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Can Hulu Desktop compete with Boxee?

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 29 May 2009 15:11 User comments (12)

Can Hulu Desktop compete with Boxee? Less than four months after blocking Boxee media center users from accessing their content, Hulu's developers have introduced their own software called Hulu Desktop. Like Boxee it enables the use of a remote control for Hulu streams.
Boxee's Avner Ronen is optimistic about the implications for his company's future relationship with Hulu. Unfortunately for Boxee users there's a lot of reason to be skeptical.

Much of the original reason for Hulu's creation was frustration on the part of NBC and Fox executives. They wanted more control over their content than was offered by services like YouTube.

When Boxee users were suddenly cut off in February Hulu CEO Jason Kilar made it clear the decision came from those rather than Hulu management. Since then Hulu's ownership group has expanded to include Disney, a company known for their near-paranoid attitudes when it comes to content control.

Hulu desktop appears more like an attempt to create their own Boxee alternative. A message warning Apple users to shut down Boxee so their remotes will work correctly seems to confirm this.

When Hulu initially launched the only major streaming video player was YouTube. One of Hulu's advantages was being designed around professional content instead of user supplied video.

With support for numerous online video and audio sources, Boxee seems better suited to serve viewers' needs than a single service client like Hulu Desktop.

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12 user comments

129.5.2009 15:41

Hulu was a very good if not great place to go see movies and other TV content, then a few months back, their services really sucked big time. Many of the members have had the sickning problem that I had on many many occations. No matter what day or time or what computers, browsers I would use the audio and the video do not synch. You can be watching some video and the audio does not match, rather the video lags big time. I can then go to other video movie websites and know it was not my computers or laptop, rather it's a scripting problem that has plagued So no more going to hulu for anything related to the entertainment of movies and TV clips. Sure hope they clean up their act. There site also lacks some great features you can do with other Video players and that's the cue and user controls. One feature I did like way back when hulu was fun to go to, was the ability for the site to know where you last seen or viewed a movie, but other than that, hulu sucks!!!!

229.5.2009 17:28

^^I'm curious which browser('s) you've this problem problem with. I use Firefox I personally can't remember a time where it has lagged or went out of sync.

As far as Boxee being blocked it is a huge shame. And it's really a slimy move to have the Hulu Desktop remote conflict with Boxee's.(If I'm interpreting that correctly).

329.5.2009 18:12

Hi Veyron, on the Laptop I run XP Pro and use both Firefox latest version which constantly updates to new patches and security features. I also use Windows Explorer that is loaded with XP SP1 and receive updates from

On the desktops, I run Win2K Pro and Linux Fedora 10. My Connection speed is: download:10mb/1mb/Charter Cable Internet. Firefox browser: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/2008070208 Firefox/3.0.1

As for many others who go to hulu and have the same experiences, here are just some comments for you all out there:

Notebook Evangelist

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 409
Rep Power: 6 theneighborrkid has a spectacular aura abouttheneighborrkid has a spectacular aura about

Default Hulu video's lag after a few minutes
After watching any video from it seems that the video goes from smooth to about 20 FPS and choppy, not sure what is causing this, it is not the internet... I watched an episode of the office earlier today, but since then all I have had is problems. Running Vista 64-bit, gateway 7811 fx


Ok.. well in full screen on the Eee, hulu plays fairly well. There is some lag every now and then, but it's not horrible.
I have no way to test the HD capability though.

14 May '09 11:40:03

**sometimes Hulu lags a bit, nothing that 10 seconds of buffering can't take care of, but I'm yet to have any trouble with my XBL config. No lags whatsoever with Halo or Call of Duty
There is tons of others who have commented on hulu dicussions or on other forums and device tech blogs.

