[mythtv-users] Boxee/Hulu?

jedi jedi at mishnet.org
Mon Mar 2 19:06:13 UTC 2009

On Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 01:48:30PM -0500, jarpublic at gmail.com wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 1:39 PM, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
> > On Monday 02 March 2009 11:15:03 Eric Sharkey wrote:
> >> On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 11:35 AM,  <jarpublic at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> >> Exactly what constitutes a web browser in the eyes of Hulu is not clear.
> >> >
> >> > I think it is fairly clear. It is a program that renders the html/php
> >> > (or whatever it is that they serve up) unaltered.
> >>
> >> There's no such thing.
> >>
> >> Web browsers always reformat the display based on any number of
> >> conditions.  HTML is not a publication format designed to give an
> >> exact layout, regardless of how many web developers might try to pound
> >> it into that mode.
> >
> > Indeed. I do a little work for a web site. I have a terrible time explaining
> > that a browser is not like a printing press, and I can't guarantee how every
> > browser/computer/screen setup will display things.
> >
> > The idea is to present the information in a readable form for the user,
> > whether he is using a 24" monitor and firefox or a text-based browser on a
> > phone. It is the information that counts, not the way it is presented.
> >
> > The usual response I get is "well the XXX site does it", causing me to curse
> > the web developers who succumb to pressures to try and force the web to be
> > what it is not and was never intended to be.
> >
> > If my HTML code has to take into account what browser is being used to view
> > it, something is terribly wrong.
> >
> > So the restarictions HuLu places on their service violate the entire concept
> > of the web, but I'm sure the content providers will never understand that,
> > they are just too used to mediums that allow for total control of the
> > presentation.
> This is still clearly different than what Boxee did. Making the
> necessary rendering decisions that modern browsers make for different
> platforms and screens sizes is not the same as taking the videos from
> Hulu, creating a brand new user interface, and dropping the videos

     Sure it is. Just go mobile. As soon as you've got a screen the
size of an iPhone or Archos then you've still got the same basic web
problems that have always existed. How to you transform the data so
that it is usable by a particular user using a particular output 
device? Will it be recognizable as the same website once you've done

> into it. Again I don't have an opinion about the legality, I just
> found it odd that this long argument had digressed into debating out
> about the legality of things that hadn't and won't happen (ie Hulu
> banning anybody from hooking a computer up to a TV). When in reality
> what happened isn't as clear legally and really would need to be
> decided by a court if it came to that.

     At worst, what is happening is "deep linking" which may have
some certain issues legally but is perfectly consistent with the
philosophical ideas behind the web. Legal challenges to something
like Hulu + Boxee might not even hold up well.

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