Browser Access to Hulu.com

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Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby jcmolet » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:52 pm

An interesting tidbit - among many - from the premiere of Google TV via the Logitech Revue is that it will not - at least initially - support access to hulu.com. Apparently Hulu will be blocking access. From CNET:

The accent is on "should," however, and at launch Google TV is already missing one of the key providers of web-based video: Hulu.com. The browser inside Google TV is technically capable of handling Hulu.com's massive library of free streaming video, but as of press time we were told Hulu is blocking the Revue from accessing its content. Google and Hulu are apparently in talks regarding the situation, but it's unclear whether that would be mean paid-for Hulu Plus access (at $9.95 per month) or full free access to the Hulu content available on a standard browser. We're guessing Google TV will get Hulu Plus once the dust settles, but there's no telling for now.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-200 ... .html?tag=

In a recent thread there was a lot of discussion regarding whether the Boxee Box will have hulu.com access. I think it is safe to say, probably not. My guess is that Hulu will do everything in their power to limit hulu.com access to computers; and push for STBs to utilize Hulu Plus. At the end of the day, I think Roku has the right approach. Strike deals with content providers to bring fully supported channels to their lineup of DVPs vice trying to incorporate a browser (which is a terrible idea for lots of reasons) into their devices and spend time and energy trying to circumvent the restrictions those content providers put into place. While some may not like it, the future of Hulu is Hulu Plus.
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby KennyJ » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:11 pm

I'm curious how they are blocking it.

Hulu (on a computer) using a mozilla based browser. The box will essentially be a computer running linux. Will Hulu be able to identify the hardware to block it?
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby TheEndless » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:26 pm

I imagine they're blocking it by telling them they can't do it. Whether they can detect it or not, Google's not going to violate that.
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby scyber » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:34 pm

Most likely Google is "playing nice" by including an unique identifier in the User-Agent string of the browser. This would allow any web app to detect the browser and block it. Technically Boxee wouldn't need to play nice but that would probably not look good to any other content provider that Boxee would want to integrate with.
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby pjoshua5000 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:40 pm

TheEndless wrote:I imagine they're blocking it by telling them they can't do it. Whether they can detect it or not, Google's not going to violate that.


I see: If you don't play ball with us, we will not play ball with you—no huluplus.
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby -LD » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:40 pm

scyber wrote:Most likely Google is "playing nice" by including an unique identifier in the User-Agent string of the browser. This would allow any web app to detect the browser and block it. Technically Boxee wouldn't need to play nice but that would probably not look good to any other content provider that Boxee would want to integrate with.

Most likely. They would need such a unique identifier so a website could optimize for us on Google TV automatically when it detects the string.

Google TV will fail. It's a computer in your living room. No chance.
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby TheEndless » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:44 pm

But rest assured... If it's possible, someone will find a way to exploit it... maybe even via leaked info from an anonymous Google or Logitech employee, but it definitely won't be coming from Google or Logitech directly.

Edit: err.. Logitech...
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby pjoshua5000 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:45 pm

TheEndless wrote:But rest assured... If it's possible, someone will find a way to hack it... maybe even via leaked info from an anonymous Google or Linksys employee, but it definitely won't be coming from Google or Linksys directly.


Someone will find a way; they always do.
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby -LD » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:50 pm

And that will be fantastic for the small handful of hackers who do it. But general consumers will never know nor want to bother. As I said in another thread, Google TV is the anti-Roku. It's a device built by geeks for geeks. Roku is a device built by AV enthusiasts for consumers.
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby jcmolet » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:51 pm

pjoshua5000 wrote:
TheEndless wrote:But rest assured... If it's possible, someone will find a way to hack it... maybe even via leaked info from an anonymous Google or Linksys employee, but it definitely won't be coming from Google or Linksys directly.


Someone will find a way; they always do.


Probably, but that still misses the larger point. The content belongs to Hulu - or more specifically, the networks that back them - and in the long run it will be viewed on their terms. And more than likely, the long run equates to Hulu Plus. I don't think it is too hard to imagine a future where Hulu.com simply becomes a way to preview what is on Hulu Plus. Instead of full length episodes on Hulu.com, all you get are 2-3 minute clips of the full length episodes that are only available on Hulu Plus.
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby TheEndless » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:03 pm

pjoshua5000 wrote:
TheEndless wrote:But rest assured... If it's possible, someone will find a way to hack it... maybe even via leaked info from an anonymous Google or Logitech employee, but it definitely won't be coming from Google or Logitech directly.

Someone will find a way; they always do.

I imagine it'll be something like "Hey! I just found out if you type in 'BrowserGod' on this nifty little keyboard remote thingy, it allows you to change the User-Agent on the Google TV browser!"...

jcmolet wrote:Probably, but that still misses the larger point. The content belongs to Hulu - or more specifically, the networks that back them - and in the long run it will be viewed on their terms. And more than likely, the long run equates to Hulu Plus. I don't think it is too hard to imagine a future where Hulu.com simply becomes a way to preview what is on Hulu Plus. Instead of full length episodes on Hulu.com, all you get are 2-3 minute clips of the full length episodes that are only available on Hulu Plus.

I agree. I think Hulu has a lot more in store for us! Not only that, but as soon as Hulu+ is more widely available on STBs, I think the content providers that are currently holding things up will finally buckle when they see the potential.
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby -LD » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:27 pm

What I find interesting is that the networks will rent all their content for a portion of $9.95/month yet many won't partner with Apple to rent individual episodes for 99 cents because it "devalues" their product. Um, what?
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby Crow550 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:30 pm

-LD wrote:What I find interesting is that the networks will rent all their content for a portion of $9.95/month yet many won't partner with Apple to rent individual episodes for 99 cents because it "devalues" their product. Um, what?


Shut up -LD. They might catch on. :wink:

I'd rather pay for all you can watch than per episode. :P
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby pjoshua5000 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:38 pm

-LD wrote:What I find interesting is that the networks will rent all their content for a portion of $9.95/month yet many won't partner with Apple to rent individual episodes for 99 cents because it "devalues" their product. Um, what?


That is why they have advertisement. Even on HuluPlus. Besides that comment about it "devaluing their product" is just a smoke screen. They had other reasons, I'm just not sure of what.
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Re: Browser Access to Hulu.com

Postby KennyJ » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:16 pm

pjoshua5000 wrote:
-LD wrote:What I find interesting is that the networks will rent all their content for a portion of $9.95/month yet many won't partner with Apple to rent individual episodes for 99 cents because it "devalues" their product. Um, what?


That is why they have advertisement. Even on HuluPlus. Besides that comment about it "devaluing their product" is just a smoke screen. They had other reasons, I'm just not sure of what.


Actually, I think it's a legit concern. I'm not saying they don't have other reasons, but I believe the devaluing is part of it. That is why Disney frequently put things and took things out of "the vault." By putting product on moratorium, they did not need to lower prices as demand fell -- which is what usually happens with home video. It starts and 19.95, then 4 months later it's 15.95, then eventually 9.95 and 5.95, etc. Disney can put out Lion King for 19.95 and when demand slows, they pull the product, put it in the vault and then a few years later release it again for 19.95. People were never used to paying $6 for it. They always had to pay $20 for it.

If people get used to renting a tv show for $1, will they buy a $40 season set on DVD? This is why the studios didn't like Redbox. One, it interfered with their sales (why buy, if I can rent for $1), it interfered with the revenue share agreements (e.g. if they were take 50% of rental revenue from a $4 Blockbuster rental, they're losing that), but it also made people see movies as $1 products, instead of $4 ones.. or $15 or $20 ones.

It changes people's perspectives on the value.
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