429.5.2009 19:08

they tried to add hulu support in tversity pro and it was a complete fail no audio half the time videos wont load i wish boxee would come to win32/64 im on the mailing list for info for a beta but nothing yet.
still using windows media player to share media to my xbox cause tversity is just a huge resource hog and unresponsive half the time.

hopefully boxee addresses win users need for content delivery to tv

530.5.2009 1:18

I tried watching a TV episode of Prison Break today, just to make sure things have possibly changed and it was no different than last month when I last went to to see this episode. The lag is still there, commericals don't lag and another thing I recall, the commercials have higher audio strength than does the movie or the program your watching on

I was also able to get the scripts that existed on the episode of Prison Break 4 and these are the sites that are scripting on that

I am using NoScript that has me allow or deny those scripts, that's how I know those specific sites are possibly slowing down the video feed frame rates.

I also went to Google Video & and did not have any form or out of sync or lag on those sites so this is something that is inherently at and then not my system or my browser or anything that I am forcing on to perform in a substandard manner. If my 10mb download is not fast enought, then please tell me so, otherwise Hulu is a piece of garbage.

630.5.2009 15:01

nope it just a piece of garbage

730.5.2009 18:43

I would rather that Hulu wasn't garbage. It used to be cool to go to that site and watch even the very limited content back a year ago. I don't watch TV that much nor do I have time for going out with the boys with the Movies, so Hulu was a A OK place to watch while doing other things (multi-tasking), then I started to see the site get worse and thought it was my computer. Different days, different computers, different Operating systems with all the patches, flash, javacript, Active X, etc, etc, etc simply let me believe it was not a self imposed technical problem that I had. Started to read the comments of other viewers and determined that it was a Hulu issue. On my Verizon Fast Speed Internet 4meg's download it had the same Lag and out of sync video stream. These days with Charter Cable service and having a 10mb download is much much faster and yet that Hulu stil lags (or chokes) big time. Either something is wrong with the frame rates or too many autobots are clustering around Hulu for advertising purposes. I checked some of the details for those companies I listed in my previous post and they are adfarms. (correction should be who's parent is Quantcast Corporation
Comments about this has eight IP records . All of them are on the same IP network . is a domain controlled by eight nameservers at
Comments about Quantcast: Quantcast is a Web site that is based on viewing the statistics of other Web sites. Quantcast Corporation's prime focus is to analyze the Internet's Web (in other words spyware that Hulu is funding)

My findings for results in the same piss poor Hulu performance. Also I am not a big fan of Youtube nor of any other site, simply wish Hulu would operate as they did before all this fiasco.

831.5.2009 20:08

SPAM removed

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Jul 2009 @ 7:08

931.5.2009 21:44

There seems to be a few missing points here. First is that Hulu was probably already working on their desktop while Boxee was linking their content. Hulu's release of their desktop occurred a very short time after Boxee was expelled, too short to be a conincident. Secondly Boxee is currently only available to Linux and Apple users just as Hulu is to Windows and Apple users. Hm! Score two points for Apple. How did that happen?

Boxee still hasn't been able to release a Windows version which is where the vast majority of viewers are going to be found and this just like standard TV is a numbers game. I hope that Boxee succeeds in their own right because that could mean additional content instead of replication of content already available on Hulu.

Lastly, if one is experiencing difficulty with lag on Hulu then one might want to check their ISP as the root. Many ISPs' are intentionally throttling internet speeds for heavy users, and anyone who streams Hulu content or an equivalent regularly is a heavy user.

101.6.2009 10:55

Originally posted by Hopium:
they tried to add hulu support in tversity pro and it was a complete fail no audio half the time videos wont load i wish boxee would come to win32/64 im on the mailing list for info for a beta but nothing yet.
still using windows media player to share media to my xbox cause tversity is just a huge resource hog and unresponsive half the time.

hopefully boxee addresses win users need for content delivery to tv
I know this a hulu topic, but have you tried the regular tversity not the pro version. Never had problems with streaming or resources with tversity and I stream to both xbox and ps3.

119.6.2009 13:55

Just tried it with Vista 64/Sp2 and internet explorer 8 and no lag and no audio problems. O well!

1213.8.2009 2:37

spam removed

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Aug 2009 @ 23:20

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