Logitech’s Revue Google TV set-top box has been jailbroken, thanks to a few dedicated Android hackers who were able to root the device and install a modified update (hat tip to GTVHub). The result is a Google TV device that plays content from Hulu and other previously blocked network TV sites. The hack also allows users to install third-party Android apps on the device, though access to the Android Market apparently doesn’t quite work yet. Check out the video embedded below for a first demo of Hulu on the hacked device below:
Don’t expect this hack, dubbed BreakVue by the Google TV hacker community, to go mainstream anytime soon. Users not only need a brand-new Logitech Revue unit that hasn’t received any system updates yet, but they also need to solder wires to the Revue’s board to add an additional port – not exactly something you’d expect the average consumer to do.
The software part of the hack is a little easier: Hackers have already started to distribute a customized update that includes a modified Flash player plug-in. Sites like Hulu.com have been using Google TV’s Flash player to identify the device and block people from accessing content. This seems impossible with the hack in place.
So what does this mean for Google TV? The history of iPhone hacking has shown that jailbreaks get easier to use over time, so we shouldn’t be too surprised if the Google TV hacker community eventually found a way to enable full Hulu access without the need to do any soldering.
More importantly, the hack shows that people are willing to do a lot to make some of Google TV’s promises come true and truly combine the full web with content playing on TV. If anything, it should be a warning call to Google to add access to the Android Market to the platform as soon as possible.