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Media Television

Boxee Drops Hulu Support 375

Posted by timothy
from the back-to-dvds-from-the-library dept.
frdmfghtr writes "According to a boxee blog entry, Hulu will no longer be supported. From the post: 'two weeks ago Hulu called and told us their content partners were asking them to remove Hulu from boxee. we tried (many times) to plead the case for keeping Hulu on boxee, but on Friday of this week, in good faith, we will be removing it. you can see their blog post about the issues they are facing.' Reading the hulu blog post, the only 'issue' I see facing Hulu is that content providers have (once again) shot themselves in the foot, switching off a media conduit they should have been promoting." Update: 02/19 14:31 GMT by T : Jamie points out this interesting (speculative) piece at O'Reilly Radar about the thought process that may have driven the decision.
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Boxee Drops Hulu Support

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:26AM (#26916019)

    ...no viewership from me for hulu. Anywhere. First tv.com now boxee. It's a sign of these illogical times that hulu allow anyone to embed their videos in any web page, but then would force a application that sends hundreds of thousands of streams of traffic to them to drop their service.

    Cable companies' (who are clearly pressuring content providers) subscriptions are already falling. I'm one of those people who have dropped it. Lest that trend continue though, we can't make it TOO easy for people to watch video online now, can we? Continually making it more difficult to get to online video won't save the cable companies' bloated overpriced businesses. It may well sacrifice hulu's, though...

    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:32AM (#26916133) Journal
      Notwithstanding the fact that people outside US can't watch Hulu streams. I would say I only care for Hulu to die faster as far as I'm concerned
      • by Mononoke (88668) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:08AM (#26916627) Homepage Journal

        Notwithstanding the fact that people outside US can't watch Hulu streams. I would say I only care for Hulu to die faster as far as I'm concerned

        You really think that's Hulu's fault, or something that Hulu has real control over?

        Hulu has a choice: They can provide a good assortment of content playing by the content provider's rules, or they can provide very little content any way they damn well please. So far, evidence shows that Hulu has made the right choices.

        • What is boxee? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:25AM (#26916881) Homepage Journal
          Can someone tell me what Boxee is? I go to their website, and I can't get anywhere IN without registering first. Geez.....no FAQ to read or anything without registering?

          That kinda blows...

          • Re:What is boxee? (Score:5, Informative)

            by gnick (1211984) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:41AM (#26917157) Homepage

            I didn't know what Boxee [wikipedia.org] was either (although it wasn't that tough to educate myself). You can understand fanaticism - More or less open, but with limited Windows support - Woot!

            But really, this doesn't really make me hate Hulu. They've got a solid business model - Provide content to US viewers (or people using a US-based proxy) and provide ad-supported content based on the restrictions imposed by the content providers. What's so wrong about that? They've accepted that media distribution is changing, accepted that laws restrict them to a limited number of choices, and have found a good niche. What's so wrong with that? Should every business buck the system and risk annihilation rather than find a profitable model within the system to expand options while the model shifts due to cavaliers like TPB?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jedidiah (1196)

              Hulu is abitrarily restricting what clients they will allow access.

              It's as if they suddenly decided that Opera and Firefox would no longer be allowed.

              While it's their perogative to be morons, it sucks if you are an end user.

              • Re:What is boxee? (Score:5, Informative)

                by gnick (1211984) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @01:35PM (#26918867) Homepage

                If you RTFA, this is not at all an arbitrary move on Hulu's part. It's an arbitrary move on the part of the content owners that Hulu has decided to comply with.

                Our content providers requested that we turn off access to our content via the Boxee product, and we are respecting their wishes. While we stubbornly believe in this brave new world of media convergence â" bumps and all â" we are also steadfast in our belief that the best way to achieve our ambitious, never-ending mission of making media easier for users is to work hand in hand with content owners. Without their content, none of what Hulu does would be possible, including providing you content via Hulu.com and our many distribution partner websites.

                Hulu has always caved in to demands from the content providers. That's what has worked for them, so they'll continue to do it. Call them shills if you want, but if you think that you can do a better job while ignoring demands from the networks, give it a try. Good luck with that.

          • by tuxgeek (872962)
            This was discussed recently
            http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/11/1344200 [slashdot.org]
          • Re:What is boxee? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:45AM (#26917235)

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxee [wikipedia.org]

            Boxee is a freeware cross-platform media center software with social networking features that is a fork of the open source XBMC media center software with some custom and proprietary additions. Marketed as the first ever "'Social Media Center", Boxee enables its users to view, rate and recommend content to their friends through many social networking features. Boxee is still under development and is currently only available as Alpha releases for Mac OS X (Leopard and Tiger), Apple TV, and Linux for computers with Intel processors, with the first Alpha made available on the 16th of June 2008. A Microsoft Windows Alpha version of Boxee was released in January 2009, but is currently available only by private invitation.

