Hulu Launches Linux Version of Hulu Desktop, Tools to Facilitate Video Embedding

--TiVo CEO Rogers: "Hulu Will Have to Come to Terms with the Big Screen"

Hulu, the free, ad-supported broadband video venture co-owned by The Walt Disney Company (ABC), NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox), has launched two new projects in Hulu Labs, a section of its Web site in which it showcases new and experimental products and services on which it is seeking user feedback. The new projects are:

  • Hulu Publisher Tools, which is intended to make it easier for users--such as reporters, bloggers, Web site editors and Webmasters--to search, browse and embed premium video content both from Hulu itself and from other sites. "In addition to content featured by the Hulu team," a post on Hulu's corporate blog explains, "our publishing tool features a comprehensive directory that offers the opportunity to preview videos and copy embed codes from a single page. Editors can also create custom playlists for Video Panels that can embed multiple Hulu videos in a single unit. A search bar lets you type in any keyword--"Obama," for instance--and we'll call up all the relevant videos pulled by our Web crawler. You can select a few clips that look good to you, preview them if you like, and copy the embed codes. And if all the content is from Hulu, you can put together a Video Panel in seconds and embed it on your blog."
  • A Linux version of the Hulu Desktop application (note: the latter was launched in May, together with Hulu Labs). Like the PC and Mac versions of the app, the Linux version is designed for lean-back viewing, featuring an interface that is billed as allowing viewers to navigate Hulu's library with just six remote control buttons. According to the company, it will support input from "hundreds" of infrared remote controls, and is compatible with both Ubuntu and Fedora. "Since launching Hulu Desktop," the post on Hulu's blog continued, "we've read thousands of comments about the product. Among all the suggestions, there was one that far outnumbered all the others: our users wanted Linux support. So while we were tweaking the user interface, adding a few keyboard shortcuts and fixing bugs on Hulu Desktop, we were also working on Linux support. Part of our commitment to help everyone enjoy content, after all, is to provide support to all three major computer operating systems."

In other Hulu news: In an interview with Bloomberg News at MIPCOM last week, TiVo president and CEO, Tom Rogers, stated that Hulu needs to deliver its content to TV sets and that TiVo hopes to work with it to do so: "Hulu will have to come to terms with the big screen and get themselves on the television set," Rogers said. "When they decide as a policy matter that's something they'd like to do, we want to bring them to the TV."

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