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Kylo and the Loop

Kylo and the Loop

Walt Mossberg from The Wall Street Journal takes a look at a new Web platform for Web-to-TV streaming: Kylo. The makers of Kylo have also developed a handheld remote control, called the Loop. Think of this like Boxee but instead of the box, you’re still using your computer but now have a friendly controller for navigation. While these new services impress Mossberg, he still has reservations:

I’ve been testing Kylo and the Loop, and they do work well together. Using an Apple Mac Mini and a Toshiba Satellite laptop plugged into my large flat-panel TV, I was able to sit across my family room and wield the two Hillcrest products to watch videos from all over the Web. I also used the Loop by itself to run other computer programs on the TV screen, including Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.

But both products have enough rough edges and missing features that I consider them promising advances in solving computer-to-TV issues, rather than polished solutions.

I’ll get to some of these downsides in a bit, but I want to mention one right away. Hulu, one of the most popular video sites on the Web, blocks Kylo users from viewing its content. This isn’t Hillcrest’s fault, but it does reduce Kylo’s usefulness.

Kylo is fully capable of displaying Hulu’s TV shows and movies. But, just as little Hillcrest was about to unveil the new browser, Hulu cut off access for Kylo users. Hulu explains that it did this because under its agreements with its media-company partners and investors (including News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal and its Web sites) it is intended for streaming TV shows and movies to computer screens, not TV screens. This is because the media companies don’t want free computer-to-TV streaming to compete too much with cable and satellite providers, which are major sources of revenue for them.

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