            Boxee said in 2009 they are planning on releasing their own dedicated set-top box (hardware) for Boxee, and also plan to license their Boxee media center and social networking service as a third-party software component to other companies for them to use the Boxee software in their hardware, such as set-top boxes from cable-TV companies or embedded computers built-in directly into television-sets. Boxee has also stated that their goal is to have Boxee run on as many third-party hardware platforms and operating systems as possible.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by senorpoco (1396603)
            Boxee is a media center app for OSx Linux and soon windows. It lets you browse your own video music and picture collections but also allowed streaming of web content, hulu, youtube etc.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Fishbulb (32296)

          You really think that's Hulu's fault, or something that Hulu has real control over?

          From the O'Reilly article:
          Let's control ads on the Internet by putting them on our "content" through Hulu, an entertainment industry company, not a smelly nerd company.

          Hulu's in the back pocket of the MPAA. Right.

          As far as Hulu's concerned, "any way they damn well please" is whatever the studios damn well please. The only right choice they made was to bend over for the studios, except now they're starting to feel the sting.

          IYKWIM, AITYD

        • by aztektum (170569) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @12:28PM (#26917837)

          Seeing as how Hulu is owned by NBC and Newscorp, yes and yes. They ARE the content owners, and as we've seen time and again, content owners are self righteous idiots.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Yvanhoe (564877)
          I'm not saying it is anyone's fault. Merely pointing out that Hulu isn't really an Internet service. It is an American service. Anything that is online but considers geographical borders to be relevant makes something wrong. Hulu may work for you, but I honestly believe that this is not a good long-term idea.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 1u3hr (530656)
          So far, evidence shows that Hulu has made the right choices.

          Yes, it's great for me to see blogs with embedded videos saying "FUCK OFF IF YOU'RE NOT AMERICAN". Great choice. (Since most of the blog posters are blissfully unaware that's what we, outside the chosen land, see.)

          Back to grotty old Youtube.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Yep, sort of like how the BBC treats me when I go to it's website. It isn't just American companies that pull that stunt.

      • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:12AM (#26916679) Journal
        I know I shouldn't reply to a sig, but... you've got it all wrong.

        The Fool, conscious of his own ignorance, looks at the world and attempts to adapt himself. When he does so effectively, he becomes the Wise and stops looking at the world. Then when the world changes, the Wise must become Fools again before they can begin to become Wise again. Until they succeed, they're the Insane.

        There is no such thing as progress, there is only the changing external world and our endless struggle to effectively mirror it within our internal world.
        • by EastCoastSurfer (310758) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:17AM (#26916753)

          The Fool, conscious of his own ignorance

          A fool knows not that he is a fool. The wise is simply a fool that is conscious of his own ignorance.

        • >>The Fool, conscious of his own ignorance

          Going back to the start of western philosophy with Socrates, the only real solid wisdom we have is that we as a people know only a minimal fraction of what exists, and only a fool believes he completely understands much of anything. It is only the wise man who knows the faintest hint of his own ignorance.

          It is not so much reality that changes, but our limited understanding of it as a people. Progress is where we get further along in our verified understandin

      • by von_rick (944421) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:12AM (#26916681) Homepage
        People in the US who wanted to watch entire TV episodes on the show's own websites were often out of luck because they provided content for "Windows Only". Hulu has been providing the high quality episodes (picture quality) for non-Windows users. For that reason I think they should stay.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Either you didn't give the reason you want to see Hulu fail or you don't know what that word means [google.com]. Assuming it's the latter, I'm going to have to say that wanting a web site to fail because it only serves a segment of the population you're not in is ridiculous. Hulu is one of my favorite sites right now and the #1 place that I watch movies and TV shows. Hulu's great, and disliking it because of restrictions almost certainly placed on them by the content providers is ridiculous.
        • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @01:27PM (#26918697) Homepage

          It's not rediculous at all.

          Hulu is engaging in pointless restrictions. They're like
          some country club that would never let Tiger Woods play
          unless he was the reigning golf champion (and perhaps
          not even then).

          This is arbitrary. Boxee wasn't even doing anything
          against their terms of service or against their
          interests really.

          The web should not be fragmented by that sort of petty exclusion.

