Hulu Plus is now streaming to the 7-inch Sony Dash. Yeah, I’m somewhat surprised too. But it somewhat makes sense for both products when you get down to it.
Sony wants to build up a rich application suite for the Dash. Throw in a little something for everyone if you will. It’s marketed as a desktop widget device — or something like that. Most owners who keep their Dashes on bedside tables might not want to stream Hulu when they probably have a TV in the bedroom. But think about those Dash units that are sitting on desks. Netflix and Amazon VOD already streams content to the device. Now Hulu Plus is available as well, giving owners more options and choices.
But the move to bring Hulu Plus to the Sony Dash is more significant for Hulu than Sony.
Hulu, backed by various media companies and networks, is under fire as of late for blocking their full website on certain devices like the Google TV, Android, and probably the Boxee Box. It needs to show CE makers that there’s a viable alternative and the $10 a month Hulu Plus is scalable, workable solution that doesn’t require any special hardware. Putting the service in the little $169 Sony Dash Personal Internet Viewer does just that. If nothing else, it’s a proof of concept and a marketing tool for Hulu in the same way getting Netflix on various platforms was for that service a couple years ago.
It’s just a shame that the Internet cannot be the Internet no matter what device dials up the webpage. Right now in 2010, there’s a clear line between computer and Internet streamer, but said line will blur and nearly dissapear over the next year. Media companies won’t change their ways. Why would they ignore new revenue streams. Instead, consumers will end up either giving up and paying for content that was previously free or turn to the shady side of the Internet and start downloading illegally.