updated 07:25 pm EDT, Mon October 31, 2011
Hulu Plus may be held back for Apple TV
An unverified rumor maintains that Hulu Plus has a largely complete app waiting to be upgraded into the Apple TV. The TV streaming service has supposedly been ready for "at least a month" but has supposedly been on hold for competitive reasons, 9to5 heard. While Netflix is considered acceptable both out of sheer demand and its emphasis on older shows, Hulu Plus focuses mostly on new content and might cut into iTunes.
The claim is tentative and raises questions as to why Apple would have allowed development of a potentially damaging Hulu Plus portal on a platform which currently doesn't allow third-party downloads. Many other major platforms offer Hulu Plus and may have pushed Apple to consider support.
Hulu itself has been one of the more conservative outlets in sharing video and could also play a role. Most of its focus has been on blocking free access for anything that might theoretically be used on a TV, such as Google TV. Even its Hulu Plus iOS app still doesn't allow AirPlay and restricts HDMI output to standard definition, however. It may be concerned with the risk of high-quality video rips.
Convincing Hulu to write an app may have also been an attempt to thwart Google's rumored buyout of Hulu. Although Hulu has officially backed off of a sale, Apple could use the bargaining chip of an Apple TV portal to avoid Google locking Hulu as a feature specific to Android and Google TV.