Get Hulu Content on Your TV without Hulu’s Help

22 02 2009

This is a story from Lifehacker about alternatives to Hulu for getting your TV content.  In the end, they are saying people will revert back to Bittorrent for getting TV shows, much the same way they had done before.  People aren’t looking to be pirates, they are looking for convenience.  I actually agree with this guys take.  Give it a read if online TV is a topic you are interested in.



By Adam Pash, 3:00 PM on Thu Feb 19 2009, 48,388 views Let’s say a certain web site you liked went and did something kind of stupid, and now the TV shows you were watching legitimately on your actual TV have suddenly disappeared. Guess what? There are other options.

That’s right, there’s BitTorrent—the file sharing protocol that so many people were using before they were finally offered a content provider-approved method of watching the shows they love. In the end, it wasn’t about the commercials—it was about the convenience. People were happy to watch Hulu on their TVs via Boxee, and yeah, sit through the Hulu commercials, because it was more convenient than hassling with BitTorrent downloads. It’s not about piracy or “stealing” from content providers because people are malicious like that; it’s about convenience.

Let’s say that I’m already paying for cable, but I didn’t watch the show when it aired. Sure, I could watch it on Hulu on my laptop, but I want to watch it on my TV. And why shouldn’t I be able to? What’s the difference between serving ads through my monitor and my HDTV? I’ll still sit through them, because they’re more convenient than the alternative. Yeah, more convenient than BitTorrent. Or at least it was.

But BitTorrent’s not that inconvenient, especially after Hulu’s content providers reject progress in favor of their tried and true one-step-forward, two-steps-back philosophy of progress. BitTorrent is easy to get the hang of, people.

Upset users can easily follow our beginner’s guide to BitTorrent, and spice up their skills with our intermediate guide. If they’re really savvy, they can even do their best to protect their privacy from prying eyes. But it doesn’t end there!

BitTorrent users can subscribe to shows and automatically download them as soon as they’re available using tools like the previously mentioned Ted or by setting up feeds in their BitTorrent client of choice with sites like previously mentioned FeedMyTorrents. It’s not hard, trust us. Keep in mind, we’re not saying “Go pirate every Hulu show now that Hulu won’t let you watch it the way you want to.” But that is what people will do. Everyone watching Hulu through Boxee is an early adopter—they know how to make things work. The point is—as O’Reilly’s Mark Hedlund articulated better than we could:

I’m sure Hulu is totally pissed. They pretty much said just that in a somewhat more stilted way. The real insult, though, is calling the people who made them cut Boxee off “content providers.” They might as well have told the studios they are the moral equivalent of the guy schlepping reels around the projector booth. Someone will win this war eventually, they seem to be saying, and you could have helped make it us.

Now you have a choice: someone else — not you, someone smart — will win instead, or you can change your mind. That’s pretty much my view, too. DVDs (mentioned in the note at the start) became a big boon for the studios, once their crazy ideas about self-destructing Divx discs went the way of the Dodo. The studios have a very long history of betting against technology people want, and on technology people don’t want. This is just another such case. The technology people want always wins in the end — no duh — and usually benefits the businesses who fought that technology to the death.

Here’s hoping the technology people want — Boxee — doesn’t wind up benefiting the studios fighting it now. Did you feel the sting from the Hulu block—whether it was the Boxee or block? Let’s hear your reaction in the comments.


How to Reinstall a Working Hulu in Boxee – Lifehacker

22 02 2009

I realize this process is not going to be for the average non-technical person, but then again, that person probably doesn’t have an Apple TV or Boxee anyway.  Good luck for those that want to try it.


A hacker’s plug-in can put streaming Hulu content back into your Boxee media center on Linux, Macs, or Apple TV. Let’s take a walk through removing the busted Hulu and dropping in the new hotness.

Click on the thumbnails below to get bigger screenshots of each step, and mouse to the top-right and top-left of the pop-up box to head forward and back. Before embarking on the process, grab the Hulu plugin package from these forum links. Need help getting Boxee set up on an Apple TV? Check out our comprehensive guide.

UPDATE: Some people on Apple TVs, and other systems, are seeing a “Failed to retrieve data” message, and I was too, earlier. I fixed it by removing the extra-level “Hulu” folder and copying the folder inside it into the correct plugin folder (listed below for each system). In other words, make sure the folder you’re dropping into your plugin folder contains two folders, .svn and resources, and three files, not another “Hulu” folder.

Go to the link below to find the step by step process. Beta 2 is posted

18 02 2009

I am still having issues getting it to go into full screen mode.  I will say this guy does good work from a graphical UI perspective.  Very nice looking so far.  I will keep testing new builds as they roll out, and let you know how it is coming along.  At this point, it is a ways off, but I am encouraged on where Jason is headed with the app.



SecondRun.TV – Bring Hulu and other Online TV into Media Center

17 02 2009

I am planning to do a review of as soon as the product becomes a little more stable. Right now Jason is working through some bugs. What I can tell you is he has received over 4000 downloads since he posted the first beta builds on Friday. Obviously this points to quite a bit of  interest in getting Hulu and other online TV into the Media Center UI.

The next step will be figuring out how to real-time transcode this flash based content to something such as WMV, so you can watch it on the XBOX360.

