Hulu on the Xbox – Here’s How

The video below is a Qik.com file from my 3g iPhone – not the best video in the world – until you consider it streamed live from a phone.

As you can see in the video, I’m streaming not just Hulu, but CBS and YouTube straight to me Xbox.

Some fancy new Vista thingee from Microsoft with a monthly fee attached to it? Nope, a product called “Playon” – currently in free beta.

I’ve got my install of Playon running on a Windows XP box – install was a breeze, interface is easy to use and set up.

I can stream Hulu, CBS and YouTube out of the box (including programs longer than 10 minutes – which aren’t on the AppleTV YouTube option). They promise Netflix soon.

Let’s hit a few highlights here:

  • Despite being more than a year old, there is still no compelling reason to upgrade to Vista. Products like this can quickly, in fact, prevent people from upgrading because they have options that make sense.
  • The “coming” service that streams Netflix to the Xbox in the Fall dashboard update will require a $50 yearly gold account. Rumor is, once they start charging for it, Playon will cost $30.
  • If you check out the Playon site, you’ll notice that they support a number of other set top devices as well. This isn’t just an Xbox play. They even promise Wii support soon.

There is the obvious cool geek factor in this post but this product also has some very important implications for our industry.

The jump of television from the computer screen to the television screen is going to get easier and easier. Whereas this doesn’t have the brain dead ease-of-use elements of the Apple TV, this has the potential audience of all game console players – a very big number indeed. The price of the software (if it is in fact $30) is a no brainer to anyone with a box it can run on and install was as simple as this kind of approach could possibly be. By not requiring Vista, they have everyone with a PC in their market.

And they might even help sell a few more game consoles in the process.

Getting your content to your audience is getting easier and easier.

You can focus on the getting the content there, or being the content.

I’d suggest the latter – there’s much more money in it.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Jason

    Is this XBOX 360 only? Or can the same be accomplished w/ the original XBOX? ~Jason

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  • http://www.thefuzznetwork.com The Fuzz

    This product is great. PlayOn is DLNA compliant meaning that both the Xbox 360 and PS3 can see it. Even the XBMC can see it. You can get tons of plugins now for Playon including Podcasts, The Food Network, HGTV, NFL, NBA, and more. You can check out sites like TheFuzzNetwork for more information as well as themediamall.com/playon. And for those of you that don’t know Hulu is now adding Disney.. so thats just one more notch in the belt. If you havent checked this product out. You should.. The one time 39.99 is worth it.

  • raj

    you need to purchase a license after 14 days, you jackass. Hows that for being anti-MS? Know your facts before you pass judgments?

  • raj

    you need to purchase a license after 14 days, you jackass. Hows that for being anti-MS? Know your facts before you pass judgments?

  • https://www2.unotelly.com/home Chevy Snow

    Thanks for the article Paul. Just want to inform all folks who live outside US that Xbox360 is a great media Player. If you want to access Netflix and other streaming stations on your Xbox360 you can use UnoTelly as I do to get around the geo block.

  • paulcolligan

    Thanks!