LinHES Forums

Hulu performance -- any ideas?
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Author:  punditguy [ Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Hulu performance -- any ideas?

Phenom II X3 710
GeForce GT220
LinHES 6.04 and MythTV .24
12 Mbps broadband

So I've been trying to tweak settings to improve full-screen Hulu performance, which is currently choppy. (Audio is perfect but video skips way too many frames.) I've used both Firefox 5 at the Hulu site and Hulu Desktop, with the same results. With the popout window at the Hulu site, I can get the video to maybe 1/2-screen before things start to go south.

I've updated my NVIDIA driver, got the latest Flash, enabled hardware acceleration, reduced resolution before running Hulu Desktop, dropped the quality of the stream -- nothing works. I assumed something was seriously wrong with my machine, but then I tried a 1080p video at YouTube just for giggles.

Smooth as silk. Beautiful. So why can't I play a 480p or 720p Hulu video at anything near full screen without stuttering? Is anyone else getting poor performance, or anyone have any tips?

Author:  tjc [ Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:51 pm ]
Post subject: 

Check your networking.

I was having horrible problems with streaming playback recently which I tracked down to a damaged GigE switch. Doing a simple ping across the switch to the LinHES box was losing in the 1-10% range, but as packet size went up the % lost climbed too, at 1500 bytes it was nearly 50%, ... overall the % lost was roughly linear with packet size. My guess is that the "switch on a chip" inside had developed a memory fault and the packet loss occurred when the buffers hit the problem area.

Anyway, my experience while tracking this down and diagnosing it, was that some streaming providers deal with lost packets and retransmit requests better than others. Crunchyroll did pretty well, Youtube less so, Hulu ... forget it. If you lose enough packets they grind to a halt and all of them eventually give up.

So check your networking and look for packet loss and other errors. If you're trying to stream video those will kill you dead faster than you can say nak-retry.

Author:  punditguy [ Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

We had a power outage not too long ago, and when everything came back on my Hulu performance was perfect for a short while. So I think you're on to something.

I just installed the Flash 11 beta and it made Hulu perform more like YouTube. The video is smooth, but the quality isn't quite as high as it was. I'll live with that for now. Saves me from trying to diagnose all my network equipment.

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