There’s nothing worse than a program losing features, so it’s understandable that Boxee users are upset about Hulu’s latest outage in their favorite media center.
Lucky there’s an easy fix. The enthusiastic community over at the Boxee forums found a way to get Hulu working on Boxee, at least for now. By masking Boxee so that Hulu can’t tell it’s not a desktop browser, this simple hack will give you access to your favorites once again.
Get Hulu working on Boxee again, quickly, without having to pay for Hulu Plus. Just follow these simple instructions.
So you fire up a video in Boxee, and instead of seeing your show you see this message:
With the recent release of the Boxee Box, Boxee is trying to get as many for-pay services working on the platform as possible. The NHL, Netflix, Vudu and MLB are all signed on; Boxee’s hoping Hulu will sign on too.
Hulu, incidentally, recently launched their new pay service: Hulu Plus. It would seem Boxee is posed to become an official platform for Hulu Plus, but support for free Hulu videos needed to go as a condition.
That’s a shame. Guess we’ll just have to get it working ourselves.
Get The Script
First things first: you need to download a script. Don’t worry; it’s easy. Head over to this posting on the Boxee forums and download the text file in post number four. If you download the script from here you’ll first need to register, and you’ll also need to rename the .txt to “hulu.js”.
Too complicated? Fine. Check out this handy post on 9minutesnooze, which features a download you don’t need to register for or rename.
Drag And Drop
Now that you have what you need, it’s time to put it in the right place. Where the right place is, of course, depends on your operating system of choice. For Windows users, the right place is “C:\Program Files\Boxee\system\players\flashplayer\”. Ubuntu users should move the file to “/opt/boxee/system/players/flashplayer/hulu.js”. Finally, Mac users should move the file to “/Applications/Boxee.app/Contents/Resources/Boxee/system/players/flashplayer”.
That’s it. Fire up Boxee, if you closed it, and try to play something on Hulu. It should be working!
Note that Boxee is starting to show content only available on Hulu Plus, meaning some of the videos listed as working on Boxee won’t work. But if you just use Boxee to watch Hulu’s free content, you’ll find everything working beautifully.
This is how it should be. In a blog post back in March of 2009, Boxee founder Avner Ronen:
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.
It would seem Boxee’s dropped this commitment, in the name of becoming an officially approved device for the Hulu Plus store. Sad.
Is this hack not working? I guess they patched this hole, for now. I’ll try to keep you up to date about alternative solutions, but until then here’s an alternative. Download the Hulu Desktop app. You’ve now got an easy way to watch Hulu shows from your couch.
You can even launch this app from within Boxee, thanks to the Launcher app. Check out my article about using Boxee as the ultimate ROM and game launcher to find out how.