    • by Shads (4567) <(gro.sudahs) (ta) (sudahs)> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:39AM (#26916245) Homepage Journal

      So everyone goes back to viewing their tv shows with no ads from Pirate Bay. ~shrug~ people used Hulu on Boxee because it was easier even if the ads were a bit annoying, now that they've taken it away it'll just be status quo.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Andy Dodd (701)

        Or Mininova.

        As Hulu has moved to RTMPE (shutting down rtmpdump), I have moved back to Mininova.

        My HTPC in the living room simply isn't fast enough for Hulu because their player is so broken, despite being able to easily play back rtmpdumped FLVs of Hulu content with SMPlayer.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Totally agreed. I have many options for downloading higher quality ad-free shows. I used hulu through boxee and put up with the ads because it was easier. If I have to mess around with a keyboard/mouse to watch a show- its going to be to download the high quality ad-free version.

      • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:20AM (#26916805)
        Right now Hulu's in the place that Apple was with music a few years ago. Apple dragged the labels kicking and screaming into the internet age and showed them that there was a better way than blindly fighting everyone on the internet. Hulu's trying to do the same thing with the studios.
      • by Seakip18 (1106315)

        Exactly. I was looking forward to getting caught up on "The office" with the gf via Hulu. Looks like we're going to be watching in MythTV instead since MythVodka isn't up to snuff yet.

        The media PC is coming to the living room, old media just doesn't seem to know what to do. I've been watching soley recorded content for a while and my roommates are slowly shifting that way too.

      • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv,vadiv&neverbox,com> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @01:03PM (#26918355) Homepage

        Back? When did we stop?

        And I think the hypothesis in the summary is correct. They thought people were watching Hulu on computer. Because they're apparently complete and total morons who don't understand the different between computers and TVs is...nothing.

        I'm going to explain this carefully to the TV companies:

        I literally have not watched an ad on TV in three years, cause my 'TV' is hooked to a computer that runs utorrent downloading an rss feed, and a program called gbpvr. This is a 'computer' that serves the purpose of a DVD player. It's not some tiny screen, it's hooked to my actual main TV, and only to that. It has a remote control on it.

        It is a computer by technical definition, but I want you goofs to think of it as a TiVo that illegally downloads TV shows. I went to bed last time, and I woke up with Lost, Lie to Me, Knight Rider, and Life on Mars downloaded. Without ads. For free. With an interface I can operate like a TiVo, with a remote, on a television.

        This system wasn't hard to setup. The hardware requirement was a $40 remote control and an old computer. The two pieces of software were both free. In terms of technical skill required, it wasn't much at all.

        To recap: I can walk into my living room, sit down at my couch and use a remote control to watch the episode of Lost that aired last night, and then delete it to make room for more. Without ads. No hassle whatsoever, it happened entirely automatically. It is there, now. It is easier to watch than using hulu in a web browser.

        Now I want to tell you I'm 30. And I want you TV executives to imagine the 25% of the 18-35 year olds that are moderately technically savvy switching to my setup. Now I want you to imagine them helping their friends set it up. (There are a lot of old computers out there.)

        I will give you a second to change your underwear. Are you people perhaps grasping the fucking seriousness of your situation?

        There is one, and exactly one, way for you to show me an ad: Some sort of automatic downloading application (Not real-time streaming crap. I don't have infinite bandwidth.) that lets me subscribe to TV shows and download and watch them. Like I do now, but legally.

        If you would provide this, I would switch. Even if the shows had ads. Away from the same system without ads. I'm okay with ads, I understand that's how you make your money. Other people might not be so noble, but if your application was easier to use, and came with a remote control, they'd never set anything up...but once they do, they aren't switching.

        However, my choices now are the current system, and fucking stupid hulu in a web browser that I can't operate with a remote control and stutters if I'm downloading something else. I'd never heard of boxee, might have used that too if I knew about it (Although I hate streaming), but congrats on breaking that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)

      It's not just that. The channels themselves are often the content partners, and ads on cable TV or regular TV easily fetch ten times the money that of online video ads do, if not much more. So with that nugget of information, it's easy to understand why they don't like a box that's going to be used a lot like a cable box, but only give them 5-10% of the revenue for the same content. I'm not saying that excuses the fact that they can't see that's how it is going to be that way.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by crmarvin42 (652893)
        You're probably right, but there are those like me that canceled their cable before they'd ever heard of Boxee. I knew about Hulu and had watched exactly 1 tv episode on it prior to Boxee. Last night alone I watched 4 programs.

