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Wednesday, February 10, 2010, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)

Hulu to make videos available on iPad without Flash - rumor

Hulu is rumored to be working on an iPad-friendly version of its site which could be ready by the iPad's March launch date.

According to TechCrunch, popular video site Hulu is already at work developing a way to deliver its content to the iPad platform outside of its normal Flash-based site.

"The TV shows on Hulu would be perfect on the iPad. There is just one hitch: the iPad doesn’t support Flash, and all of Hulu’s videos currently run inside a Flash player," states TechCrunch

"But that could change by the time the iPad launches in March. One rumor I’ve heard from an industry insider is that Hulu is working on an iPad-friendly version of its site that should be ready by the time the iPad hits the market," continues TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld.

Whether or not the content would be delivered through a redesigned website or through an iPad-dedicated app (as YouTube has done) has not been determined.

The easiest way for Hulu to accomplish its iPad goal would be to use the YouTube iPhone model of opening a separate Quicktime player when a video is selected. To rewrite the Flash site on the other hand, would be difficult, says TechCrunch:

"Hulu’s familiar look and feel is all built into its custom Flash player. It would have to try to reproduce that as much as it can using HTML5, and it might not look as good. More importantly, all the ads that run on Hulu are designed for Flash, especially interactive ads like overlays. The ad code, business logic, and underlying analytics would all have to be rewritten for a Javascript player. Frankly, this is the biggest hurdle."

Apple's early iPad promotional images depicted the device as being able to play Flash content, a feature which was notably absent during Steve Jobs' introduction of the device in January.

While Adobe has pushed for years to have Flash on the iPhone since it launched, Apple has not relented. The company instead has encouraged a move to the HTML5 standard.

For more information on Apple and Flash, read AppleInsider's three-part Flash Wars series.