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Tricking Hulu

Jeff Baumgartner

11:45 AM -- As of 10:50 a.m. ET today Hulu LLC had not stepped in to block the latest version of Hillcrest Labs 's Kylo browser from playing back videos from the site. I fired up the updated version of Kylo this morning and a clip from Saturday Night Live worked just fine:

All Systems Go

However, simply downloading and installing the new Kylo browser isn't enough to sidestep Hulu's video blocking techniques. Users still have to make some manual adjustments to make it work. (See Hillcrest Creates Hulu Workaround for TV Browser.)

To trick Hulu, Kylo users must pull up the browser's "Settings" page, select "Compatibility," and then select the "Behave like" option to pick the correct mode. Kylo offers five modes: Firefox, iPad, PlayStation, Sarafi, or Wii.

To get Hulu to run right, users must then pick the Firefox mode, and then enter www.hulu.com in the text field labeled "When browsing." Users must then select "Add custom site behavior" as the final step.

Not exactly the most super-intuitive approach. I had to ask for the steps, but following them was relatively simple and did the trick on the first try.

And this way of tricking Hulu into believing that it's accessing a regular computer browser isn't all that new, apparently. NewTeeVee noted earlier this week that users of Android-powered handsets can circumvent Hulu's blocking techniques by adjusting the "user agent" setting on the phone's Chrome browser so it thinks it's running on a PC.

The story was written in the context of the upcoming Google TV service, wondering if all these tweaks and adjustments will create an ongoing game of cat-and-mouse between Hulu and a legion of new browsers and devices that want to help consumers feed Hulu's content to big screen TVs. (See Google TV Comes Out, the World Tunes In .)

So far, it looks like Hulu's giving the "new" Kylo a pass, but we'll try to check back throughout the week to see if the workaround continues to be effective.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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