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Smooth Hulu? What can your GFX card do? - Page 4

post #91 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Something has happened. I don't know what but things went from bad to worse for IE 8. It got to the point that Hulu wouldn't play at all under Flash 9. I upgraded to 10 it started to work.

Mike
post #92 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_Tech View Post

This is not a hardware issue, it is a browser issue. Firefox won't play a video smoothly to save its life. Google chrome is fine.


Its not a browser issue either. I have been using Firefox to play Hulu since its inception and it works just fine.
post #93 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by av.pallino View Post

Haven't used Windows 7, so I am not sure. However, in my case switching back to IE or Firefox after experiencing Safari for Hulu is impossible. Chrome is equally good however I prefer Safari because with other streaming sites (i.e. International satellite TV sites like Delicast) where I need to open up Windows Media Player Chrome throws up this dialog where I have to approve the action, no way to turn it off. With Safari I not only can turn off the dialog, but also turn off the Google ads, which again I can't with Chrome.

Based on 2 HTPC set ups at my home and others I believe the browser is a big factor for Hulu. IE is not the best choice and Firefox is just OK unless you have a fantastic CPU in there. On a Sony RT series, even IE will fly

Using System 7 and XP with Firefox and Explorer. No problems.
post #94 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackintire View Post

By all the posts I've read here, it does seem to be a CPU issue.

I was under the assumption that Hulu uses either H.263 or H.264 encoding tied to a flash browser plugin.

H.263 will stutter on ANYTHING under a Pentium 4 3.0Ghz without Video card assist.

There are quite a few H.263 and H.264 codecs out there so without knowing CPU type and clock speed, video card, driver version and the Codec being used for the actual decode you will likely never figure out where the threshhold of smooth playback begins.

I can tell you that both of my computers have no issues with Hulu playback.

Both my desktop and my laptops are beasts CPU wise.

But my office computer is ONLY a 2.8Ghz Pentium Dual core with a Geforece 6600 GT card. I do run a very clean system and watch Hulu using the Opera web browser! I only install the Codecs I need and nothing more.

VC-1, MPEG4 adv, H.263, H.264 are all higher CPU load or GPU assist codecs used for high definition content.

With Great video card assist you can watch any of these. For example the Nvidia ION platform, aka the netbook chipset coming out in the next month or two. Without GPU assist you will need a 2.2Ghz Core 2 duo in the 5000 series.

In short, NORMALLY its NOT a one part answer, its a sum of parts doing the job together.

But in this case it DOES seem like Hulu's plugin is completely or mostly software driven

I don't have any issues with Hulu playback except at certain times of night.
I had and have a very mediocre ATI video card 1550 and a 3000 series with hardware assist although I doubt Hulu uses it. My CPU is bottom of the line dual core BE2300 which I think is only 1.8ghz and I have used it with a low level Pentium 4 single slower than that. Hulu has always played fine for me. I can even play their super HD content.
post #95 of 213
I notice a difference when you pop out the video. The pop out seems smoother. I have a dual core 5000 with a 8800gt card.
post #96 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitdawg View Post

I've had a recent (last day or so) issue with HULU playback in IE. I use secondrun tv and I tried the UK flavor as VMC plugins (which utilize IE). The video is choppy at either resolution, either in VMC or IE alone. In FF or Chrome, playback is great. The netflix plugin is working just fine in IE, so I am really clueless on this one!

Even on other PCs in my house...same deal...IE confusion. I wouldn't mind, but I need IE to work in VMC.

I too have a very recent problem with choppy video in Internet Explorer. It has been fine for months, but as of Sunday 4/5/2009 playback in IE is very choppy and unwatchable.

Pop-Out from IE plays smoothly in both windowed and full screen modes. Switching to Firefox also plays smoothly in all modes. But playback in the main IE window is choppy, and full-screening the main IE window is choppy.

FYI had installed SecondRun beta a month ago but I haven't used it for a few weeks. I uninstalled it after the choppy issue appeared but that didn't fix anything, and I think it's probably unrelated.

I am using IE7 on Vista Home Premium.
post #97 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by sggoodri View Post

.

Pop-Out from IE plays smoothly in both windowed and full screen modes. Switching to Firefox also plays smoothly in all modes. But playback in the main IE window is choppy, and full-screening the main IE window is choppy.

I have the same results as you, IE7 choppy playback in fullscreen. Firefox played smoothly in fullscreen. Definately something within IE7 is causing many of us the choppyness issue.
post #98 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atomiccow View Post

I don't have any issues with Hulu playback except at certain times of night.
I had and have a very mediocre ATI video card 1550 and a 3000 series with hardware assist although I doubt Hulu uses it. My CPU is bottom of the line dual core BE2300 which I think is only 1.8ghz and I have used it with a low level Pentium 4 single slower than that. Hulu has always played fine for me. I can even play their super HD content.

at what resolution/color depth?
Also what type of internet connection are you using?
post #99 of 213
I want to add my own observations here. Just recently I upgraded my PC from XP Pro to Vista Ultimate (clean install). The hardware is still the same. On XP, I managed to watch Hulu Hi-Res streams without much stutter in both FF3 and IE7. Since I installed Vista, the quality has severely dropped. No matter whether it's Std-Res or Hi-Res, the video is stuttering and smearing, both on FF3 and IE7.

My graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT (latest drivers). My CPU is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+. My screen is a Sony KDS-60A3000 RPTV with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. but even on my smaller LCD screen it is stuttering a lot more than what I saw in XP.

