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Hulu developing iPad-friendly website?

updated 05:55 pm EST, Wed February 10, 2010

Hulu may skip Flash to reach iPad

Hulu has been developing a version of its website just for the iPad, a rumor asserts today. One believed insider claims Hulu has been readying a version of its page that would drop Flash altogether and put videos in a format friendly to mobile Safari. It would potentially be ready in time for when the iPad ships in late March.

The TechCrunch tipster doesn't explain exactly how the system would work, though any change would require a substantial reworking of how Hulu delivers video. Although the video itself is encoded in H.264 and relatively easy to deliver, Hulu has largely relied on inserting ads that often work best in Flash. An iPad version with ads would need to find a way to insert ads in between show segments automatically both to streamline the experience as well as to allow insertion of new ads over time.

No outside corroboration of a specific iPad version exists, but company CEO Jason Kilar has called for a strong push into mobile as it reflectors Hulu's goals for its streaming TV. It considers mobile a way of getting customers to continue to watch shows outside of TV and considers tablets ideal as they provide relatively large screens without scaring cable or satellite TV providers worried about guarding their full-size experiences.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    It makes sense that any site would

    try and accommodate a device that is likely to become extremely popular for viewing media. Especially sites that are trying to attract advertisers. What people don't seem to understand is that Flash exists on the internet to make money for advertisers. If it's no longer necessary to get most of your advertising money from Flash c*** then it's time to move on to something else. This c*** talk about iPhones and iPads will fail because they don't run Flash is absurd. The only large company that actually wants Flash on the internet is Adobe.

    I'm glad that Hulu is giving Apple mobile users an alternative. I like using Hulu on my desktop and notebook Macs and if the rumor is true I'll look forward to using it on my iPad when I get one. One by one, sites that are totally dependent on Flash may just start to offer alternatives when they see which way the wind is blowing.

  1. jamesfabin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    I'm a huge fan of HULU

    I use it all the time and have even purchased products from the ads I've seen on HULU - I can't remember the last time I did that based on an ad on TV....they just blur by real quickly thanks to my DVR. I'm excited to see HULU working on a version that allows watching their videos on devices like the upcoming iPad - that alone may be enough to push me into buying one when they first become available.

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    what about hulu desktop

    is there a way they could convert that to an ipad app.

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Flashless

    I watch Hulu now and then, so I can't say for sure, but the ads don't appear to be at all interactive: it's just little blips into the stream. Telling their advertisers just to give them video would not seem to be a major problem.

    Moving the site to be without flash would give them much better support throughout the mobile marketplace, not just on iPad. Makes sense.

  1. George3

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Great less Flash

    I watch Hulu a lot from my MacBook Pro- hooked up to my 42" HD flatscreen. The Flash desktop isn't so great. I hope they bring the Flash-free iPad video viewer over to the desktop.

  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    iPhone?

    I wonder, since they supposedly use the same browsers, if iPod Touch and iPhones will have the same ability to use Hulu. That would be freaking huge, and likely a threat to Apple. I wonder how Apple will respond.

    EB

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    cool

    Would be nice, as YouTube and Vimeo has already serving HTML5 compatible, non-flash videos.

    @ebeyer,
    Apple doesn't care where you get your content, because Apple sells content near cost.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Die, Adobe, diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!

    The condescending, apathetic at best, attitude that Adobe has conveyed to Mac users the last decade in every provided software solution makes me tickled pink to think they're going to eventually lose this battle.

    For us Mac users, weening off Flash the last few years because it's so lousy on OS X makes not having it such a "What's the big deal?". Folks, it's really not that hard to avoid using Flash. In fact, it has sped up my overall surfing experience immensely.

    Just my .02ยข

    /

  1. bfalchuk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Make it broader

    It would seem silly to limit this to the iPad, so I hope there's a way to get to the URL without depending on device identification. I'd kill to have this on my iPhone for times when I make a quick biz trip overnight, and want to watch a show, or to watch a show at the gym while doing cardio (they have good WiFi there).

    I'd also be curious if this would reduce the battery drain on my MacBook Pro since I get better battery life watching full screen video in iTunes than on Hulu. I know streaming by WiFi is probably the bulk of that difference, but I'd imagine Flash is partially to blame, too.

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