        I'm a gradstudent and my wife is pregnant. We need every penny we can save, and cable was not worth the money at $60/mo for basic service and a DVR to make it remotely worthwhile. Now I'll just go back to reading books, watching my DVD's, listening to music, playing video games,
      • by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:23AM (#26916861) Journal
        Basically I see these people cutting their nose off to spite their face.

        Firstly, if the person is watching the show on a Boxee or Hulu, you can partly figure they're not watching it on some traditional medium such as cable TV.

        So following that logic, basically they're forgoing 5-10% additional revenue they'd get because now the person is going to go to mininova and download the same show sans their ads instead of watching it on hulu or a boxee.

        Though it should be noted this industry has had a long and protracted history of doing things that make utterly no sense because instead of embracing technology and getting ahead of the curve they're being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

        What's odder is that, while flawed in a several ways Hulu was actually a step in the right direction...
  • Oh noes (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:26AM (#26916027)

    $buzzword1 won't be supporting $buzzword2

  • by v1 (525388) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:29AM (#26916075) Homepage Journal

    would seem be for Hulu to provide a link or three at the bottom of that notice saying "if you disagree with this, we suggest you have your voice heard by .... " with links, phone numbers, email addresses, mailboxes, etc. If the "content providers" aren't listening to Hulu (or boxee) then maybe they'll listen to mobs of their customers?

    I'm very surprised they didn't do this.

    • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:53AM (#26916435) Journal

      Hulu seem to be quite resistant to naming them, which is a shame. It's clear that they're walking a fine line between pleasing customers and pleasing providers, and you can see very clearly from the tone of their blog post that they're not happy about blocking Boxee - I'm surprised that they aren't pushing back a little by simply telling their customers who's pressed them into it.

      I honestly cannot see a single good reason to allow the content through a browser but not through a plugin. I assume the thinking of the content providers is that most people aren't going to hook up a 'normal' computer to a TV, and thus Hulu doesn't really compete with cable/satellite without services like Boxee. This is short-sighted and stupid - when there is a huge surplus of free (illegal) media out there for the taking, the last thing they should be doing is placing limitations on the legal media. Same goes for HDCP, CSS, UOPs, region lockouts and any other scheme that reduces the value of legitimate content in comparison to 'pirated' content.

      It's not precisely the same thing (due to the complexity of international broadcasting rights), but the fact you can only get Hulu in the US is a symptom of the same line of thinking. I want to watch House, for example - if I could get it through Hulu I'd do so, and be happy enough to watch the ads. Back when the region lockout was easy to bypass I used the service and was pleasantly surprised; picture quality is much better than BBC iPlayer and the ads are less intrusive than commercial broadcast TV. As it stands now I'll just wait until the DVD boxsets are cheap enough second hand and get them instead - partly to save money, partly as a matter of principle: if they won't give me half decent access to the product I want, I'll do my best to ensure they don't get any of my money when I do pay for it.

      • by MrMarket (983874)

        Hulu seem to be quite resistant to naming them.

        Time Warner, Cox, Comcast, RCN...

      • by mdmkolbe (944892)

        My plugin is a browser you insensitive clod.

        But seriously, how hard would it be for Boxee to just run the Hulu SWF file directly? Sure the interface might not be as cool, but it's not as if they can actually block it.

    • Or... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto (415985)

      ...if they do not, folks who do not like the changes can simply abandon Hulu.com for other avenues.

      Honestly, I'm hard-pressed to find anything worth the hassle on the site anyway, though tastes obviously differ.

      It's obvious that (unlike the music industry) the TV industry is at least trying to adapt to the web. That said, the time is pretty ripe for a hungry start-up or a bored zillionaire to start providing Internet-only broadcasting in a way that appeals, with shows that entertain.

      The economy doesn't have

    • by Aladrin (926209)

      They've probably done all they can get away with by blogging and saying that it's not their decision, but is the content owners' instead. If that's not enough for people to get active, then actually giving email addresses isn't going to help much.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AbbyNormal (216235)

      I believe the content providers and Hulu are one and the same?

        I found this link in one of the boxee forums.

        http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,305877,00.html [foxnews.com]

      I believe all the huffing/puffing from the Boxee community is not going to make the house fall down.

  • No Ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:29AM (#26916077) Journal

    I watch Hulu on XBMC. It just hooks into the video stream directly. The ads on the website are inserted by the flash player. No flash, no ads. This is probably behind this decision.

    • Re:No Ads (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MoonBuggy (611105) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:39AM (#26916241) Journal

      Reading the comments on the blog entry linked in the summary seems to show that there are ads on Hulu streams through Boxee. I can see absolutely no good reason whatsoever for the content providers forcing Hulu to do this.

