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Broadcom Brings Hulu to Any Connected TV

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Consumers will soon be able to stream Hulu, YouTube (s GOOG) or Netflix (s NFLX) videos to any connected TV, regardless of whether that device supports Flash (s adbe) or not, thanks to some new technology by Broadcom (s BRCM), dubbed Inconcert Maestro, that combines existing and emerging home networking technologies with software installed on your PC. Broadcom first announced Maestro at CES earlier this year, and has since been working on adding new features.

Broadcom’s senior product manager Vijay Najarajan came to San Francisco yesterday to show off some of these capabilities for the first time in the U.S., and I must say, the demo was pretty impressive, if only for the fact that the whole idea behind Maestro is convincingly simple.

Check out the video embedded above for all the details, but the gist is this: Users have to install a piece of software on their computer that receives and transcodes Internet video. The computer then sends out these video streams via Wi-Fi Direct, an emerging P2P networking standard that enables Wi-Fi devices to directly talk to each other without the help of any access point. Any DLNA-certified device can then receive and display those streams.

This makes it possible to play both free and paid Hulu content on devices that aren’t officially supporting Hulu Plus. How is Hulu going to react to this? We should soon be able to find out: Najarajan told me that the first devices making use of the Inconcert Maestro should reach stores in time for the holiday season.

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10 Responses to “Broadcom Brings Hulu to Any Connected TV”

  1. Seems like a neat product although I would’ve been interested in a more complete demo. I’ve been using the Netgear Push2TV solution with my laptop and it’s pretty sweet. I’m much more in favor of solutions that bring my PC screen to the TV rather than set top boxes trying to repackage my internet options with paid apps/widgets.

    • I think Broadcom decided that you don’t need either widgets or a desktop on your TV, so they’re just giving you the plain video stream. That means navigation happens with devices other than the PC. They also showed me a demo that made it possible to switch channels with an iPad.