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News Corp pulls its Hulu content from Cablevision customers (engadget.com)
24 points by CrazedGeek 2203 days ago | hide | past | web | 15 comments | favorite

I am currently paying for Hulu Plus and can't figure out whether it's worth it or not. Things that bother me are (1) commercials despite me paying, (2) the fact that I can't reliably play the videos on my Ubuntu boxes since they use Flash, (3) lack of content from certain networks (e.g.: Survivor is only available on cbs.com, not on Hulu which makes it kind of useless to try to build a media center PC around Hulu), (4) all the silly clips of shows they have: I am trying to watch full episodes and think that clips are for YouTube, and finally (5) the fact that since I started paying they pulled a bunch of content (e.g.: first season of Glee, first season of Modern Family, etc.) despite the premise that you pay for that content being available.

On one hand I'm still actively using their service. On the other, I am trying to figure out the most effective way to tell them that I am not satisfied with it. Canceling will lose them $120/year which is measly. Anybody got any ideas of how to make an impact on what they do?

Alternatively, does anyone know of (legal) alternatives to Hulu? I have no problem with paying for a good service, just can't find someone to give my money to.

"(2) the fact that I can't reliably play the videos on my Ubuntu boxes since they use Flash"

Hulu Desktop the flex app and hulu.com works great on all my Ubuntu systems. I have an Ubuntu box connected to my TV and Hulu Desktop is one of my main apps. I'm surprised you have problems with flash videos on Ubuntu.

Netflix would have been a good alternative but Netflix streaming doesn't work on Linux.

My systems are either a couple of years old or low powered (netbook), so full screen video is unbearable and even without scaling is fairly choppy. At the same time hi-def Xvid works fantastically.

I'm very happy with Netflix, but you'd have a rather hard time getting it running on Linux: the best workarounds are running a Windows VM or playing the Wii Netflix disc through the Dolphin emulator.

Only downside is the content can be a bit lacking, but it has most (if not all) of the shows I usually watch, so I'm content.

I supplement my NetFlix with Hulu. I personally use Boxee to build a media center like computer and it automatically pulls from the many different websites, like NetFlix, Hulu, CBS and others.

Makes my life simpler since I get one interface that just lets me view my TV shows.

Yes, Netflix is pretty great. They are adding more and more content that is viewable online, and I really like their Wii interface (far simpler than the Netflix interface on TiVo or Xbox 360).

I guess this is what the internet will be like if the traditional media companies are in charge. Websites will work or not depending on deals between your ISP and the content provider. Who is cutting off who for not paying varies, but either way it is very different from the traditional web where everyone can reach everything.

Meanwhile everybody with a torrent client can get the stuff free and without commercials. What exactly is fox trying to do here?

Get millions of dollars from Cablevision. Cablevision used to pay $70 million a year for Fox. Now Fox says they cost $150 million per year. So if they piss off Cablevision customers enough they think the company will cave instead of risk loosing subscribers.

So now the interests of the ISP are aligned with torrent downloaders - that should make things interesting.

When your ISP is doing the torrent anonymizing for you and caching the download on their servers.

Network neutrality fail.

I've heard the expresion "Network Neutrality" used to describe a situation where carriers like Cablevision treat all sources of content (like Fox) equally.

Is this a failure of the carrier to treat all content equally? Or is this something else? I'm not familiar with the dispute, however it appears that Cablevision were already paying Fox M$75 for its content.

Why were they paying for the content? Is Hulu free or do you pay a fee for it? Does Fox have a business model where ISPs pay for Hulu and then their customers get it bundled with their internet access?

I don't understand the entire story here, so I'm not 100% sure this is exactly the same thing that most people talk about when they use the phrase "network neutrality."

Cablevision (their Optimum Online service) is both an ISP and a Cable TV provider. Fox wants more money so in an attempt to put pressure on Cablevision has shut off Cablevision's access to Fox content on both the internet and on cable TV. Or more aptly, to Cablevisions customers...

I got what you summarized from the article. But why was Cablevision paying in the first place, and more importantly, is this a case of Network Neutrality failing or something else?

If I put up my blog and try to extract a payment from ISPs in exchange for making it available to their customers, how is that a failure of network neutrality? I'm just a guy with an unlikely-to-succeed business model. But it's my content to extend or withold as I see fit.

My understanding of the network neutrality debate is that it is around ISPs governing access to content, not content providers governing access.

My question above isn't about the OP as much as it's a question is to how--if at all--this relates to network neutrality.

Does Fox have a business model where ISPs pay for Hulu and then their customers get it bundled with their internet access?

I'm sure Fox would love to have something like this, but right now this isn't how Hulu works. It's paid for by advertising on the television service (or premium Hulu Plus subscriptions paid by individual consumers), so cutting this off is really just sour grapes on Fox's part.

ESPN does run such an arrangement with their ESPN3 streaming service -- it's only available if your ISP has paid ESPN, or if you're a user at a university.

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