      • by Svartalf (2997)

        What if the rack-rate per minute for advertising was quite a bit bigger on TV than on Hulu?

        Does it make more sense now?

        • Re:No Ads (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MoonBuggy (611105) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:21AM (#26916821) Journal

          As it happens, I made another post [slashdot.org] more or less covering that point.

          Basically I don't see it being a 'good' reason to artificially and ineffectively limit users' access to legitimate content simply based on the (now fairly blurred) line between a TV and a monitor.

          The level of pettiness here is getting ridiculous: watching fullscreen with a browser in the background on your HTPC hooked to a plasma screen in your living room? Fine. Doing the same thing but streaming direct through a plugin? Not allowed. To me, that doesn't really scream "understandable and logical business plan".

          I can see where they're coming from - they want to protect the revenues from cable and satellite plans - but artificially restricting what one can do with perfectly legal, ad supported content is going to do one of two things: leave the users watching the content in a slightly more inconvenient form (through a browser, but on the same monitor, for instance) or direct them to the pirate bay. Hell, if they keep pissing people off like this then some people might even stop paying for content just out of spite.

        • by fracai (796392)

          What if the rack-rate per minute for advertising was quite a bit bigger on TV than on Hulu?

          Does it make more sense now?

          ... No? Why should it matter what monitor I use to see the same content? Whether through a web browser or through Boxee I'm still seeing the same content, the same ads, and over the same network. This breaks down to the content providers saying, "You can view my show through FireFox, IE, Safari, etc., but not through Boxee. The vowel/consonant ratio is a bit too high with that one.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      What are you using to watch stuff on XBMC? The script installers do nothing to help along those lines... Unless you want Youtube or AMT.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192)

        I manually installed the Hulu plugin on the newest T3CH release of XBMC. Here's [xbmc.org] the plugin, but apparently it's broken right now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by soundhack (179543)

      This was true until yesterday, when hulu.com removed the plaintext PIDs which the xbmc hulu plugin used. Hopefully they will be able to work around it (decrypting the encrypted PIDs) but until then no more hulu on xbmc.

    • Re:No Ads (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BMonger (68213) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:47AM (#26916345)
      Boxee plays the ads. Boxee goes directly to Hulu to get the content whereas I think XBMC is served from your computer which goes to Hulu. Not to familiar with XBMC myself though. Regardless the worst part is is that on my computer I have an ad blocker. On Boxee I do not. I saw more ads on Boxee than I ever saw on my computer. Even if I disabled ad blocking on my computer I was more prone to "do something else" for those 15-30 seconds. At the TV, not so much.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Boxee goes directly to Hulu to get the content whereas I think XBMC is served from your computer which goes to Hulu.

        XBMC is just a program like windows media player except better, and with python scripting. It runs on OSX, Windows 2000+, and the Xbox. It uses mplayer and IIRC ffdshow to do the heavy lifting.

    • by lophophore (4087)

      You mean you used to watch Hulu on XBMC. No more.

  • Shocking!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tgatliff (311583) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:29AM (#26916081)

    Content providers trying to prevent change from occurring?? That is shocking!! Shocking I tell you...

    With the traditional players now imploding due to reduced of marketing dollar flows, I think it is only a matter of time before these players that the good old days are gone..

  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:30AM (#26916091)

    Control=$

    That's why DRM exists.
    That's why "fair use" is "bad".

    and by a stretch, that why we have the war on drugs. You wouldn't want cheap antidepressants or cancer drugs (like Cannabis), now would you ?

  • by wjh31 (1372867) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:31AM (#26916125) Homepage
    if hulu are asking to be removed, then it sounds like hulu have stopped supporting boxee, rather than boxee no longer supporting hulu
  • by qoncept (599709)
    I just installed boxee on my Apple TV last weekend exclusively for watching Hulu. This whole thing doesn't make much sense -- saying "we don't want our tv shows being watched on a tv."

    What would honestly make the most sense, in my mind, is if the network that owned the rights to shows just had them stream from their own sites. Your media box could even call them something crazy, like "channels."
    • Re:Lame. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:41AM (#26916267) Journal
      They don't really want their stuff on Hulu being watched on TV. Hulu is, essentially, the product of a market segmentation/price discrimination move. Better to have the tech-savvy cheapskates watching on Hulu, where we can show them ads and keep an eye on them, rather than on bittorrent or any of the numerous dodgey underground streaming outfits.

