Hulu Desktop Arrives


Despite Hulu’s apparent hypocrisy, I’m quite pleased to see them release a desktop video client (v0.9) today. The (beta?) Hulu Desktop software is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems and, after just a few minutes of poking around, it looks like they’re off to a good start. However, I do question the authenticity and sincerity of their Boxee-free blog posting… given the noise they previously made and steps they’ve taken to block most third-party apps. Unfortunately for Boxee (and the others), Hulu’s got the studio relationships (or is that genetics?) and quality content. Which is what matters.

Back when Hulu first dropped the hammer, I’d been contemplating picking up a used Mac Mini to power our secondary HDTV – running ElGato’s EyeTV DVR software with a USB OTA tuner and Boxee for Hulu content. Without Hulu, I didn’t have a lot of use for Boxee. Or a Mac Mini. It now may be time to reevaluate that solution in light of Hulu Desktop. Although, I’d still rather see Hulu video land on a pre-existing TiVo or Roku CE device. (Not ZillionTV.)

7 thoughts on “Hulu Desktop Arrives”

  1. Given Hulu’s cross platform desktop support from the get go, for the same money a small Windows 7 PC might make more sense running Media Center (superior to ElGato) with Hulu Desktop and a Blu-ray drive. All we’d need is a shortcut from within MC to launch Hulu.

  2. if you have a remote that can macro commands setup something to launch the desktop app from your remote. i use my ipod touch and airmouse, will have to check out the desktop app for hulu to see if this works the way im thinking.

  3. It has builtin support for the tiny Apple remote and Microsoft Media Center remotes. So I assume they’ve mapped the common keys/functions. But I haven’t yet tried, other than tapping the spacebar to toggle play/pause and using arrow keys to navigate.

  4. Personally I am more into using Hulu on my smartphone via Skyfire browser. That is the Personal computer I wnat to easily watch Hulu on – ads and all.

    Now this desktop does have me wondering if I should replace my ToshiVo in my TV stuff cabinet with a small form PC as I no longer even wathc DVDs straight form the disc and have the ToShiVo on basic service.

    Would be nice, like Dave points out, if I could get some of these streaming services on my pre-existing TiVo HD.

  5. This is all fine and good but I just can’t sit at my computer for hours watching streaming content.

    If they can make an app that works with my IP enabled BlueRay player; I’m there.

  6. This story leaves me wondering… okay, so Hulu tries to stop Boxee which allows people to use cheap STBs like the Apple TV that are hooked up to TVs to stream Hulu shows. Presumably because their content partners don’t like it, since they get money from TV stations for the reruns, and from DVD sales as well.

    So a hulu desktop application is better how? I mean it supports remote control use and everything–why did they bother doing that? Obviously it has some advantages–it isn’t as easily hackable to bypass ad playback, the PCs it runs on are more expensive and so even less common than a STB version would be to be hooked up to a TV.

    Still… leaves me wondering what is going on. Will some content on the Hulu site not be available using the Hulu desktop application? Will the viewing windows always be the same, or is this going to get complicated?

  7. They need to control the vertical and the horizontal. And did imply there may be periodic content distinctions between the web and desktop clients.

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