Hillcrest confirms Hulu blocking Kylo Web TV browser from its online video content

Online video fans who were excited to see a new company debut a Web browser that simply and easily interfaced with conventional TV screens are going to have to wait a little longer to see Hulu online video content on the platform after the video hub decided to not allow users of the Kylo browser access.

After debuting this morning, users who tried to view Hulu content were met instead with a black screen that read, "Unfortunately, this video is not available on your platform. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Hillcrest Labs, which developed and launched Kylo initially said it was " investigating why Hulu videos are not playing within the Kylo browser." The company said that prior to its formal launch today, Hulu videos would play within the Kylo browser.

"Like Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari, the Kylo browser is simply a Web browser, it's our sincere hope that Hulu isn't restricting access," said Hillcrest CEO Dan Simpkens.

Later this afternoon, the company released this statement from Simpins:
"We have confirmed with Hulu that they are preventing the Kylo web browser from playing Hulu videos. We have tremendous respect for Hulu, and we hope that a continued dialog might influence their thinking." Hulu's move is in character for the site, which was accused last year of keeping Boxee out of its sandbox. But blocking Kylo users from accessing the site seems to take matters to the extreme. Kylo is a web browser, a substitute for Safari or IE or Firefox designed specifically for televisions. Like standard computer browsers, it simply acts as a conveyance. Ads that are tied to the online video content still travel with that content on the Kylo browser.

So what's the problem? No word yet from Hulu. In fact, Editor Rebecca Harper's latest blog ignores the not-insubstantial brouhaha altogether.

Granted, Hulu's split personality, er, ownership--NBC Universal, Disney and News Corp. all own a piece of the service (with Comcast breathing down NBCUs neck)--complicates matters somewhat. Nonetheless, it's the consumer that's suffering the most this time.

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