp HEADS out of the sand...

    They have sand in their asses? =8-O

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Rekrul, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    I'm in the US and can't watch Hulu at all. They recently started requiring Flash 10 and it doesn't run on my older system.

    So what was wrong with Flash 9?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    BigKeithO, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Hulu is dying by contract..

    Your writing style hurts my brain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Las Vegas Mixx, Mar 25th, 2010 @ 4:22am

    Re: Simple Fix

    A simple fix by using Google's Chrome browser is only a very limited one.

    Unlike the new Kylo browser (based on Firefox), Chrome and Firefox are not optimized for viewing on a TV screen.

    Even so, there actually is a much more useful simple unofficial fix to Hulu's blocking Kylo.

    You can find it on Kylo's forums.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    Isnt NBC owned by a cable company now.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    new, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 6:22am

    Oportunidade única, vendo 2 licenças do tvhd no pc por R$20,00 cada,
    eu adquirir um pacote de canais do TVHD no PC no www.tvhd.com.br e recebi 4 licenças, eu utilizo somente uma licenças outra eu já vente para meu primo e estou vendendo as outras 2 quem tiver interesse favor entrar em contato edu_new@terra.com.br
    cada licença tem duração de 2 anos

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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