First the hard facts. Boxee is a powerful software package that converts computers, Apple TVs and other popular products into media centers. It has been making it possible for users to watch Hulu video content on their TV since October last year. And Boxee users have loved this feature and was even gearing up to improved it some more. But that inevitable happened. Hulu asked Boxee to stop making its content on Boxee TV. This according to Hulu was requested by their content partners.
According to a Boxee blog post, they pleaded the case to Hulu reasoning that users love what they were doing – providing access to Hulu content allowing users to view them on real TV instead of their PC’s LCD. But to no avail. Although Boxee promises to convince Hulu to reconsider the decision and reason out with their content providers.
Of course Boxee’s plea may prove to be futile. After all, Hulu has no control over this content. If the content providers want Boxee’s access turned off, Hulu’s got no choice but to turn it off, lest it want to lose precious video contents from its catalog.
A post at the Hulu blog clearly stated this stand:
we are also steadfast in our belief that the best way to achieve our ambitious, never-ending mission of making media easier for users is to work hand in hand with content owners. Without their content, none of what Hulu does would be possible, including providing you content via Hulu.com and our many distribution partner websites.
And the industry’s reactions were varied. Some hope that this is just a short-term separation and that Hulu would come to terms with its content providers to bring the service back as allowing Boxee to stream Hulu content elevates the viewing experiences of users.
Radar O’Reilly believes that there is a bigger issue behind “content providers” decision to ask Hulu to turn off Boxees access to their contents. And that the bottomline of this is still the long standing history of major studios penchance for rejecting innovation and technology in delivering entertainment to users.
Interestingly, what follows this issue was an announcement from Comcast and Time Warner cable of their new OnDemand Online which is an answer to the threat being posed by online video to cable television.
This issue will surely spread on in the next couple of days, probably until Hulu finds a solution to the users demand and clamor to bring back their content to the Boxee solution. And no matter how Hulu will do this, it better do it fast.
The bottomline still is – users are the one suffering. Users who have no stake over the business maneuverings of the big companies. Users just want some great video viewing experience. And Boxee seems to have been answering this, until this issue erupted.
The so called Hulu “content providers” just need to read the reactions coming out from both the Hulu and Boxee blog post to see the reason why they should reconsider their decision.