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Hulu May Be Coming To iPhone

The popular video-streaming site reportedly will enable iPhone users to watch shows over Wi-Fi and 3G networks.
Hulu.com is working on bringing its television-streaming service to the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch, according to a report from Silicon Alley Insider.

The app reportedly will be in the App Store within a few months, and it will enable mobile users to watch TV shows and movies over Wi-Fi and 3G. The app will only work when the user has a steady mobile Internet connection, and it probably won't work over an EDGE connection because of bandwidth needs. Representatives from Hulu and Apple did not respond to press inquiries for comment as of publication time.

While there are already video-streaming iPhone apps from Joost and TV.com, neither is as popular as Hulu. The Web site offers a large catalogue of current and classic TV shows from Fox and NBC, and it's reportedly in negotiations to get content from ABC and ESPN. Hulu has been immensely popular with viewers and advertisers, and it continues to see strong growth thanks in part to a multimillion-dollar ad campaign.

As more and more users surf the Web from their mobile handsets, sites like Hulu will inevitably try to capitalize by providing shows and ads on the go. The iPhone is an especially attractive mobile platform because its users have downloaded nearly 1 billion apps in less than a year, and they tend to use more mobile data than other smartphone users.

There are a few technical hurdles, as Hulu's Web site uses Adobe's Flash technology and the iPhone platform does not support this. This can be overcome, though, as YouTube is also a Flash-heavy site but the iPhone is able to decode its videos through with a dedicated app.

Additionally, the upcoming iPhone 3.0 software may make a Hulu app easier because it will offer developers a plethora of new tools. The updated software will enable developers to create apps that stream video through HTML5, which could help ease bandwidth needs.

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