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Hulu now blocked on the BlackBerry PlayBook, big media strikes again

Hulu now blocked on the BackBerry PlayBook, big media strikes again
By Bla1ze on 20 Apr 2011 06:56 pm EDT
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Some sad but expected news folks -- we've started getting tips in the forums and through the CrackBerry support tips line that Hulu has gotten a little cranky about offering content on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Although PlayBook owners previously have had access to all movies and TV shows it now looks that Hulu has added the BlackBerry PlayBooks browser string to their blocked list.

Overall, it's not really a huge surprise that they have done so but rather more frustrating and annoying that big media can't see the advantages here for end users. If you live in an area where the content is licensed for -- it really shouldn't matter on how you access that content. Hopefully, it'll work out in the end though and hulu will realize they just simply need to make an app for the Blackberry PlayBook that allows access. Thanks, to eveyone who sent this in!

Discuss the Hulu blocking in the CrackBerry Forums

Reader comments

Hulu now blocked on the BlackBerry PlayBook, big media strikes again

49 Comments

It shouldn't since proxies don't create their own http requests. They just relay the request from you. What would be needed to get around this would be a browser that allowed customized http headers. ie. override the headers sent by the playbook and mimic the ones that would be sent by a laptop browser. I'm pretty sure someone could make an app that would do it, but I didn't spend a ton of time looking at the BrowserField (or whatever it's called) in the apis.

The Dolphin browser for Android has the ability to spoof other browsers Any chance of getting Dolphin ported to the Playbook?

I just tried the same thing on my rooted Nook Color and got the same results.

How do they know we're using a mobile device?

Why does it feel like everyone is against this tablet, despite the fact that it is literary the most powerful and most useful one out.

Hulu blocks everything not under their standard practice -- was only a matter of time. Has nothing to do with it being the PlayBook, big media enforces it due to their arcane licensing laws. Take Netflix for example -- the content in Canada is different from the content in the U.S. because big meda won't license certain content outside of the U.S. and vice versa.

figured out a workaround. i only tested with gmail but here goes:

browse to the hulu video you actually want to watch.
you should see a large black box where the video would normally be playing.
scroll to BENEATH that and hit the link that lets you copy the "embeddded" code for "sharing"
in the browser open a new tab and go to gmail.
compose a message to yourself and paste the embedded codes
send the message
wait until you get your own message
it should look just like the embedded codes you sent BUT with an active hyperlink in the middle
click the link and the video should load in a new tab

It works on my pc, but I get the same not supported message on my Nook Color.

Maybe we should get David Letterman to hassle them....

I have already developed a number of apps for the PlayBook and am working on some more as we speak, I will look into creating a browser that will appear to websites as a desktop browser (Probs Firefox) although I don't think this will be easy. Also I will have to wait for the native DK. But hopfully you won't have to wait too long, I will be sure to let everyone that uses CrackBerry as soon as the app is in development and then live. :)

Hulu's business model consists of allowing free viewing while requiring a monthly paid subscription to view shows on mobile devices. Not blocking the PlayBook would blow apart this business model and wreck their income. This move is not surprising: their business depends on this.

On the other hand, I wonder how easy would it be to bypass their PB blocker with some custom JavaScript, such as with a bookmarklet? Can the PB browser use bookmarklets?

I say we all email them and threaten to cancel our subscriptions. I find it ridiculous as it is that I have to sit through commercials when I pay a monthly fee.

I already emailed and cancelled also cancelled my netflix today both companies have lost my business until they add some value to their lacking products. Will not waste money on bs companies any longer.

Hi there,
Thanks for writing in! We, and more importantly, our content providers, do not have an agreement with BlackBerry to stream our services through that device at this time. Unfortunately we're legally and contractually obligated not to provide access. This could change in the future, though.
We'd be sorry to see you go, but we understand the value may not be there for you just yet. Hopefully you will keep an eye out for additions and improvements we make in the future. If there's anything I can do to make your Plus experience a better one, please let me know.
Thanks,
James
Hulu Support

-----------------

I have since cancelled my subscription.

netflix wont work either. it states that streaming is not supported for this device. I was looking fwd to streaming movies. what the heck!?

This is probably to due with how Netflix streams its content which is via MS Sliverlight not Flash. I agree they should support the Playbook like they have support for iPad or iPhone. I think it will be a App for the PB.

But Hulu on the other hand its flash base streaming. Come on, the Playbook has flash so it should work. I can understand Netflix since Playbook does not have MS Sliverlight

If someone wants to send me a PlayBook - live in the UK so can't get one yet - or is willing to try/test a few things on there PlayBook for me I might be able to create an App that will allow you to watch Hulu videos.

No skin off my back here in Canada we don't get it anyways! BUT....I got mine today and one of the first things I did was start surfing Canadian TV network stations in the browser and all of their video plays on the Playbook. City TV even has an RSS feed you could get to alert you to new content!! Rdio, my favourite music service works in the browser, though not when place in the background. Still, the flash compatibility is pretty awesome. Can't wait to get an HDMI adapter to pump some of this video out to my TV. Once Netflix delivers an app, I might have to kill my cable account!!

This is just sad.. just got my 64gb today and was looking forward to using hulu... i'll try through direct channels (nbc, abc, etc)... will post how that goes... btw typing is AWESOMEEE on this beautiful PB!!!

That's pretty sad. I was using it yesterday and haven't tried today. It will be missed, but I don't really care about Hulu anyway. I haven't used it in over a year now (except yesterday-was just testing the PB to see how well it handled sites like Hulu). At least I know that it's not a PlayBook limitation, but a direct restriction put forth by Hulu.
My question is, did Apple report it to Hulu...? hahaha jk.

This is crap. I didn't even use hulu before yesterday when I started using it on my Playbook. I was even watching a show earlier today. But now they have lost me as a customer forever.

Well, at least I got to watch a few shows before it was blocked. Oddly Xfinity (Comcast) has online content i can still watch from their site that has the Hulu logo on the video. Odd huh?

I use hulu all the time to watch shows like Burn Notice, House, etc.... But Hulu dont control that content, the networks do. To watch House and other FOX shows, go to fox.com. To watch CBS shows, go to CBS.com. To watch USA shows, go to usanetwork.com.

Hulu is so stupid, that they dont realize that the more places people can use their product, the more their advertisers commercials are seen. There is no logical reason for hulu to block the PB except to boost their own egos.

Hulu can go **** themself. One less user they have now as i will no longer use their service. I will go to the networks, they not blocking the PB.

For fun, I created a page on my server, I embeded the show i wanted to watch using hulu embed code and watched it without an issue. Proves that their is no compatibility issue, just hulu acting like a *****.

hi, i like your site very much. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog.
No Win No Fee Scotland

I don't understand why Hulu is taking a step backward to piss off their clientele while their competitor Netflix is expanding globally and support as many different console as possible. PS3 on Netflix is great hopefully it would come to Playbook soon since I'm not getting mind till June.

I cancelled my subscription, its bad enough that you have to put up with commercials. If more subscribers do the same they will definitely work on a fix as soon as possible. They take money seriously.