Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hulu Plus for iOS TV Output (workaround)

Note: This is for those of you who are somewhat technically-savvy and have a clue as to what I'm referring to here. If you don't, I wouldn't attempt these instructions as they are somewhat involved and I don't have time to explain the details that are not in this post.

I just thought I'd share a workaround I found for playing Hulu Plus through the tv-out adapter on iOS devices such as iPhone and iPad with Apple's HDMI connector... should work on any iDevice, honestly. Those of you with jail-broken iPhones and the right software can probably even make this work on older devices/unsupported output cables.

Why am I posting this? Because when Hulu updated to 2.3 they removed a feature that already existed: tv-out. This is probably related to some backwards licensing agreement that helps pay lawyers while being unhelpful for everyone else. Either way, the fact is that you can already output from your computer to your television... so theoretically, this isn't much different

Now, for getting around this restriction (when you hook up a tv-adapter while playing Hulu a message pops up on screen instead of your video letting you know it's not supported), just follow these instructions:

1. Launch Hulu and select a video... leave Hulu and perform following steps...

2. Get filesystem access to your device... this is outside the scope of these instructions. There are numerous different ways to accomplish this. You don't need to write to disk either, all you need is to be able to read the file in step #4.

3. Browse to the /var/mobile/Applications/[some unique identifier for your hulu app]/tmp/MediaCache/ folder.

4. Open diskcacherepository.plist using a text editor, or optionally a plist editor and copy/paste the last URL (as you click on additional videos, they are added below the previous ones, if my observation is correct)  in the middle of the XML/plist code from the file into Safari. You'll need the entire string between the <key> and </key> tags.

5. After pasting into mobile Safari, hit enter and Quicktime will launch to play the file normally. You can click to expand the video if you have it connected to a tv and it will switch to TV-output mode.