TV on Twitter

17 02 2009

This is a pretty cool idea, I think.  A searchable database for online TV stations.  Give it a look, or a follow if you are a Twitterer.

“There are more than 2,200 broadcast TV stations in the United States.

There are 201 stations in the TV On Twitter database.”

Great read about online TV options from Media Enthusiast Jay Taylor

16 02 2009 

Well, today I thought I would share info and links to some of the content that exists online. Some content is in high definition (HD)* while some is standard definition (SD) and in many cases, you can find full length episodes of your favorite TV content. You can even find older syndicated shows that may not be available from broadcasters in your area or on any station today. Whether you are looking for reruns of Star Trek from the 1960’s, cop shows from the 1980’s (TJ Hooker anyone?) or (sticking with the William Shatner theme) the latest episode of Boston Legal, you can probably find just about all of it online.

Read More here..

14 02 2009

In early 2007, Fox and NBC Universal announced plans for a joint startup intended to shake up the way people watch TV shows online. To which the industry scoffed, “Yeah, right.”

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YouTube had already established itself as the Web’s video clearinghouse, and ABC, the first network to rebroadcast TV episodes free on its site, wasn’t participating. “I think there’s a snarky desire to say, ‘This is big dumb media and this is a big dumb joint venture,’ ” Peter Chernin, president and COO of Fox’s parent company, News Corp., told The New York Times.

Today, that much-derided joint venture, now known as Hulu, is looking bigger and smarter all the time. By adhering to a few core design principles and exploiting its unusual independence, the company created what CEO Jason Kilar describes as a “high-quality, elegant, and crazy-easy-to-use” site. That almost does it justice — it’s also crazy fun. Hulu features not only Fox and NBC fare but also TV shows and movies from more than 120 sources, from the Food Network to Paramount Pictures. You can watch the most recent episodes of 24 or classics that find a second life on Hulu (if you’re looking for The Dick Van Dyke Show… ).

Last April, its first full month of operation, Los Angeles — based Hulu delivered 63 million video streams, catapulting it into the top 10 video sites. Since then, it has continued to outpace the competition. In October, buoyed by Saturday Night Live‘s hugely popular presidential-election sketches, the number of unique visitors doubled, to 24 million, and streams spiked to 235 million.

Through their unlikely collaboration, Fox and NBC have created more than a well-conceived entertainment portal. At a time when the auto, banking, and newspaper industries, among others, are facing problems too complex for any one company to solve, Hulu is a model of what’s possible when rivals work together and embrace disruptive technology. YouTube, with 5.4 billion monthly streams, may still dominate in overall traffic, but for an experience that comes closest to that of watching TV, Hulu “has set the gold standard,” says Will Richmond, president of research firm Broadband Directions. “It has optimized all of the ingredients — quality of video, navigation, controls.” (And did we mention Hulu has every episode of the canceled-before-its-time comedy Arrested Development?)

According to Kilar, 37, who previously launched and oversaw Amazon’s video and DVD business, the key to Hulu’s success is its freedom to operate essentially as a stand-alone company, largely safe from the turf battles that plague most joint ventures. Before taking the job in 2007, Kilar outlined his unconventional vision for News Corp.’s Chernin and Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal. “I told them, ‘I don’t think you’ll be seeing the name Fox or NBC on the site hardly at all,'” says Kilar. “Hulu is about the shows, not the networks. The shows are the brands that users care about.” Chernin and Zucker, who had told Kilar they wanted an outsider and Internet veteran in charge, signed off.

Kilar hired Eric Feng, an ex-Microsoft engineer who’d just started an online video tech company, as chief technology officer. All of 28 at the time, Feng was eager to create a site that eliminated the fitful playback and tinny audio that have plagued Web video. His team started writing code on August 6, 2007; they launched a beta version on October 29.

Today, instead of a “postage-stamp-size screen with grainy video,” as Kilar puts it (without naming YouTube), Hulu features a larger screen and high-resolution video designed to showcase the content the networks and studios have spent millions of dollars writing, filming, and editing. There’s no player to download — the video plays instantly in a Web browser. And the site is clutter-free, avoiding what Kilar calls the “Tokyo at night” look of sites packed with blinking links.

For quality control, Hulu relies on a small army of film students and graduates from UCLA to screen every minute of video before it goes live. They recognize glitches such as a frame dropped during the encoding process — or “an explosion that doesn’t sound like an explosion,” Feng says. They also produce brief clips, slicing and dicing sitcoms and dramas into Web-friendly, appetizer-size highlights.

Hulu is free to users, generating revenue through ads. Instead of the eight minutes of commercials that are standard for a half-hour TV show, Hulu inserts only two minutes. Some experts say that as the site’s popularity grows, the networks will inevitably push to increase revenue by tweaking that ratio. “It’ll be too tempting to slip in more ads,” analyst Richmond says. “But you don’t want to kill the golden goose.”

Kilar insists that Hulu will remain “obsessed with users.” One barometer: Maureen Kilar, his sixtysomething mother. “She talks a big game, but she’s not technical,” he says. Yet when she unearthed episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in the Hulu catalog, the world got another convert to watching TV without a TV. There’s plenty of time for her to discover Arrested Development.