dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Hulu Blocking Google TV
As part of ingenious plan to blockade additional ad viewers
by Karl Bode 09:42AM Friday Oct 08 2010 Tipped by FFH See Profile
As we noted yesterday, Logitech has begun pre-orders for their new Logitech Revue Internet video device at a $300 price point. New Tee Vee laments that Hulu has blocked the device from accessing its content, and has posted a video showing what happens when you try to access the Hulu website. Of course that's not surprising, given that Hulu has blocked other living room web browsing services from accessing their content as well. Ad-driven Hulu blocking simple browser access is the kind of genius (driven by broadcasters) that will probably get a little worse under Comcast ownership, then eventually die under the own weight of its anti-evolutionary stupidity. It's these kinds of decisions that are making the Internet TV revolution a slow, decade-long affair.

view:
topics flat nest 

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

Waiting for an app that allows watching Hulu

There should be a simple app that will allow Hulu watching via browser spoofing anytime now.

In other news, why doesn't Hulu try to capitalize on their success by working to increase eyeballs watching online? Instead of alienating users, bring 'em in because the old model is dying.

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Waiting for an app that allows watching Hulu

PlayOn does this.
Any DLNA-capable device can make use of PlayOn's hulu circumvention.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

Re: Waiting for an app that allows watching Hulu

said by tiger72:

PlayOn does this.
Any DLNA-capable device can make use of PlayOn's hulu circumvention.
PlayOn also allows streaming to iPads & iPhones as well.
PlayOn converts Addobe Flash Player only content(like that from Hulu) to a format compatible with other devices that don't support Flash(like iPads & iPhones).

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
It is weird that Hulu allows you to watch their free shows on a PC in a browser, but goes out of their way to stop you from streaming that PC delivered video to other devices in your home like TV's & portable tablets.
bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1

Re: Waiting for an app that allows watching Hulu

In general, it's not that weird. "Free" isn't exactly what those shows are - they're ad supported. Delivering those shows via devices that aren't showing the on-page advertisements would hurt Hulu's (likely razor thin) profit margins.

This specific case is definitely weird though, because it's just another full browser - ads and all.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Waiting for an app that allows watching Hulu

said by bt:

In general, it's not that weird. "Free" isn't exactly what those shows are - they're ad supported. Delivering those shows via devices that aren't showing the on-page advertisements would hurt Hulu's (likely razor thin) profit margins.

This specific case is definitely weird though, because it's just another full browser - ads and all.
PlayOn does show the in-video ads from Hulu when the stream is forwarded just like you would see on the PC.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
said by bt:

In general, it's not that weird. "Free" isn't exactly what those shows are - they're ad supported. Delivering those shows via devices that aren't showing the on-page advertisements would hurt Hulu's (likely razor thin) profit margins.

This specific case is definitely weird though, because it's just another full browser - ads and all.
Not only that, but hulu isn't really intended for first run viewing. It's more like how reruns are monetized.

If Hulu had the same footing as first run, including easy access on TVs, the studios, networks and their advertisers would have a cow.

There is no "evolution" here. It's a supplement.

r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX
Reviews:
·row44
said by bt:

In general, it's not that weird. "Free" isn't exactly what those shows are - they're ad supported. Delivering those shows via devices that aren't showing the on-page advertisements would hurt Hulu's (likely razor thin) profit margins.

This specific case is definitely weird though, because it's just another full browser - ads and all.
[/BQUOTE
That makes no sense. Hulu can show ads on any device that can display its content.
Why does hulu want to cut themselves out of part of the market. All it means is less people watching ads on Hulu.
--
Your behavior is inconsistent with your desire to be treated like everyone else.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
the broadcasters make them do it. because watching Hulu on say your PS3 makes the broadcasters fear you will stop getting cable channels which of course many of the cable companies also own.

Of course if we allowed true market forces to control everything. we would be paying for internet by the Kilobyte but have all the shows available online.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Waiting for an app that allows watching Hulu

said by Kearnstd:

Of course if we allowed true market forces to control everything. we would be paying for internet by the Kilobyte but have all the shows available online.
No, you would would pay by the kilobyte and then pay by the minute * viewership.