      However, they don't want Hulu to replace cable as the medium of choice for nontechy/convenience oriented users. If getting a Hulu set top box is just as easy as getting a cable set top box, and costs a great deal less, then cable loses. The media overlords don't really want that.
      • Re:Lame. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by eudaemon (320983) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @12:30PM (#26917857)

        You are of course correct. The media providers similarly fought cheap distribution of movies - VHS was going to kill the movie theatre.
        Then DVDs were going to kill the incredibly lucrative sale-of-movies industry (the one the MPAA didn't want) because you'll
        only ever sell one copy of a movie. Except of course until HD-DVD and Bluray came out and people wanted a better copy of the same movie.
        In fact bluray and HDDVD are a perfect example of something incrementally that gives more control to the media people, costs more
        and doesn't offer much more to the consumer in benefit. Hence the tepid adoption. What's my point? The content providers are already
        suppliers of streamed content, whether they want to acknowledge it or not, yet. Right now we have torrents (out of the control but highly
        adopted), and hulu (in their control, but not as widely used). Isn't it obvious that these content providers should be working
        with cable companies to form a streaming hub/spoke system so that their content is digitally packaged and forwarded? IPTV FTW, baby.

  • by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:33AM (#26916155) Homepage Journal

    It is obvious that the best path to maximize its user uptake is to make Hulu an OSS project. With the experience, dedication and level-headness of the millions of developers in the open source community, it will be certain that Hulu would achieve new heights.

    Hulu could incorporate new functionality such as streaming MIDI files, Ogg visualation routines, Excel macro optimizations, and banner ad removal for Chrome and Firefox. Perhaps using the GPL v3 as the basic licensing framework would also provide us with the support of Bruce Perens and Bruce Schneier (not related).

    Only when we focus our efforts in media content delivery engines can we wrest control of the net neutrality paradigm from DoubleClick.

    • by Dreadneck (982170)

      The only fly in your ointment is that you don't seem to have taken the media content providers into account. 'Ad removal'? You just lost your media providers right there.

      Good luck delivering nonexistent content

    • Hulu without syndicated content from the networks is nothing but a video blog. Yes it's a very well designed video blog but it's true value is the ability to syndicate content and insert ads into the stream.

  • when you're just starting out trying to get your content out there, you post it practically everywhere to get exposure.

    At what point of growth do you go "fuck this small player" - I just don't understand. In the content industry you need as much exposure as you can get. Even if something comes along that's new and small, it's still a content delivery system so why not put your content on it?

    Can anyone explain to me the mentality here? Anyone?

    • They get money from cable/satellite companies for the privilege of carrying their content. If it is easy and gets looking "good enough" it incentivezes people to drop their steady monthly income stream(subscription fees) for an ad based model(something that is currently tanking). Hulu (in their mind) is meant to be competition for bit torrent not for cable.
      • If it is easy and gets looking "good enough" it incentivezes people to drop their steady monthly income stream(subscription fees) for an ad based model(something that is currently tanking), then you are threatening their business model. Preview and submit are too close together any time earlier than coffee time.
  • by Jacques Chester (151652) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:48AM (#26916357)

    In a shocking twist, Mknnnr was also found to have backstabbed Hoolihooli in a deal with Farnanook.

    In unrelated news, it has been found that 98% of "Web 2.0" business names are created by cats walking on keyboards. Footage at 11.

  • Hulu what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by olddotter (638430) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:54AM (#26916441) Homepage
    When will they ever get it? Commercials, no commercials, I'm not sitting in front of the computer to watch something longer than 5 minutes in duration. They need Hulu in my living room if they think I will ever care even a little bit about Hulu.
  • ARRRRRRR!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by bornagainpenguin (1209106) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:56AM (#26916465)

    I guess it's back to the torrent channel for me and thee, then, innit? So instead of watching SOME ads, ye and me will watch a-none, with nary a soul venturing out ter get screwed again! Tis so brilliant a move it could have only come from NBC/Universal! Those bleeding rotters only know how to lose money naught how ter be making it, so me boys will ignore th fools and hoist ye jolly roger we will...

    See ye and thee at th' bay laddies!

    --bornagainpenguin

  • Fear (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PineHall (206441) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:57AM (#26916473)
    Those "content providers" are afraid of losing control in this risky new venture. By playing it safe they keep their control on known revenue sources. They don't want to take a chance on an unknown thing that could hurt a known revenue source.
    • Re:Fear (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Svartalf (2997) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:13AM (#26916687) Homepage

      Aaaand...in doing it, they ended up hurting the known revenue source. Boxee wasn't stripping the ads- so they were getting money via their known source. They just couldn't control it as well as they could with the Hulu website.

