updated 03:40 pm EDT, Mon March 22, 2010
Hulu now known banning TV browser
Hillcrest Labs confirmed its suspicions Monday afternoon with word that Hulu is deliberately blocking its new Kylo web browser from playing videos on the site. Dan Simpkins, Hillcrest's CEO, didn't get an explanation but believed that Hulu saw the TV-friendly interface as enough of a threat to conventional services by itself that it had to be banned. The executive was optimistic that talks would change Hulu's attitude.
"We have tremendous respect for Hulu, and we hope that a continued dialog might influence their thinking," Simpkins said.
Hulu hasn't provide a statement of its own.
The ban reflects Hulu's policy on the software that can access its site. The TV and movie streaming service has tried to halt any app that would present Hulu video in a format suited to watching on a large-screen TV. Many believe that attempts to block Boxee and other services are the result of pressure from cable and satellite operators who are worried that Internet viewing on TV might lead to a decline in regular subscriptions.
Hulu hasn't objected to customized interfaces, but it has stressed that it prefers mobile and may be readying an iPad-optimized version, though these may carry a subscription fee to again steer customers either to a regular computer or to traditional TV.