Metered billing falls apart on the internet as a whole because of peering.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: Waiting for an app that allows watching Hulu

metered billing does not fall apart and can be put in without a problem. Its called the ISPs just decide they want to do it and its a done deal. There is nobody in power that can stop them and now laws to do it- nor will any law ever be created to stop it from happening as it interferes with private business.

VZ, T or TWC, Comcast and all can decide they're going to charge $5 per 40gigs on top of your regular HSI charge and BOOM! you'd pay or not have it and dial-up could be added the same.
--
www.twopugsbrand.com Kosher, Vegan, and Organic Certified Dog and Cat treats/foods and other products! www.etsy.com/shop/snakx4u/ Organic, Kosher, Gluten Free, Vegan Human Baked Goods
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Waiting for an app that allows watching Hulu

said by hottboiinnc:

metered billing does not fall apart and can be put in without a problem. Its called the ISPs just decide they want to do it and its a done deal. There is nobody in power that can stop them and now laws to do it- nor will any law ever be created to stop it from happening as it interferes with private business.

VZ, T or TWC, Comcast and all can decide they're going to charge $5 per 40gigs on top of your regular HSI charge and BOOM! you'd pay or not have it and dial-up could be added the same.
I can set up my own ISP, set up peering with Google and facebook ( »www.peeringdb.com/view.php?asn=32934 ) and yahoo ( »www.peeringdb.com/private/partic···hp?id=27 ) and I just offloaded 50% of my traffic. The last mile is another issue.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
said by morbo:

There should be a simple app that will allow Hulu watching via browser spoofing anytime now.

In other news, why doesn't Hulu try to capitalize on their success by working to increase eyeballs watching online? Instead of alienating users, bring 'em in because the old model is dying.
Why? Because if Hulu is part of the future of helping people cut the cords, you don't think it comes with out a price and control do you? .. and you shouldn't think that it should.

This IS the future of TV. Sure, YouTube and others out there offer a wider variety of appliances that access content from them, but um, sure.. I want to be able to watch the "my baby brother bit my finger" video on any device I want.. while that's good and dandy and all.. that's not what pays the bills.

The internet isn't going to necessarily be wide open when it comes to video. The content that Hulu is offering is going to still be controlled.. maybe they don't want to be in every device. And, since the internet has so many options and is FIERCE on competition with all the choices available, let Hulu die..

Like any new or rather new service on the web, it's largely great at first when they're looking for an audience.. but, once they have it, the REAL plans start to kick in. GeoCities was incredible at first for many people - of course, it was free! Then when they got a crowd, they put up ads, caps, restrictions, etc. But, the company made money hand over fist. They sold off to yahoo and the creators cashed in. THIS is the name of the game... and THIS is the future of what TV will be when it gains an audience on the web.

People may hate cable, satellite, and now even the phone based services, but at least they exist in reality and are stable as companies.. like I said, what you're seeing now, with Hulu and some others, IS the reality of "TV on the net" as time moves forward.. its WAY too easy to get in, get rich, and get out..

The old model isn't dying.. not by a long shot.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

just wait for comcast to own hulu!

just wait for comcast to own hulu!

McShaken
Premium
join:2006-02-20
Olympia, WA

...dumb decisions (decade-long evolutionary affair)

Just seems to be the norm these days. Netflix seems to be one of the few out there that actually "gets it"... Maybe Hulu should open itself up to multiple services, peel back some of the free content, and offer more content to their premium "plus" service. This way, people get a little Hulu if they want the free stuff (no matter what device they use to connect) and actually have a reason to upgrade to premium.

But no... restrict how people connect, offer lots of free content, and charge for those like like to throw their money away (since there's not much more content for the premium price)... Nice going, Hulu...
c4junk
Premium
join:2004-05-08
Orlando, FL

Hulu Blocking XXXXX TV

Did these guys at Hulu come over from Blockbuster, they seem to be making the same type of choices, it won't play on Roku, now Google plus all the rest I guess- why? the ads are still there and I can live with a 30 sec break every now and then.
But since I got Roku (which now comes in 1080p, mine is 720p) I have not looked at Hulu, why would I.

