Over at last100, a guest post by Muhammad Saleem (this is a well-known dude on digg, etc) mentions that with Hulu rising in popularity, people were falling over themselves to get an invite. Supposedly, Hulu is a "highly exclusive closed" private beta that is open to only select individuals.
Highly Exclusive? O Rly?Like several others, I found this mildly amusing and surprising, since I received an invite 2 weeks back. While it's true that Hulu hasn't opened its doors to everyone, it wasn't terribly difficult to gain access. Here's what I did - enter my email address at Hulu and wait patiently for my invite. Was that really so hard?
OPENhulu - Hulu for everyone?But we live in an era where we're pampered with instant gratification. Hence the post introduces someone named Matt, who came up with the bright idea of embedding Hulu videos on a site he created - you've guessed it - OPENhulu. By embedding the Hulu videos into the site, OPENhulu bypasses one aspect of Hulu's artificial limitations - the invite only requirement.
Nope...However, that is about the only limitation that OPENhulu circumvents. If you're located outside the US, videos will still refuse to stream for you, leaving you with a nice message that reads "this video is not currently available in your country or region". I'm sure you should know by now that US ≠ world and OPENhulu is sadly only open to US folks.
What about US visitors that haven't gotten the memo? Well, the problem with OPENhulu is that only select TV series have been embedded. And by that, I mean a very small handful. 5 - 10% perhaps. So you can't actually watch everything Hulu has to offer on OPENhulu.
The alternative techniquesWhen Hulu first launched, I blogged about different methods for bypassing Hulu's closed wall. One of them uses a variation of this embed hack and allows you to watch the videos in full screen. However, these videos have no titles, which is a major inconvenience.
The other workaround is to view them on AOL or MSN. I believe that the full hulu collection is available on these partner sites. Unfortunately, you'll still need to be located in the US to view them.