Google TV Gets Hulu Snub: Revue Can't Deliver Full Web
During the launch event for Logitech's Revue Google TV box, Google confirmed suspicions that Hulu is blocked from the device.
A video at NewTeeVee provides the heartbreaking evidence. Everything's running fine on Hulu.com until the last few seconds of the video, when a message pops up: "Unfortunately Hulu is not supported on your platform. We apologize for any inconvenience."
Google TV's inability to run Hulu -- a Web TV site with content from NBC Universal, Fox and Disney, among others -- is no surprise; Hulu already blocks Android phones that run Adobe Flash 10.1. A workaround, in which you set the Android browser to identify as a desktop computer, was eventually blocked as well. Mobile access was clearly something that Hulu's content owners didn't want to provide. Now it appears that they're against television access as well, unless you're paying for Hulu Plus (Google said it's in discussions with Hulu to gain access).
Obviously, this is no fault of Google or Logitech. I'm sure Google TV would've run Hulu if content owners allowed it. But Google seems disingenuous when the Google TV Website carries the tagline (emphasis mine), "TV, apps, search, and the entire web ... together at last."
This is not the full Web, and the blocking of Hulu sets a disturbing precedent for set-top boxes. It relegates televisions to a different version of the Web than the one your computer on the coffee table is getting. And if set-top boxes with built-in Web browsers take off, you can be certain that more content providers are going to lock down their videos to anyone who doesn't pay a subscription.