Hulu finally blocks TouchPad owners from watching videos | webOS Nation
 
 

Hulu finally blocks TouchPad owners from watching videos 42

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Wed, 24 Aug 2011 8:06 pm EDT

TouchPad owners: watching your favorite TV shows on Hulu has been one of those great features that we've loved since the very beginning of the device's life. Until today. Sadly, now that HP has decided to pull the plug on the TouchPad, so has our favorite movie/television streaming service. If you go to Hulu right now on your TouchPad and click the play button on any video, you'll see the error message above. It looks like the TouchPad fire sale of the past week has done more than just bring a lot of new users to the platform, it's also brought enough attention that Hulu has decided to finally block the device from accessing its video streaming service. It's a sad day, indeed.

Don't let the news get you down, though. With the TouchPad's full web-browsing capabilities and support for flash, you can get your movie fix through services like YouTube Movies, Walmart VUDU, HP Movie Store and a plethora of other movie and television streaming networks out there on the web. If you absolutely need your Hulu fix on a tablet, though, you only have two options right now: the iPad (which has its own app) or the Vizio 8 with Android. Is it possible that Hulu will unblock the TouchPad in the future? Sure. Anything is possible.

Is it likely? Not in the least. So fire up that big hulking computer in the office now - it'll probably be your best bet for streaming your favorite TV show for some time to come.

Source: Hulu; Via: This Is My Next

42 Comments

Great show! Best I've seen this year!

Did anyone really think it was going to last?

People complain about no Hulu Plus app, well guess what guys, only ipad's and a vizio android tablet have it. Hulu doesn't care.

can homebrew help?

WebOS internals.. I see some juicy donations coming your way if you can get Hulu (free web version) to somehow work on the tablet again!!

Some sort of id mask, so it think the web browser is firefox or something lol

please homebrew/webos internals.. free us from the Hulu C-Blockers lol

Hulu blocks it using the build of the flash player. So serious (probably illegal) tooling is needed.

It used to work just fine and now I see it blocks me on my Touchpad. Arrrrgh.

I did some research and it's true - the Flash player needs to be 'fiddled' with to fool Hulu. The Android guys are able to do it.

I hate HP.

It works fine, so does netflix, I just use my playon account through m.playon.tv !!!!

How's the streaming quality?

It's not too bad, doesn't look like it would with a native app, but it's definitely watchable.

Too bad you can't fast forward or choose where to start watching though...

Response from Hulu

"Olivia, Aug-24 03:04 pm (PDT):

Hi Nikholas,

Thanks for writing in and for trying Hulu Plus. We get a lot of requests for Hulu Plus on the HP Touchpad, so it's definitely on our radar. Though we can't support it right now, we are continually evaluating new technologies, and will be adding more devices based on user demand. Stay tuned!

We have plans to bring Hulu Plus to as many devices as possible. For up to date info on which devices are currently supported or have been announced, you can go to ( www.hulu.com/plus/devices ). On this page, you can even sign up to be notified of availability on upcoming devices.

I looked up your account and see that your account is still in good standing... Did you need me to go ahead and cancel your account for you? To cancel your Hulu Plus subscription, you can visit your Account page ( www.hulu.com/account ), click Cancel subscription in the Billing Information section, and you'll be taken to another page to confirm.

Thanks,
Olivia
Hulu Support"

You gave me the idea to send my own e-mail requesting a Plus app for webOS.

I am already a Plus subscriber ($8 come on, goes nicely next to Netflix for consoles. Who needs cable?)

The more of us to send requests the more its noticed "on their radar"

---
Update: I received a similar reply but with different wording so we know its not a complete form response:

"Olivia, Aug-24 06:24 pm (PDT):

Hi Sean,

Thanks for writing in and letting us know about your interest in using Hulu Plus on webOS devices. We get a lot of requests for them, especially the tablets, so it's definitely on our radar. Though we can't support them right now, we are continually evaluating new technologies, and will be adding more devices based on user demand. Stay tuned!......(etc etc the same from here)
---------

Keep sending in letters! I know these aren't read by the higher ups but in their little coaching team meetings (I work in a response center as a CSR also) they might ask what the reps have been hearing from people and would be nice if a few of them say they keep getting letters about webos.....

booo

is this really legal? It just seems wrong.

We need a spoof patch for this.

Why block it? Isn't it free? It's not like Touchpad users were stealing anything. Doesn't make any sense to me.

I think it's a licensing issue. From their FAQ at http://www.hulu.com/plus/:

"... when we launched the free Hulu.com service, we obtained licensing to stream content direct to the PC – and only to the PC. With the launch of the subscription-based Hulu Plus service, we had to start from scratch and acquire licensing to stream content on TVs, smartphones, and tablets as well as PCs."

Don't worry, I'm sure they're hard at work on the Hulu app for webOS. Should be out any day now.

The HP Slate tablet can play hulu videos. Yet Hulu blocks the HP Touchpad, just because it runs WebOS? That is DISCRIMINATION.

