Hulu Had It

I've recently gotten into Boxee. I've been aware of it for quite some time, but I always thought it required far more mucking to install than it actually does. Boxee is only useful to me on Apple TV. It's interface is decent, but not great. I see no reason to use it while I'm sitting at my computers. While sitting in bed in from of my TV, that's another story.

Hooking your MacBook up to the TV to watch Hulu is doable, but it really isn't a good solution. It requires a bunch of temporary cables. Requires you adjust your power management (or wiggle the mouse every few minutes). Worst of all, it owns your notebook while you are watching TV. You can't DO ANYTHING on your computer while it is attached to the TV.

Boxee on Apple TV is great because it brings you Hulu, CBS, and others in a usable format. Nothing new to hook up. It just works. Control it with a remote instead of a keyboard and mouse. The full Hulu experience is there. You see all of the commercials, you see the branding. It's all there.

So then Hulu's partners go and gets stupid. It isn't Hulu, but rather the content providers. You'd think Hulu, who has built the number one destination video site for legal, full, television episodes wouldn't be dumb enough to slap its users in the face, even when the content providers tell them to. As @peterrojas says, Boxee is no different than a web browser. I say Boxee is actually *better* than a web browser for the content provider. Boxee, especially on Apple TV, is running full screen. Users are likely focused on the TV experience, and aren't jumping into a spreadsheet during the commercials. They're watching them.

Hulu also has the unique ability to know who I am. I'm logged into Boxee. They could work with Boxee to make me logged into Hulu. They'd know who I am. They'd know what I watched. They'd know what commercials they've shown me. This has to have value. This has to be better than forcing me to either not watch their content at all, or go get it from a gray/black market source.

Shutting down Hulu on Boxee will NOT send me back to cable. The sooner Hulu and the content providers learn that, the better.


Jason said...

Amen - XBMC is my delivery medium of choice rather than Boxee (which is really just parent/child relationship anyway), but I would echo every single one of your points.

I think the next step is opening the door to more independent content in Boxee. The old-world content providers will continue to try to cut off their noses to spite their faces.

Paul said...

If you had to use a computer (Mac or PC) you could use Salling Clicker to control it, that's what I do anyhow.

We had a 'media pc' hooked up to our living room TV, but it was a pain for the same reasons, and didn't function any better than separate devices.

I do think content providers are getting a tiny bit smarter though. Case in point: Netflix.