After weeks of silence, Hulu has provided some commentary on its blocking of PlayStation 3 and Windows Mobile browsers (unless you work out a way around it, of course), sending a form email back to any members the requested support for the issue that was heavy on "context" and light on answers. Without acknowledging that the company even is blocking these devices, the dispatch mentions "maximizing the content you can access as conveniently as possible in a way that "works" for the content owner." Of course that doesn't provide us any details as to which content provider(s) terms necessitated the change, or if, and in what form, we can expect easy off-PC access to Hulu's video streams to return but if you feel like navigating the fluff yourself, the letter is after the break.
Hulu RE: about PS3 Browser Block:
Thanks for writing. In order to answer your question, some context might be
For decades, the TV/movie industry has built its business model on a windowing
strategy. Content rights are granted for limited time periods across specific
distribution channels. For example, a movie starts in theaters, then moves to
pay-per-view and DVD, then to pay-cable channels, later to broadcast, and so on
down the line. Similarly, TV shows are available on TV first, then in repeats,
then to DVD and possibly syndication, etc.
Distribution availability across platforms -- theaters vs. TV vs. recorded media
like DVDs vs. online streaming vs. mobile phones -- was always implicitly or
explicitly controlled in that world. But a few factors have made the barriers
between those platforms more permeable: the rise of the web, increased broadband
availability, the ease of digitizing video, and the increase in the computing
power of devices like gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and mobile phones.
However, in the near-term, the windowing strategy is still dominant in the
business. Billions of dollars flow in across these different windows, and entire
companies are organized around them. Nothing productive comes from flouting that
reality (except to law firms who work on the occasional lawsuit).
We do, however, expect these windows to converge over time. There's no way around
that, and we're working hard with all of our partners to guide and participate in
this important transition in the business. Everything we do is with an eye toward
achieving our long-term goal of maximizing the content you can access as
conveniently as possible in a way that "works" for the content owner. In the
short-term that may require us to make some tough decisions, but we only do so
when we believe it improves our long-term prospects to build a more enduring,
legal solution to that same problem.
We hear your frustration, and solving it remains our full-time job.