      Now, they'll have less takers.

      No, this was more about Hulu potentially endangering the higher revenue bringing TV and Cable advertising deals.

  • by wowbagger (69688) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:58AM (#26916487) Homepage Journal

    And what would Boxee be, pray tell? I went to the site, and all I see is a page that asks me to log in. No information on what Boxee would be - no "What is Boxee?" or "Information about Boxee" or "Why you should give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys about Boxee".

    It looks to me like the standard Web 2.0 "We are so tragically hip that we cannot see over our own pelvis, and if you don't know what we are by osmosis, then you are so terribly uncool we wouldn't want to deal with you anyway."

    Then there's the little issue of the Boxee blog not having a link back to the main site - good web site design there guys. Yes, *I* know to edit the URL to get to the main site, but amazingly enough guys, there are people in this world who don't know that little trick (though I suppose they, too, fall into the "terribly uncool" group which with you would rather not be bothered).

    And of course, neither the story submitter nor the <cough>editors[sic]<cough> could be bothered to actually link to any such explanation.

    Oh well - my guess is that whatever Boxee is, it will follow the same trajectory most Web 2.0 objects follow, so perhaps when the inevitable "Boxee goes bust" story is posted on /. that may give some clues as to what the remains used to be.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      And what would Boxee be, pray tell? I went to the site, and all I see is a page that asks me to log in. No information on what Boxee would be - no "What is Boxee?" or "Information about Boxee" or "Why you should give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys about Boxee".

      If you need a streaming video to explain your product, you are not smart enough to sell it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by at_slashdot (674436)

      For unwashed and uneducated who cannot bother to search Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxee [wikipedia.org]

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      It's an offshoot of XBMC that is designed more for streaming and less for Media center use. It's cute but Myself and my family like XBMC better.

      Honestly I dont see why everyone was all in love with hulu anyways, If I wanted to watch really low res versions of TV Id watch it off my PVR. I'm after HD versions... that's where eztv.it fills the bill.

      tired of content providers dragging their butt on my carpet. They want my eyeballs? they gotta server it up on my terms.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      Boxee does not appear to be terribly interested in generating traffic to their site... they are not a "Web 2.0" company. Rather, they are trying to develop software that can be loaded onto a set-top box. They seem to hope to make money licensing this package to hardware makers.

    • by hplus (1310833)
      Sorry to disrupt your web design rant, but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxee [wikipedia.org] No login necessary.
  • by meist3r (1061628) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:59AM (#26916507)
    The reason why we have this rampant piracy is that the studios and content creators and rights holders refuse to adopt models that cater to the consumers. Instead the market is artificially segmented into more and more chunks (which are owned by the same few corporations) to make cash and data flow as complicated as possible to charge more and more for it. I'm really getting sick of all this political bullshit.

    Why isn't Hulu.com available outside the US? Because they need to segment the market to sell country specific ads.

    Why isn't Boxee allowed to stream Hulu content? Because they want to segment the ad market into "Hulu ads" and "Non-Hulu/Other ads"

    Why do DVDs still get released with Region codes? Because they want to segment the market to sell the same stuff at different prices and make ad contracts for different regions so they can earn a manifold of income.

    Why is there still no simultaneous release of movies if many people watch them with subtitles or in English anyway? Because they want to segment the market into the respective "exploitation" zones to draw money out.

    Some of these things are happening because the industry wanted them, some because our stupid societies still believe they need borders and nationalities to function and thus establish different tax systems. It could all be so easy if you would only let it get more complicated ...

    Until this is resolved I'm at the Pirate Bay, watching KingKong, sipping Cider and laughing at all those idiots that still bother to screw around with that antiquated segmentation.
  • by foniksonik (573572) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @10:59AM (#26916509) Homepage Journal

    http://www.hulu.com/videos/search?query=contact [hulu.com]

    No it doesn't bring up a contact page, but scroll to the bottom and there's a little link "Didn't find what you wanted? Click here to let us know" which pops up a contact box.... use it to let them know how you feel.

  • We need to let the people who really pay for TV shows know how we want our content.

    A lot of people think that the cable/sat subscribers are whom pay, but they would be wrong.

    We need to start letting advertisers know, that we want our content "free", as they are the ones that truly pay for the shows.

  • by jcern (247616) *

    After reading that speculative piece over at O'Reilly, I really have to wonder exactly how their business model works. I know the networks hate DVR, but they have more or less come to accept it as long as you watch the commercials. What I fail to see is why they would be against watching a lower quality version at a later point with current commercials as opposed to watching a DVR'd version at a later point with potentially outdated commercials.

