Hulu / Media Center – Launch Hulu Desktop within Media Center / Integrate Hulu into Media Center

   Posted July 10, 2009 by Jimmy Selix in Windows

This recipe is for those of you who are using your pc or laptop as a htpc or just like using Media Center for your media playback needs.  Most people do not realize it but any PC running Vista Home Premium already has Media Center built-in.

Recently, Hulu launched a desktop client that made watching Hulu on a HDTV a lot easier.  Windows Media Center remotes work just fine in the desktop client and is very easy to navigate using either a remote or even gamepad.

However, if your using your laptop/desktop as a HTPC, you prob would like to have easy access to launch the Hulu Desktop client.  This recipe will explain how to use a very useful application to do this (original created by mikinho, updated by chad dyess).  This will basically give you Hulu in Media Center (or the closest you can get for now until its natively supported by microsoft).  Top this off w/the new Netflix addition and Windows Media Center sure got a boost of online content!

1. Install the Hulu Desktop client.  You can get it here:

2. Download and install Chad Dyess’ modified Media Center Launcher Configuration Utility over here:

3. Run the Media Center Launcher Configuration Utilty by going to your Start Menu (no desktop shortcut is created).

4.  On the configuation screen, click the folder icon to browse for the huludesktop.exe file.  By default it installs to the C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Local\HuluDesktop\ area.  Click on the Huludesktop.exe and hit Ok.

The second field: Image Path for Icon, is optional. I downloaded a square Hulu logo from Hulu’s presskit and put it in the same folder as my huludesktop.exe file and then browsed to it and selected it.

The third field is the name you want the shortcut/icon in Media Center to show.

The fourth field is the description you want to show when you hit More Info.  Optional

The fifth field is the GUID for the application, you can use the default or genereate a new one by clicking on the button to the right.

Finally, the sixth field/dropdown lets us choose where the shortcut/icon will be placed in Media Center. I prefer the TV + Movies area.

5. Now click on Register.   Let the tool work (should be fairly fast) and once its done it will pop a confirmation and click on the OK.

6. Now go into Media Center and notice your Hulu shortcut/icon.  Clicking it will launch the hulu desktop client.  Once you exit out of the Hulu Desktop client, it will bring you back to Media Center! 🙂

This tool can be used for basicallly any other application you may want to launch from within the Media Center GUI 🙂

The nice thing about this is that Hulu’s client is optimized for HDTVs and in turn most mce remotes will work fine in the hulu desktop client. enjoy!


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
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  • jimmyselix


    works fine on Vista Media Center.

    In Windows 7, you may need to run the Media Center Launcher Configuation program as the administrator and uncheck the create a restoration point option.

    Also, the area you choose to save the shortcut to DOES NOT work in Windows7; it will default to Internet TV area no matter what.

    XP Media Center is untested so far.

  • Anonymous

    will this work inside of xbox 360’s MC?

    • jimmyselix

      unfortunately not. this recipe just lets you access Hulu Desktop (basically just opening the application) from Media Center. The program still runs as a standalone program. 🙁

      we can keep hoping microsoft adds it into Win7 eventually 🙂

  • firewalker

    Thanks for the step by step. I just installed it, but in Windows Media Center it put the shortcut into the extras library. Works great, but my Xbox360 won’t even show the extras while running media center so I’ve got to find another way to use Hulu with it.

  • Anonymous

    I also did the step by step hoping that I could see hulu through my xbox 360. I have had no luck… Its almost like the 360 sees an original version of the Media Center before the modification of it on my laptop (running Vista). This confuses me. Is the xbox storing a copy of media center when it was origally networked (before this modification on my pc)?

  • Guest

    Yes, it “brings you back to media center”… but it’s pretty buggy.

    -You have to pause what you’re watching in Media Center, then go to Hulu.
    -It doesn’t bring you back to Media Center in full screen.
    -You can’t use the pause/play buttons, since Media Center has focus on those

    Really buggy, wish there was another solution out there.

  • Anonymous

    Dose any one know how to make it work with Xbox using Windows 7

  • Crazyqasmi101

    Thanks it works but it doesn’t work it extenders

  • Lee

    The Hulu app showed up on the latest xbox OS (1/23/2012). I thought I outsmarted the system at first, but the moment I select HULU from the XBOX it gave me a message saying my “xbox has disconnected. would you like to reconnect”. It did the same thing each of the 1000 times I tried it. Hope there is a workaround around the roundabout.

  • raul

    Hi, I would appreciate if you can help me. I have a labtop with Windows Vista. I am watching Hulu streaming, I subscribed for the Hulu plus so that I can see HD quality. Everything working fine, I am happy with the quality except that when there is an action scene the sequence gets blurry/weird. Is it because I have Vista? The requirements say you need a minimum of Windows XP. Is there anything I can do?