Hulu encrypts HTML content to block non-browser apps

By on April 1, 2009, 3:16 PM
For the past few weeks Hulu has been in a back and forth battle to keep its content off third-party applications that enable it to be distributed over non-traditional browsers and onto TVs. First it demanded its videos be removed from boxee at the request of the content providers, to which the company complied but later found a way to bring it back using a built-in RSS reader optimized for video and Huluís public feeds. Needless to say, they were deliberately blocked and a workaround was again due shortly thereafter.


Now it looks like Hulu is trying yet another tactic to keep them at bay. As it turns out, Hulu's HTML is now encrypted at the source and then decrypted using JavaScript on the client end before rendering it, meaning plug-ins that parse the site for links to content won't work anymore. Much to their chagrin, however, the current Mac alpha now features an XUL-based Hulu component that works no differently than a regular browser, and the Windows and Linux versions will reportedly be updated shortly.

We'll just have to wait and see how Hulu responds. Their hand is apparently being forced by media giants providing the content, seeing as they make most of their money from traditional cable and broadcast television, and are largely reluctant to alter their business model by letting Hulu be easily accessible on TVs.

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.