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Hulu to come to phones, other platforms?

updated 10:35 am EDT, Fri April 18, 2008

Hulu Mobile Talk

NBC's Hulu TV streaming service is likely to expand beyond its web-only presence of today, the service's CEO Jason Kilar said this week at the NAB video production expo. While not committing to any one format, the company head explains that cellphones and "anything connected to the Internet" would be an ideal platform for the feature, which allows users to stream (but not download) episodes of NBC and Fox shows.

Kilar also observes that the presentation would have to change on each device, potentially evading the requirement to use Adobe's Flash browser plug-in to view shows. The NBC senior staffer doesn't explain how he would expect ads to air on non-Flash platforms; currently, the technology is built to automatically insert ads in between segments, keeping a fresh rotation of advertising and mirroring conventional TV.

The change follows similar efforts by the BBC to bring its iPlayer video archive service to mobile platforms. In its implementation, the British TV producer has already created versions of iPlayer for the iPhone and iPod that stream the raw video files rather than requring Flash, though the public, UK-only nature of the service lets the BBC avoid ads. A similar service is available for the Wii.

Services for Apple devices may prove difficult, as NBC continues to decline hosting shows on the former's iTunes Store after a pricing dispute and hints that it would prefer a return only if iTunes adds DRM to the software itself rather than just purchased media files.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007


    total bull

    iTunes already has DRM built in, its called FairPlay. NBC wants subscription, a losing money effort that is only provided a few places and is not very successful there.

    Just a thought.


  1. MeandmyMac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008


    Yeah, that's because...

    "NBC's Hulu TV streaming service is likely to expand beyond its web-only presence of today..."

    NBC has to go out and find someone to watch it (Hulu).

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    ho hum who cares

    very few people even know what Hulu is while everybody knows about iTunes.

    While Universal is wasting its time with Hulu, people who would want to purchase NBC shows are instead downloading them for free. The more they get used to doing that, the harder it will be to get them to pay for it once Universal/NBC comes to its senses and returns to iTunes.


  1. thebiggfrogg

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007


    re: ho hum who cares

    climacs, you are EXACTLY on point. I am in China and can't catch a free stream if I want to. Battlestar Galactica is one of my al-time favorites and I religiously ponied up the $1.99 for the iTunes download, rewarding the creativity of Ron Moore and crew is a good thing in my book. Then NBC-Universal idiots got all greedy and created this lame, U.S.-only, ad-supported schlock service. Goodbye to my revenue stream. Hello, skull and crossbones. As you say, and I will embellish: F'ng Fools!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    How did you get itunes downloads in china? I didn't think they were available in china. Or are you forgetting that the iTunes store is only available in a few countries as well, but it ruins your complaint of hulu.

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