Flash-Free Film Fare: Hulu Videos May Come To The iPad Yet

This image described by iPad, Apple, Flash, Hulu, video streaming, H.264, IHulu

Of all the negative buzz surrounding the iPad's release, some of the most vituperative came from Flash enthusiasts (with Adobe, natch, leading the charge) pissed that Uncle Steve's new toy — like all Macinstuff — was shut out from huge swaths of games, viral videos, and other Web content.

Surprisingly, Hulu — second only to the mighty YouTube in online video streaming — did not chime in with the chorus of naysayers.  According to industry-insider whispers, Hulu is looking for ways to make their content iPad-friendly.  (For the record, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar recently pussyfooted around the issue, although he is admittedly a big fan of mobile media viewing.)

The secret?  Hulu's actual video content is already in the H.264 standard — which Apple in general, and the iPad in particular, can digest just fine — while their playback software is all Flash-based.  So rather than converting their gazillion terabytes of movies, TV shows, and hilarious "we're an alien plot" commercials to a new format, all they need to do is cruft together a viewing module that's similarly iPad-friendly.  The main stumbling block here is that not only would the distinctive Hulu playback interface have to be rebuilt in HTML-5, but all the existing Flash-based advertisements, ad overlays, business logic, and underlying analytics would have to be recoded in Javascript.

So it wouldn't be an overnight fix to create an "iHulu" — but it's doable.  The more practical question is: unless the iPad is poised to become a major player in the portable-device market, is it worth Hulu's time and effort to become iPad friendly?

Sounds like a job for those pesky brain-slurping aliens who work there…

[Via TechCrunch]

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