Thanks to its heavy reliance on behind-the-scenes Flash coding, video site Hulu continues to be MIA on Apple platforms. This despite YouTube and Vimeo rolling out H.264-compliant playback capabilities in time for the iPad's public debut — and Apple continuing to preach The Gospel According To Steve, i.e. "there's nothing Flash can do that HTML5 can't do just as well."
To which Hulu VP Eugene Wei replies "bull." In a blog post discussing overall improvements to the site, Wei declared point-blank that HTML5 in its current incarnation can't handle Hulu's very specific requirements:
We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn't yet meet all of our customers' needs. Our player doesn't just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren't necessarily visible to the end user. Not all video sites have these needs, but for our business these are all important and often contractual requirements.
(And when Wei says "secure the content" — yeah, he's talking DRM, to prevent web surfers from [easily] right-clicking and saving the streamed video content. That's something HTML5 absolutely, positively, does not currently do.)
Interestingly, Wei's original post has since been pulled. But the message is clear: Hulu is not coming to Safari browsers any time soon. And the need for Flash code support on Apple platforms is still there.