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Summary:

It wasn’t meant to last: Google TV users discovered last night that they can access Hulu content via the site’s distribution partner Xfinity.tv, but the loophole has already been closed. However, Hulu said that it is in active discussions to bring Hulu Plus to Google TV.

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Well, that was quick: Hulu closed a loophole that allowed access to its videos on Google TV just hours after CrunchGear reported the workaround. CrunchGear noted late last night that Google TV users can access Hulu videos via Comcast’s Xfinity.tv website, with writer Matt Burns joking:

“But let’s keep this on the DL, m’kay? We don’t need the fat cats finding out about this little trick.”

Cats or not, someone obviously listened: We tried to replicate the trick today, but found that the Fancast video player used on Xfinity.tv simply timed out on us when accessed on a Logitech Revue. Asked about this, a Hulu representative told us that the company was able to “identify the problem and fix it.”

Hulu didn’t go into any further details, but it looks like the issue at hand could be related to a customized Flash player used on Xfinity.tv. Hulu has a few dozen distribution partners, and almost all of them simply reuse the site’s embeddable Flash player. Comcast, on the other hand, uses a branded player provided by Hulu.com.

Still, I wouldn’t be too surprised if users would find other workarounds in the future. It looks like Hulu is sensing that this cat-and-mouse game can’t be won by closing loopholes alone: We were told that the company is in active discussions with Google to bring Hulu Plus to the Google TV platform.

(Hulu CEO Jason Kilar will be keynoting our NewTeeVee Live conference next Wednesday, and Google TV exec Rishi Chandra will also be on stage, so we’ll get both sides of this story. If you don’t have them already, get your tickets now!)

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  1. One can still change the User Agent on the Google TV brower as a work-around, no?

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  2. fscottfitz: Nope. Changing browser user agent is between you and the server. The box is detected by a tiny bit of actionscript which checks what the features / version of the google tv flash player are. User agent just lets you download a small flash script that won’t get the video content for you now.

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  3. can you change the flash version id somehow?

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