We've all glommed on to the idea of HTML5 saving streaming video and everything else in the world. But Hulu VP Eugene Wei recently went on record citing why HTML5 can't handle Hulu's current needs.
As part of a larger post on Hulu improvements, he posted this "aside" on HTML5:
We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn't yet meet all of our customers' needs. Our player doesn't just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren't necessarily visible to the end user. Not all video sites have these needs, but for our business these are all important and often contractual requirements.
That's not to say these features won't be added to HTML5 in the future (or be easier to implement). Technology is a fast-moving space and we're constantly evaluating which tools will best allow us to fulfill our mission for as many of our customers as possible.
Reading between the lines, you'll note that DRM is a big piece of the problem—HTML5 doesn't support it. And while it's in consumers' nature to hate DRM, you have to understand where Hulu is coming from. If you could right click to save any Hulu-distributed show, Hulu's whole business would come crumbling down. Aside from destroying their advertising model, no studios would agree to their distribution.
For some reason, Hulu's post seems to have been pulled, but you can read the cached version here. [Hulu (cached) via NewTeeVee]