Hillcrest Labs has created some new features for its Kylo Web browser, which consumers can use to view Web-based content on their TVs. The new features include improved support for viewing content on video-specific sites such as Hulu.
Kylo runs on a PC connected to a TV. The latest version (Beta 0.7) allows users to launch Kylo from a plug-in created for Windows Media Center, to hide Kylo's control bar and keyboard, and to configure Kylo's settings in order to access website pages designed for other hardware platforms. Other new features include enhanced zooming and the ability to print from a TV screen.
The marquee feature this time around appears to be a domain-specific user agent string setting. The ability to change the user agent string used by Kylo using the application's new settings can improve compatibility with some websites like Hulu and can enable Kylo users to view sites that are designed for other platforms like the Apple iPad, Nintendo Wii or Sony PlayStation.
Dan Simpkins, founder and CEO of Hillcrest Labs, said: “We know that one feature that is likely to attract attention is the capability for advanced users to configure the Kylo browser to access Hulu. It remains our position that Kylo is simply a Web browser based on open-source Mozilla code, like Firefox.
“We fully respect the rights of content owners and aggregators,” Simpkins continued, “and as such, we do not deep link, re-index, divert users past ads or overlay different user interfaces on video players. However, we believe consumers should be able to use the Kylo browser to visit any site on the Web on the display screen of their choice. Our hope is that a respectful dialog with Hulu will encourage them to consider changing their policies.”
That last comment is apparently a reference to Hulu’s decision to disallow anyone other than its business partners to embed Hulu-based video in their Web pages.
Hillcrest Labs also said it is cutting the price of its Loop pointer in half, to $49, from now through June 11. The Loop acts as a remote control/mouse.