King P
Don't blame me. I voted for Ron Paul
Premium
join:2004-11-17
Murfreesboro, TN

Re: Hulu Blocking XXXXX TV

Isn't Hulu Plus coming to Roku? I just got an email from Roku about that, sometime last week.

I agree with you though. I haven't watched Hulu, nearly as much since I've got Amazon and Netflix on my 2 Roku boxes.
--
My Music blog:
»www.zunetracks.net
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
You know what's funny? Everyone wants away from the cable industry and phone companies because "they have too much control" or they're "forcing me to.." what ever..

Has ANYONE figured out yet that 1) the internet isn't going to make TV any better or easier, it's just going to be more confusing for the masses? 2) it's not a replacement for the current systems, not for a long time to come.. 3) The REAL problem with all this internet delivered video is that you're just another step closer directly to the studios.. and ALLLL these "kinks" are in the way too.

The sooner that people realize that 1) TV isn't ever going to be free, legally at least, and 2) that Hollywood is going to work hard to control its content AND its profits/revenue, the better people will be..

I think the public will have a better chance at eliminating the income tax over making or getting TV free or "my way" anytime soon.
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

It's all about control

The cold hard fact about Internet TV is this: Major programmers see no reason to have it succeed. They have their distribution channels already. Why move their product to the Internet in a big way? Doing that will only increase interest in this medium by the average Joe, and they already have that demographic locked up. The problem is that, if they move those folks over to Internet viewing, those people might figure out that there is other content to be found. Right now, cable and sat services are walled gardens where no alternative programmers can get access. But the Internet is different, which is why the big programmers would just as soon stay away from it as much as they possibly can.

WhyADuck
Premium
join:2003-03-05
kudos:1

Re: It's all about control

That's sort of the same approach that the big phone companies took with VoIP - first try to ignore it, then paint it as unreliable and inferior. But more and more people are discovering the truth, that there is a lot of great content out there and much of it (especially the newer stuff) looks even better when played on a large screen.

I'm just waiting for the commercials and press releases that tell us how much better broadcast and/or cable is vs. video from the Internet (which would be extremely counterproductive, but large corporations never cease to do stupid things).

Video Guy

@comcast.net
THIS.

Right on the nose. In fact, as the programmers have begun to see how online distribution threatens the cash cow that is subscriber fees paid by traditional distributors (cable, telco, satellite), they are slowing down or back pedaling. Hulu will evolve in the way Comcast and its NBC content creator partners want it, not how consumers looking for online video content want it. Content is expensive to create. If it's not ads, it's fees (or both in most cases) and then DVD sales and online rentals way down the line.

And as stated elsewhere in the comments, the ISP sides of these content distributors will eventually collect the toll on the metered billing side to make up for lost video subscription revenue. C'est la vie.
majortom1029

join:2006-10-19
Lindenhurst, NY
kudos:1

hmm

Google is actually still in negotiations to get hulu unblocked. IF anybody can get it unblocked it would be google.
bngdup

join:2007-02-20
Old Bridge, NJ

Attrition

Thats alright, let them block Google TV, in fact let them block everyone, even standard internet users.

Between Netflix Instant on my Xbox, FIOS DVR, and FIOS on-demand, what the heck do I need Hulu for?

To add to that, Netflix doesn't stop and ask me if I'm over 18 before playing a video that may have "Strong" language.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Attrition

said by bngdup:

To add to that, Netflix doesn't stop and ask me if I'm over 18 before playing a video that may have "Strong" language.
Oh, just you wait.. .sooner or later either some "outraged" parent, some consumer protection group, a homely housewife with nothing better to do, or a politician in need of a platform, will realize this and, as I said, be "outraged" and make a big deal or issue out of this and it will change.

This country spends WAY too much time getting in the business of raising our kids, you know because it takes a village.. it makes something out of nothing while shoving the idea down the throats of kids who otherwise would be going about their business playing in the sand on their swings not caring.

