Boxee hack restores Hulu (sort of)

Last updated Mar 6, 2009 — 10880 views

Boxee has restored support for Hulu to its free media center platform for PCs and Macs. The support, a hack to Boxee’s RSS feed functionality, has a DIY aspect to it.

Bowing to pressure from its multimedia content partners, Hulu recently talked Boxee into removing Hulu support from its media player platform for Linux, Mac OS, AppleTV, and Windows. The loss of access to Hulu’s extensive library of free movies and TV shows took much of the wind out of Boxee’s sails.

While continuing to seek ways to restore full Hulu-player functionality to Boxee, the company appears to have convinced Hulu to turn a blind eye toward an RSS-based approach that involves having Boxee users enable Hulu support themselves.

This new DIY Hulu support requires Boxee users to visit Hulu’s RSS feed page, and cut/paste video feed URLs from there into their “My RSS Feeds” page at Boxee’s website. These screenshots show the process:

Copying Hulu RSS feed URLs from Hulu to Boxee
(Click each image to enlarge)

Once the above is accomplished, users will discover a new “Hulu Feeds” entry in the Video > Internet area of Boxee. From there they can access most of Hulu’s content as before, as shown by these screenshots:

Using Boxee’s new “Hulu Feeds” hack
(Click each image to enlarge)

The new Hulu Feeds support certainly works, but one can’t help wondering how it’s really different from Boxee’s original — superior — Hulu support from the content-provider’s perspective. Oh, the games media companies play!

Update also includes two enhancements

Other new features in today’s Boxee update, as listed on Boxee’s blog, include:

  • App Box — This is a first take at an application “store” that makes it easy for users to install new apps and plugins. There is also native support for 3rd party repositories, so you don’t have to rely on boxee as a gatekeeper for what goes into the official boxee app store. for example, you can add as a repository to get access to all the apps.
  • Auto update — A long time in the making and really bad form on our part for not having it from the beginning. But better later than never. No need to check on Twitter or our blog to know that there is a new version. Now you’ll be prompted to update boxee whenever there is a new release ready.

Unfortunately, Linux users will need to be patient for a few weeks while all these enhancements get phased into the Ubuntu version of Boxee, according to a Boxee’s blog post on the new Hulu support.

One response to “Boxee hack restores Hulu (sort of)”

  1. deviceguru says:


    “we just found out that Hulu blocked the boxee browser from accessing the Hulu site. this is a disappointing development since their RSS feeds are publicly available, and our browser, while optimized for a great 10 ft video experience, is no different in how it accesses this content than Internet Explorer, Firefox, Flock, Opera or any of the other browsers out there.

    to our users: if you choose to use boxee as your media browser to view legal and publicly available content on the internet, we will do everything we can to ensure that you can access it, no matter what the source.

    we’ll keep you updated as things happen on our blog and via twitter (@boxee). and while some of the best things in life are free, sometimes you have to work hard to get them… ”

    Source: Boxee’s blog