46 Comments

Summary:

Hulu, the popular television content aggregator backed by major Hollywood companies, today launched a desktop application that can only be used on PCs. Of course, we wouldn’t expect the company to do it any other way — after all, if it ran on set-top boxes, it […]

Hulu, the popular television content aggregator backed by major Hollywood companies, today launched a desktop application that can only be used on PCs. Of course, we wouldn’t expect the company to do it any other way — after all, if it ran on set-top boxes, it would dry up the lucrative money stream that flows from cable operators to Hulu’s partners and parents.

The launch of this desktop application explains why Hulu went after Boxee, the New York-based startup that developed an interesting content aggregation platform. The two companies tussled for a long time. It was believed that Hulu’s big bad backers were forcing its hand against Boxee. The launch of the desktop app shows that Hulu was being nothing but anti-competitive in an underhanded sort of way.

When All Things D’s Kara Swisher asked NBC CEO Jeff Zucker about Hulu making it difficult to watch its service on TV via software like Boxee, he said. “Right now we’re committed to Hulu being an online experience, and that’s where our vision is today, and I think that will continue.” Right! That is why Hulu released the desktop version.

http://www.hulu.com/embed/EgF07I6lLJ94Hqma-6Fi5w

  1. Jordan Golson Thursday, May 28, 2009

    Will work great on the Mac Mini I have hooked up to my plasma. Looks a lot like Apple’s Front Row…

    1. I am going to try this tonight. When I actually get some time to watch Hulu :-)

    2. Liz points out in her post over on NewTeeVee that the HULU Terms of Service dont want you watching HULU on a actual TV .

      You may not download, install or use the Hulu Software on any device other than a Personal Computer including without limitation digital media receiver devices (such as Apple TV), mobile devices (such as a cell phone device, mobile handheld device or a PDA), network devices or CE devices (collectively “Prohibited Devices”).

      So how does this work for HP Medaismart TV ?

      1. Matt_

        Let’s see if Hulu will try to enter my apartment. I am going to be ready for the Hulu-drama. Funny thing is that they don’t seem to acknowledge the fact that TV makers are putting full blown computers inside the TV now.

      2. I bet there’ll be an AppleTV hack in 3…2…1… (if it has the horsepower to run it).

        But seriously…this has me wanting a Mac Mini for a HTPC setup BAD.

      3. I just tried this on my Mac Mini that’s connected to my 42 LCD TV. I prefer enjoying Hulu through the browser using a handheld mouse (gyration). The site’s UI is easier to see from far away due to a white background and large thumbnails.

        Good to see something like becoming available. Maybe they will change the desktop’s UI to what is seen on hulu?

      4. hulu on my tv Matt_ Friday, May 29, 2009

        “HULU Terms of Service dont want you watching HULU on a actual TV”

        Now that’s funny! I just waiting for a Hulu cop to show up at my door! PCTVCables.com

      5. Nothing in the text of your comment precludes a TV, Matt_. The hulu software can run on Jordan’s mac mini, a personal computer. What’s the problem? (I haven’t read the entire TOS, I can’t imagine why most people would.)

  2. @om HULU says its TV for the Internet (even their TV ads do this ) but it seems that the internets for HULU and its owners is limited to a personal computer….HULU is so last Century

  3. Well, that is the risk you take when you try to run your service on top of somebody’s else’s right? See: Photobucket / Myspace, FB / app developers, Hulu / Boxee.

    1. I think you are right. The so called Web 2.0 platform approach has been a bit of a non-starter, regardless of what web 2 revolutionaries might actually say ;-)

      1. The concept is viable. It just turns out that the “openness” these companies have been touting isn’t so open after all. It’s a great buzzword that can get plenty of press, but the empty promises are getting frustrating as a developer and a consumer.

  4. Andrew Mager Thursday, May 28, 2009

    The browser is my only operating system for the future. Great post Om.

  5. Hulu needs to get its butt in gear with international content streaming… every time someone links to a Hulu clip and I get the dreaded “United States only” message, I grimace and gnash my teeth.

    Every other article about the company means nothing to me, really… ’cause I’ve never used it due to those restrictions. ;)

    1. Greg

      I have heard they are working on it and are going after the market in Europe at the very least. More to follow in coming days.

  6. Working on my Mac just fine…

  7. Dan Callahan Thursday, May 28, 2009

    I bought a $20 adaptor for my Mac that runs it on my TV. Am I violating the TOS?

  8. I agree… “that can only be used on PCs.” Is incorrect. They have a mac version.

  9. Alan Wilensky Thursday, May 28, 2009

    I cant run Firefox and Hulu desktop at the same time, FF crashes, but I love Hulu Desktop :(

Comments have been disabled for this post