If you’re a Windows Media Center user then you, no doubt, are disappointed by Hulu‘s snubbing of the platform. You probably also have waited for Boxee to arrive. After all, Netflix jumped on board about a year ago. Why not the other major players?
Netflix is always quick to jump into whatever platform they can get themselves on. They get it. I’m not saying Hulu doesn’t get it, because I think they do. But, they are handcuffed by NBC and Fox. With the recent release of Hulu Plus came the announcements of the platforms they are now available on. After avoiding it for the first couple of years, they are no longer afraid of getting on actual living room TV’s. Well, they told themselves they were avoiding it, but every geek in the world was already watching them on the TV. So where is the deal with the biggest computer company in the world? With the recent release of Media Center embedded and the first set-top boxes starting to leak out this could be a major cash-cow for Hulu. Think if they made Hulu Plus a part Media Center and Media Center embedded!
Boxee, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same strict, old-fashioned bosses that are behind Hulu. They jumped straight onto the AppleTV platform, but beyond that and PC’s they didn’t seem to seek out partners anywhere. And, of course, they didn’t actually partner with Apple – it was a hack that Boxee pushed.
So, Netflix seems to be the only forward-thinking company in this space. Maybe Amazon, since they have partnered with a few set-top boxes and Blu-ray players, but they also have not jumped onto Media Center. Now all of these are available in Media Center via pretty simple hacks and plug-ins. You can find instructions for Hulu here, Boxee here and Amazon Unbox here. I use the Hulu plugin and Amazon hack on my own HTPC. I expect that, sooner or later, both Hulu and Amazon will come to Media Center, but with the soon-to-be-released Boxee Box, I am not sure they will be looking to partner with anyone.