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Another Hulu Conspiracy Theory: NBC Holding Out for Windows 7 Media Center?

Why did Hulu dump Boxee, ReQuest and other settop box manufacturers? Was NBC -- a Microsoft partner and Hulu owner -- holding out for opportunities with Windows 7 Media Center?

Why did Hulu disable its video-on-demand service from Boxee, ReQuest and other settop boxes?

Speculation abounds.

To wit: Hulu would lose revenue from banner ads; Hulu wants to charge for its intellectual property; networks don't like change.

And this prevailing theory: Cable companies pressured Hulu and the networks, fearing the accelerated loss of subscribers. This one makes good sense, especially in light of the fact that Comcast is now offering Hulu through its online service.

Learn more about Media Center at Media Center University, exclusively at the Electronic House Expo, March 11-14, 2009 in Orlando, Fla. Check out the complete MCU agenda here.
And so on and so on.

But here is another theory that doesn't seem to have taken hold: Hulu is saving itself for Windows 7 Media Center.

Follow closely...

Hulu was co-founded by NBC. NBC has a tight relationship with Microsoft. That union created MSNBC. The two behemoths have collaborated extensively on TV-friendly video-on-demand (Olympics, SportsLounge , the election, etc.). (Correction: SportsLounge was a deal with Fox ... thanks, Derek)

IP-based VOD is a hallmark of Windows 7 Media Center.

Hulu on someone else's TV-friendly platform would detract from Windows 7 Media Center.
Ergo, make Hulu difficult to navigate via TV, so Media Center gets the edge.

I have absolutely no evidence of this. And, I don't suggest there is anything wrong with such a strategy if it happens to be true. In fact, it would make good business sense.

It's just one more conspiracy theory to throw out there.

Would TV-friendly Hulu detract from the forthcoming Windws 7 Media Center (shown here)?

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Article Topics

News · Digital Media · Media Center · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

1 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Song Huang  on  02/27  at  11:50 AM

I love Hulu and have used it to catch up on my favorite shows like “Chuck”. But the past days I’ve noticed an increasing frequency of shows that inexplicably become “unavailable” after I have been watching them for a few minutes. Coincidence? In the past week this has happened to me 4 times. I’ll watch a show for about 10-15 minutes, just enough to get into the plot, then “poof”. The video is unavailable. but I can begin another.

So here’s one for the conspiracy theorists. Maybe they get you hooked and then will ask you to pay for the rest of the show! However; I can’t find a way to pay for the rest of the show at this time. Annoying. I guess it’s back to Netflix - which doesn’t have the most recent stuff. ;(

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