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Media Television Hardware

Hulu Again Removed From Boxee and Again Added Back 220

An anonymous reader writes "In a mouse and cat game, Hulu the popular online content provider of shows, movies, and more has blocked Boxee yet again from accessing the Hulu content from the Boxee application. Just as Boxee added RSS feeds to include Hulu content, Hulu responded with blocking Boxee users from accessing the content via RSS feeds the very same day. RSS feeds are publicly available and it's really disappointing to hear that a site would block certain applications from accessing their content in such a manner. I would assume that the Boxee development team is currently working on disguising its browser to look like Firefox, Internet Explorer, or some other known browser in an attempt to fool Hulu."
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Hulu Again Removed From Boxee and Again Added Back

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  • by Manip ( 656104 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @07:54PM (#27108273)

    Claiming that "Boxee" is like a browser's RSS feed is totally misleading. The software package cuts out the entire site, the adverts, etc and repackages it as almost its own material (with a small source icon).

    How would you feel if someone hot-linked your content, consumed your bandwidth, and gave you no advertising revenue in exchange?

  • by mc1138 ( 718275 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @07:58PM (#27108299) Homepage
    An excellent point, Hulu is able to to what it does because of throwing in a few ads, often fewer than what you would see on normal network TV. Having programs that strip this stuff out could cause problems down the road for Hulu with content providers.
  • by wastedlife ( 1319259 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @08:15PM (#27108451) Homepage Journal

    Boxee does not strip out the ads. It is still the same video stream, boxee just gives a remote-friendly interface to the media. It is no different than watching Hulu in full screen with your computer plugged into a TV. Hulu allows embedding into another website just like Youtube and other media sites, so how is embedding into the Boxee media player any different?

    Also, Hulu's ads are played in the video. How are they being deprived of advertising revenue?

  • by olddotter ( 638430 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @08:20PM (#27108481) Homepage
    If every iteration of this cat and mouse game gets on Slashdot, then almost every other story will be about it....
  • by wastedlife ( 1319259 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @08:22PM (#27108499) Homepage Journal
    There is no "ripping" of content. Hulu lets you embed their videos into another website. Their ads are in the video. Boxee just provides an interface to play the video with it streaming from hulu. If you are wondering why you need another interface, realize that Boxee is a Media Center app. It is streamlined to be controlled with a remote and its main function is playing your own content. Adding hulu into the mix gives you the ability to watch hulu's content legally without having to navigate with a normal web browser. The price you pay is you watch the normal Hulu ads. Sounds like free advertising for Hulu to me.
  • xbmcboxee (Score:2, Informative)

    by doronbc ( 1434117 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @08:25PM (#27108521)
    You should see the larger image. Boxee is a fork of Xbmc, xbmc but stripped down. Xbmc can run python scripts, check other xbmc plugins which work, ninja video, ted talks, rev3. http://code.google.com/p/voinage-xbmc-plugins/downloads/list [google.com] I have a plugin for fancast which hosts a lot of the same content as hulu. I'm not sure they intentionally strip out the ads, id be more than willing to sit through them though.
  • Re:Hulu + Boxee (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07, 2009 @08:51PM (#27108689)

    My understanding: Content providers gave Hulu a license to display their works on computers. However, they don't perceive Boxee as a computer; instead, they perceive it as a TV. They haven't given Hulu a license to display their works on TVs, so they're unhappy with Hulu being on Boxee. Of course, there's no difference between "display on a computer" and "display on a tv" anymore, but they don't want this to be true. It's dumb, but that's the media industry for you.

  • What do hulu expect? (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07, 2009 @08:55PM (#27108735)

    I'd never heard of Hulu so I went to the site and...

    Javascript is required to use Hulu. For the best experience, please enable Javascript and reload this page.

    I use youtube-dl and mplayer to watch youtube hosted stuff, elsewhere I'll pull the URL manually from script or container files. Hulu can scream that users must use software configuration x/y/z to use their service but that's not how the web has ever worked.

  • by Sparks23 ( 412116 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @08:57PM (#27108743)

    Except Boxee didn't strip the commercials from Hulu. I used to watch Hulu in the browser in the beta days, and then later in Boxee. I saw the same ads inlaid in the show whether I watched on the site or via Boxee. The difference was that Boxee had better UI for browsing the programs, and that Boxee's method of reading the stream gave me considerably better framerate/performance than trying to view full-screen in Flash on the site did.

    In other words, Boxee was a great deal more usable for me as a viewer, and I saw all the same commercials I did as a user of the website. (Hulu doesn't do sidebar advertising, their adverts are in the programs themselves where ad-breaks would normally be.)

  • by nova_ostrich ( 774466 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @09:27PM (#27108937) Homepage
    Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu, admitted on the company's blog that the content owners demanded that Boxee stop displaying Hulu content [hulu.com].
  • Screw `em (Score:5, Informative)

    by Simulant ( 528590 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @09:30PM (#27108965) Journal

    This code, executed on a dd-wrt router, will give all your clients 30 seconds of nothing during commercials when watching Hulu videos. It will block most other browser ads also but what the hell... Works really well with Slashdot.

    Just add it to your startup section and enjoy a nearly ad-free internet.

    logger WAN UP Script Executing
    sleep 5
    test -s /tmp/dlhosts
    if [ $? == 1 ] ; then
    echo -e "#!/bin/sh\nwget -O - http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.txt [mvps.org] | grep | tr -d '\015\032' | sed -e '2,\$s/' -e 's/[[:space:]]*#.*$//' -e '2,\$s/ localhost$/ localhost/g' -e '2,\$s/ pagead.*.googlesyndication.com//g' | grep 0.0 > /tmp/hosts\nlogger DOWNLOADED http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.txt [mvps.org]\nkillall -1 dnsmasq" > /tmp/dlhosts
    chmod 777 /tmp/dlhosts /tmp/dlhosts
    ln -s /tmp/hosts /etc/hosts
    echo "45 23 * * 5 root /tmp/dlhosts" >> /tmp/crontab

  • by antibryce ( 124264 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @10:24PM (#27109301)

    Boxee doesn't remove any ads. You see the exact same Hulu ads you would see if you went to their website.

  • by ximenes ( 10 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @10:45PM (#27109427)

    The only advertising that I've noticed is the little banner that appears in the upper right corner, which in my experience is always for the same product shown during the in-video ads.

    I guess Hulu's recommended video listings could be considered ads as well, since they're intended to drive you to other Hulu video offerings rather than just watching whatever afterwards, as you would be more likely to do with Boxee.

  • by michrech ( 468134 ) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @11:55PM (#27109767)

    You're acting as if the advertisements aren't being displayed -- to my knowledge, the advertisements that are presented (usually 4 to 5 times, from my own viewing of various shows) while watching the video still play.

  • by Vu1turEMaN ( 1270774 ) on Sunday March 08, 2009 @01:45AM (#27110203)

    It is indeed a stupid move. I remember, back when I helped to run TV-Links, we sorta helped start all of this. I mean, it was one thing to download a dvdrip, but to stream it took balls...I think we had almost 1/4 million videos, and in Alexa hit above 15 and 25 for page rank in the US and UK, respectively (in the top 100 worldwide I believe too). However, the end justifies the means. We dreamt of a future with boxes like this and where media websites would give content away for free or with ads.

    Unless they want someone else to try a TVLinks (hell, The Pirate Bay said a while back they wanted to try it), then they should stop squabbling over what is good. The masses want streaming video of their favorite stuff, so give it to them.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"