Hulu worked better on my TP than my Sony blu ray. Without an app.

"[D]definitely on our radar" is a clever way of making us think they are considering adding WebOS support, without actually saying anything more than merely "we've detected an interest in streaming Hulu on WebOS". Whatever, jackwagons.

Does Hulu block based on the browser's user agent string? If it does, changing it may help.

A patch that allows us to change user agents quickly from a pulldown menu in the browser would be even better - like 'user agent switcher' extension in firefox.

I hope it's as simple as this.

until hulu blocks the flash user agent

Looks like they are blocking through the flash player and not the browser for the TouchPad. Wonder if this solution on android from last year still works and would work for the TouchPad

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=9551179&postcount=120

Hulu is aweful anyway. Would rather have flash than Hulu on a Touchpad. And bring on the Netflix already!

Is there anyway to trick Hulu into seeing a desktop browser?

Is it possible that the device manufacturers themselves subsidize our 'free' viewing and with the end of HP HW, so goes the end of that subsidy? This is the only case that I see making sense that does not smack of impropriety.

If the TouchPad access was scuttled for another reason, this is bound to leave a bitter taste in the flashmob of TouchPad ownership, and remain long after this has been resolved.

It's fair to say that most of the new Touchpad owners have another Hulu accessing device or one that will someday have that capability, but they will not soon forget the travesty of hulu kicking their TP while it was down.

I am giving Hulu till the end of the week to sufficiently explain the real reason - even if it's dollars and sense, before I cast them out like they did the TP.

From what I've read its licensing from the studios. The media industry looks at TV, Mobile, and PC totally different. What is okay to view on PC (hulu.com free content) is not allowed on TV and mobile. Hulu Plus has different content with different licenses for use on mobile and TV. Notice some shows on hulu are not on plus and vice versa.

annonomous_ should do something about hulu -__-

Doesn't suprise me Hulu has to account for who they are showing stuff to and how many. Large networks don't like Tablets and phones having them because you can just set it down when the commercial comes on (or on webos switch to a different card). A good example is the recent 8 day lag on Fox shows. They saw a huge spike in illegal downloads.

When will companies realize that they aren't smarter than the collective force of the internet. I'm sure someone will find a way to patch it. If not people will find another way or just pirate the shows and watch them anyway. Hulu should open it up because people are going to watch the shows. It's only a question of if how they will get them.

That doesn't really make any sense because on a computer I can just as easily switch to something else and they aren't blocking those. When I watch Hulu on my TV I do the same thing I do with commercial TV get up and do something during the commercial break or the equivalent of doing something else on the computer - change the channel.

Of course what makes no sense to me and 99.99% of everyone else probably makes perfect sense to an entertainment executive.

For what it's worth Amazon Video appears to work on the Touchpad. It looks like there are lots of free shows for Amazon "Prime" members. Unfortunately though, it looks like most of the newer shows you have to buy.

At least for me Hulu was terrible on the Touchpad, no loss.
The next update needs to address high-bit rate streaming video, in particular the network sites which are almost as bad as Hulu was.

wat absolute bull **** Is there at least a netflix application?

The reasons for owning such a device is to stream tv damn't

You can fix this by hexediting to identify your flash as windows. I did it and it works.

http://pastebin.com/bsP8rrkD

better to identify as Linux, because it IS!
use LNX instead

how do we do it using lnx?

All I'm reading here is, Hulu encourages pirates.

Contact Support@hulu.com.

As someone mentioned previously, they are gauging demand for the device before providing support (unlocking it again).

Here is the response I received to my inquiry. Like others I suspect there is a pay for play arrangement or someone else is encouraging Hulu to lock out HP. Not a bad move considering it has an excellent flash player, sharp screen and low price. If I had a competing device I'd pressure Hulu to leave Touchpads in the cold too. not a good move for the audience though.

Please write Hulu and log your grievance. Numbers and enthusiasm count.

Ryan S., Aug-25 12:21 pm (PDT):

Hi there,

Thanks for responding. We evaluate user demand by the contacts we receive from customers via email and social media, so the email you sent us has already fed into that demand. The content providers don't have too much to do with which devices that are licensed for streaming Hulu Plus, so I unfortunately do not have a list to provide for you at this time.

We totally agree that withdrawing support for this device was not ideal. However, there are licensing agreements that we need to acquire in order to legally stream our content over specific devices, and since we do not have the appropriate licensing agreement we were obligated to withdraw support. And, though I don't have a timeline for this at the moment, we are currently working on getting support for this device back as soon as we can. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Please feel free to let me know if you have any more questions or concerns.

Thanks,
Ryan S.
Hulu Support

??????? You say "Finally" Like Touchpad users couldn't wait to be blocked from watching Hulu. It may be sarcasm that I am not getting but lets pretend for just a moment that not everybody that comes to this site has the time to eat sleep and breathe everything that is happening in the tech world. I guess the question is and maybe I missed it in the article but WHY did Hulu want to block us in the first place?!

AND WHERE THE HECK IS MY NETFLIX APP ALREADY!!!!