WhyADuck
Premium
join:2003-03-05
kudos:1

2 edits

Why this is a really stupid move on Hulu's part

The problem with this is that at the core, most Home Theater devices are really computers. so unless the software is "locked" in such a way that consumers cannot add to it, Hulu is taking a big gamble. Rather than giving customers the option to use an "official" app, which will most likely play their commercials, they encourage the development of "underground" apps that are not endorsed by the makers of the original software OR by Hulu - and that (surprise, surprise) conveniently omit the commercials from the playback stream.

Now of course Hulu can continue to try to play a cat-and-mouse game to stop they content from being displayed but they have a fundamental problem - how can they distinguish between a third-party app and a standard Web browser (such as Firefox) if the app developer goes out of their way to make their app send all the same information and responses that a standard web browser would? If they can't tell whether a request is coming from a genuine web browser, or another program configured to look exactly like a web browser, then the risk of trying to block content becomes much greater, in that they could disable operation for many who are actually using web browsers (their intended target audience).

Right now the makers of the major HTPC software packages have every incentive to try to play nice with Hulu - in particular, by streaming the commercials. In contrast, the third-party developers, some of whom are probably located offshore (yes, you can access Hulu from outside the U.S. if you have a proxy server in the U.S.), have no incentive whatsoever to play nice with Hulu, and probably get some delight out of figuring out how to kill the ads.

Hulu is stupid anyway because they keep using Flash, which is horrible software if you have a low-powered "green" machine (and many of the coming video devices and "netbook" type computers already use, or will be using relatively "green" processors). I've seen at least three systems now that would run virtually any piece of HTPC software loaded on them and give smooth playback, EXCEPT Hulu Desktop. In all three cases, the machine owner really wanted Hulu Desktop to work, but it was like watching a slide show (a series of still frames). And strangely enough, one of the aforementioned third-party apps (no, I'm not going to say which one - I don't want it to become a target) plays Hulu content absolutely smoothly on those same machines. I don't know what the difference is, but virtually everything I have read suggests that Flash is the problem with Hulu's desktop client (it may also be that they hired incompetent programmers to write the client - I have no idea).

The real problem they have is that a modern HDTV set is really a large computer monitor with a TV tuner and multiple inputs added. So if their goal is to keep Hulu off the large screen, they are beating a dead horse. All anyone has to do is build or buy a Home Theater PC (NOT one dedicated to a particular piece of software), connect it to a HDTV set, and run Hulu in a web browser. Unfortunately, this still gives slide-show quality playback on some machines that play EVERY other stream encountered smoothly (solved for now by using more powerful hardware, though that should not be necessary). So it appears that the third-party developers are turning out superior software to Hulu's, AND they are smacking Hulu upside the head by removing their commercials. I guess that's what happens when you piss off the open source community by being STUPID.

If Hulu were SMART, they'd try to find the person writing one of the third-party apps, or someone like them, and hire them to create a decent Hulu client or app for the major home video devices (by decent I mean one that does NOT try to suck up every CPU cycle available and then some), and figure out a way to play nice with the device makers. They'd kick their current Hulu Desktop software (and especially Flash) to the curb, and try to rewrite it as if they actually wanted people with low-powered machines to be able to run it. And they'd accept the fact that computers and TV's are converging - I'm just waiting for the day when someone brings out a TV that contains a full-fledged PC inside (with remote that doubles as a keypad/touchpad, along the lines of the upcoming Boxee remote, but better designed) - and that's it's pure folly to try and keep their content off of one device while enabling it on the other, as the lines between the two become increasingly blurred. Oh, and they'd also realize that when you try to restrict content geographically, it doesn't work AND you don't have the opportunity to insert locally-relevant commercials.

(Slightly off-topic observation: It always gets me that the BBC won't stream their shows outside the U.K., even though they could easily earn revenue from advertisers in other parts of the world, particularly Canada and the U.S. - but then, they're in a country that still tries to levy a tax on every "television set", a holdover from the 1950's when most families only had one TV. I wonder how trying to tax each television set is working out for them now, when so many devices have screens that can be used to display video, and when any computer can be turned into a TV with the addition of a USB tuner stick?)
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

1 edit

Re: Why this is a really stupid move on Hulu's part

It always gets me that the BBC won't stream their shows outside the U.K., even though they could easily earn revenue from advertisers in other parts of the world, particularly Canada and the U.S. - but then, they're in a country that still tries to levy a tax on every "television set", a holdover from the 1950's when most families only had one TV. I wonder how trying to tax each television set is working out for them now, when so many devices have screens that can be used to display video, and when any computer can be turned into a TV with the addition of a USB tuner stick?

