Once again Hulu can't tell the difference between a web browser and a web browser

Kylo-420x236It looks like they’ve done it again.

Hulu, the US-only video-on-demand service, has reportedly blocked Kylo, a newly released web browser, from accessing its site.

The crime? Being too damn TV-friendly. It’s a story reminiscent of the Hulu/Boxee fiasco.

As Dave Zatz described it: “Kylo is a custom Mozilla app designed for couch-based content consumption. Assuming you have a computer connected to your television.”

In other words, it’s basically a Mac/Windows web browser, just like any other, except it has a UI that’s somewhat designed for 10-foot operation in front of the telly.

That’s a no-go for Hulu it seems.

As I noted at the time when TV-friendly media browser Boxee was first blocked, it’s a ridiculous move on many levels:

Not least is the fact that, in relation to Hulu, technically speaking Boxee is just a web browser that happens to be optimized for a ‘ten foot’ or TV-like viewing experience rather than for when you’re sat directly in front of the PC. And crucially, since Boxee has yet to license its software to set-top box makers or build a box of its own, the only way to get Boxee content onto a TV is via a PC (aside from running Boxee on a hacked AppleTV). Once the PC is using the TV as its monitor, any content can be displayed on the television, including using a standard web browser such as Firefox, IE or Safari to access Hulu or any online video site. All Boxee has done is design a better browsing experience for when you’re sat further away. In other words, Boxee alone doesn’t enable Hulu to be viewed on the TV, it just makes it more convenient.

In terms of the business case, Boxee hasn’t done anything wrong either. It doesn’t remove the ads that are embedded in Hulu content, no does it run ads of its own. Its only crime, as already stated, is that Boxee has made it more convenient to view television content on a PC connected to a TV. Oh the irony.

Hulu, of course, will blame the studios, many of which have a stake in the company anyway. And what’s even more odd is that Hulu offers its own TV-friendly web browser, which the content providers seem to be OK with.

Madness I tell you.

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last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

One Response to “Once again Hulu can't tell the difference between a web browser and a web browser”

  1. jeffimig says:

    The big joke is how INCREDIBLY BAD hulu's own Mac app is. I finally broke down and tried it about a month ago… it is truly primitive and lame. Unusable.

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