Not too long ago, Hulu came to Boxee, making it accessible via Apple TV, and all was right with the world. Then, a terrible thing happened, and NBC went to Hulu CEO Jason Kilar and said “No more!” and it was no more. Hulu support was removed from Boxee.
The only possible reason was NBC’s fear of losing control over its content. Heaven forbid a major network embraces and tries to work with the shifting paradigm in the delivery of televised content. Better to try to force people to stay married to their set-top boxes and cable subscriptions. Just conveniently forget that there are literally thousands of torrents out there if people get tired of depending on overpriced satellite and cable plans, NBC.
Okay, bottled up anger aside, Hulu is back on Boxee, at least in a work-around way that should get people their fix while the two companies hopefully work out the finer details of some kind of more official solution. Boxee’s latest update includes an App Store-type “App Box,” but more importantly, also the ability to read RSS feeds. The new RSS reader is perfectly set up to receive video RSS feeds, of which Hulu has many. Ipso facto, Hulu is back on Boxee.
While I appreciate what Boxee is doing, I really wish Apple and NBC would mark their success and work together to make it unnecessary. Apple should provide the functionality that Boxee does out of the box, and NBC and other networks should partner with them to make network content subscriptions a reality. Cut out the cable service providers altogether, offer iTunes’ Season Passes to all of your network content, and make more money by charging less. A lot of people I know either only have computers, or have computer-connected televisions these days, so it’d probably be more profitable than trying to force people to stick with obsolete methods of content distribution. In the meantime, thank goodness for Boxee.