BBC has BBC America in the U.S which frankly has British shows available via iTunes and Zune (and maybe Netflix).

Poland (where I am from) has the same problem with government fees on TV sets. They collect a special monthly "abonament" on every TV set in household through a Postal Service. And it is just for OTA public programming that has nothing on it except for some old folks. Many people simply refuse to pay it and don't allow postal men come into their house for inspection.

Would you pay to government $20 monthly fee for owning a tv. I think not!!! Think how stupid this is!
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Why this is a really stupid move on Hulu's part

Isn't this much like England and the tax on TV.. or is it the antenna they tax? I don't know.. but Poland certainly isn't the only country that tax TV.. we do it here in the US, only, they don't really do a user-tax system which is more "fair".. we tax things SO unbalanced. In fact, they do tax Americans for TV, and then turned around and allowed the broadcasters to charge cable and satellite users each month for it.. now THAT'S the American way!
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

Re: Why this is a really stupid move on Hulu's part

They just tax for owning tv, regArdless of having broadcast

They may tax here on bills but it's like few dollars. The real reapers are telco, cable who charge for having hd.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Why this is a really stupid move on Hulu's part

We also get taxes, in general, to operate the public television stations in this country too.. the FCC and all their cronies don't come for free.

And yes, I agree on the HD comment... they've been paying that bill off on the back of pay TV subscribers for years now, and no one seems to notice, or really care. Shame.
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

Re: Why this is a really stupid move on Hulu's part

how they deduct tax for these services?
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Why this is a really stupid move on Hulu's part

Federal Taxes... money is taken from that to fund the FCC.
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

I would love to see some adult porn content

available on Xbox 360 via streaming.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: I would love to see some adult porn content

you need a ps3 for that

fcisler
Premium
join:2004-06-14
Riverhead, NY

Boxee

If Boxee can get around it I'm SURE google can get around it.

I'd like to start seeing apps like Boxee/Google TV start randomizing browser strings to Hulu to show them the fruitless nature of their effort.

Mert

@ut.us

Hulu Desktop

Why block it. I have an old PC hooked up to the TV running the Hulu Desktop. How is this any different?

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Hulu Desktop

said by Mert :

Why block it. I have an old PC hooked up to the TV running the Hulu Desktop. How is this any different?
Hulu thinks people are too stupid or too lazy to hook a PC up to a TV.

norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI

Re: Hulu Desktop

said by 88615298:

said by Mert :

Why block it. I have an old PC hooked up to the TV running the Hulu Desktop. How is this any different?
Hulu thinks people are too stupid or too lazy to hook a PC up to a TV.
me too its not hard to do. i just connected a laptop to my HDTV and i have a wireless keyboard and mouse. Let me see hulu block me doing that. i just use the browser to stream as i am not familiar with hulu desktop.
Ulmo

join:2005-09-22
Aptos, CA

Why wait? No need to continue using the old stuff.

Just cancel TV cable/satellite/uverse/fios (just get Internet), discard your old TV or plug your new TV solely into your computer, and do everything through your computer anyway. If it isn't available through your computer somehow, then don't put any money into it.

If you went through the expense and engineering to install an actual TV antenna for your perfect HDTV antenna reception, then get an HDTV card for your computer that can receive all your local channels, just to stay true to the concept, or even just leave your new TV plugged into the antenna only (no other old-fashioned inputs), if you have the discipline.

Take your pick. Netflix, Hulu.com, actual movie theatre, bittorrent, etc..

Which reminds me, I have some netflix to watch (old DVDs of Law & Order); 14 day free trial on roommate's credit card with his consent. Just watch out for the credit-card only policy of netflix: it is a killer. It will eat your bank account for breakfast.

MalibuMaxx
Premium
join:2007-02-06
Chesterton, IN

Theres VGA in and HDMI in

on the TV's for a reason... I can just hook my laptop up with out a problem... Hulu should cut the crap...