    I think Hulu is great for when I miss a show but if I am around

  • Without their content, none of what Hulu does would be possible, including providing you content via Hulu.com and our many distribution partner websites.

    The above quote is from the Hulu Blog. The Their is obviously the "content providers", AKA the losers.

    I can watch TikiBar, and wish it were more than 5 minutes long. I was about to Boxee my Apple TV for Hulu. But frankly I'm fine with free video podcasts, TikiBar, TED Talks, NASA, etc.

  • by Roxton (73137) <roxton@gmail . c om> on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:11AM (#26916663) Homepage Journal

    Ugh, this reminds me of how the networks pressured NetFlix into killing their Red Envelope independent publishing division. Every time I see something like this, I lose some of the hope that new, more open distribution models will win out over industry inertia.

  • by sesshomaru (173381) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:23AM (#26916845) Journal

    Hmm... there's a mistake in the radar.oreilly article. It was pretty jarring to read it, it concerns Divx. The author has confused Divx Discs with Self-Destruct DVDs that rot when exposed to air. I mean they are both bad technologies, and arguably are intended to acheive the same goal, but they are still different.

    Divx was a complicated technology that was designed to lock out Divx discs from playing in certain circumstances. For instance, you "buy" a Divx DVD for the cheapest price available, and then you are locked out of watching it again until you "buy" it again. Or you get the "Gold Divx" subscription (not available for all Divx Discs), and you can theoretically watch the disk an unlimited number of times... on the particular Divx player you had the Gold subscription for that particular Divx disk on.

    As Penny Arcade thoughtfully pointed out, Divx disks were hewn cold from the bones of the stillborn. [penny-arcade.com] They were thought up by Satan, Disney, some entertainment industry lawyers, and Circuit City where service is state of the art. (Rot in Hell, Circuit City!)

    The concept behind Divx hasn't gone away, but nowadays it's more likely to be applied to video games. This is because just as Divx was supposed to eliminate the very concept of first sale and used DVDs, you now hear video game companies whining about the used video game market. (They'll get a wakeup call soon though, their industry isn't as recession proof as they thought and the used video game market will soon be the least of their worries.)

  • by thestudio_bob (894258) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:25AM (#26916883)

    Hulu.com is a joint venture between NBC and Fox. So the "content providers" is code name for "the people who own and pay me". So the hulu guys saying, "we feel real bad about this" is BS.

    If you remember this, ESPN's Play To Make ISPs Pay [slashdot.org], you might start to understand what's going on here. The content providers want to get paid to have their content on the internet. They are trying use the same cable/satellite business model with ISP's. How else can the make someone buy unpopular content Y when they want to show their popular content X. It's about greed on the content providers end. They have no control if us people can watch whatever they want, whenever they want to.

  • I guess I simply won't be upgrading anytime soon. :(

    Boxee is great for pulling my TV shows & Movies ripped from my DVD collection off of my NAS, but I can't tell you how many times I've had people over and just found something on Hulu to watch, like the latest episode of 30 Rock or American Dad. This move kills one of the biggest reasons to use boxee for me.

    There are loads of bugs in it that I want fixed, but if there's no more hulu, then what's the point?
    • by thesolo (131008) *
      Unless it's a situation where Hulu blocks all the requests from Boxee, in which case I'm fucked either way.
  • Boxxy is our queen (Score:2, Informative)

    by stevegee58 (1179505)
    Boxxy is our queen
    Boxxy is our queen
    Boxxy is our queen
  • by jackjumper (307961) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:52AM (#26917359)

    I just went and canceled my hulu account and emailed them why. I imagine their advertising revenue depends on those accounts, so anyone who has an account on hulu - get out there and cancel it! Let them know why also: feedback@hulu.com

  • by rindeee (530084) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:55AM (#26917409)
    I'm not a Boxee user, but I happily watch Hulu content on my Mac, via Front Row no less, using the Understudy plug-in. It works perfectly well, and gives me Mac remote access to my playlists and the updated RSS streams for my favorite shows. Works great with Netflix too. Boxee? Meh.
  • by wernst (536414) on Thursday February 19, 2009 @11:56AM (#26917429) Homepage

    I guess I am missing something, but Boxee is ultimately software, right?

    So why can't the Boxee people program their software to look like a regular web browser on a regular computer to Hulu's servers, making Boxee indistinguishable to those providers who would care?

    Sort of like a User Agent Switcher for a media player? It seems to me that would be a big "FU" to the content providers, a big win for viewers, and Hulu is left out of the loop altogether so they're not to blame.

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