Can anyone take a guess as to why Hulu works better in XP than in Vista?
post #100 of 213
Don't know, but I'm seeing the same on my machine. It's not the CPU (quad core Q9450), and my network is not anywhere near saturation, which tells me it's either something on the external network (Cox Cable), Hulu itself, or the GPU (Nvidia 9400 IGP). Or the software associated with it. I'll try Firefox and Chrome to see if there is an improvement. Seems to me that XP worked, but I don't recall specifically. Clearly Vista 32 does not right now, for me.
post #101 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibael View Post

[...] which tells me it's either something on the external network (Cox Cable), Hulu itself, or the GPU (Nvidia 9400 IGP). Or the software associated with it.

It's relatively straightforward to determine if your Internet provider is the issue. Pause the video and wait until the buffer is completely full. If it still stutters (like it does for me in Vista 32 but not in XP), then it's definitely not the network.
post #102 of 213
amd 3.0ghz
9600gt

Runs smooth even the hd under 40% cpu.
post #103 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannondale0815 View Post

I want to add my own observations here. Just recently I upgraded my PC from XP Pro to Vista Ultimate (clean install). The hardware is still the same. On XP, I managed to watch Hulu Hi-Res streams without much stutter in both FF3 and IE7. Since I installed Vista, the quality has severely dropped. No matter whether it's Std-Res or Hi-Res, the video is stuttering and smearing, both on FF3 and IE7.

Responding to my own question, I actually just gave Chrome a try, based on its frequent mention in this thread, and to my surprise, Hulu works much better with Chrome than with IE or FF. The stutter isn't completely gone, but it's a lot less noticeable.
post #104 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannondale0815 View Post

It's relatively straightforward to determine if your Internet provider is the issue. Pause the video and wait until the buffer is completely full. If it still stutters (like it does for me in Vista 32 but not in XP), then it's definitely not the network.

Are we sure that there doesn't need to be any communication with Hulu while playing buffered video? Like some kind of DRM or the way that javascript encryption works?
post #105 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaMike View Post

at what resolution/color depth?
Also what type of internet connection are you using?

1080i millions of colors in my theater. In my bedroom its 1370x720 at millions of colors. I think the main reason I have success is I use Time Warner Cable. Its a speedy connection. I almost always use Firefox. I never use pop up. I play full screen 80 percent of the time. I only seem to be susceptible to slowdowns from 8PM PST and 10PM. Which makes sense to me since these are probably high load periods at Hulu. I have had slowdowns at other times but they are rare and temporary.

The bedroom and the theater used to be almost identical except the bedroom had the slower P4. Now the theater has an AMD 5600 and an ATI 3650. But it performs no better than it did with the BE-2300 1.8GHZ and ATI 1550 card. I have always been able to play Hulu super high def with the lower end hardware.
I am using both XP and System 7.

I thought I didn't really get any stuttering, but I just watched a little Arrested Development at 420 guess I do get some. I guess I don't notice it much because it doesn't affect the audio.

Just so everyone doesn't hate me for well functioning Hulu. I have Blu Ray configuration problems that compensate for any blessings I'm getting.
post #106 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atomiccow View Post

1080i millions of colors in my theater. In my bedroom its 1370x720 at millions of colors. I think the main reason I have success is I use Time Warner Cable. Its a speedy connection. I almost always use Firefox. I never use pop up. I play full screen 80 percent of the time. I only seem to be susceptible to slowdowns from 8PM PST and 10PM. Which makes sense to me since these are probably high load periods at Hulu. I have had slowdowns at other times but they are rare and temporary.

The bedroom and the theater used to be almost identical except the bedroom had the slower P4. Now the theater has an AMD 5600 and an ATI 3650. But it performs no better than it did with the BE-2300 1.8GHZ and ATI 1550 card. I have always been able to play Hulu super high def with the lower end hardware.
I am using both XP and System 7.

I thought I didn't really get any stuttering, but I just watched a little Arrested Development at 420 guess I do get some. I guess I don't notice it much because it doesn't affect the audio.

Just so everyone doesn't hate me for well functioning Hulu. I have Blu Ray configuration problems that compensate for any blessings I'm getting.

It's not hate, it's just wanting to know what's causing the difference. I think contributing factors have been identified, but the root cause hasn't.

I'm starting to think it might be a load balancing issue. Depending on where you are in the network, you may have access to a Hulu server that has better capacity than a different location.

Who knows?

Mike
post #107 of 213
Thank you av.pallino

Your suggestion of using Safari cured my Hulu stutter. I have a recent Lenovo Ideapad Y530 with an Intel T3200 2.0Ghz dual pentium processor. The laptop was under $500 so I did not expect much. It handles ABC content just fine in IE. But Hulu was very bad in IE a bit better in Firefox and just fine in Safari. I am also using a trick that I don't remember seeing on this thread. I am sending a 1280x720 signal to my 1920x1080 LCD TV. The TV does the scaling from 1280x720 to full screen with no problem. It even allows the 720 signal to be scaled without overscan. This also has the advantage of making all of the text much easier to see from my setting position.

Thanks again

LeRoy
post #108 of 213
Hulu works fine for me in IE7 or FF. I'm using a 9600GT outputting to a 1080p screen. All on xp pro. If your computer is having trouble scaling it to 1080, it is probably better to let the tv scale it. Since the best hulu res is 480p, it doesn't really matter. Very odd that some people with decent computer hardware are having such problems. My old Athlon 3800x2 with a nvivia 6800 agp card played hulu just fine. BTW, I doubt that internet speed is a factor for most people since I am using 3MB dsl and the only slow down is when it is buffering.
post #109 of 213
Thread Starter 
I found that after running either secondrun.tv or tunerFree MCE my regular video playback will stutter!

The CPU utilization is low, but the stutter is definate. There must be something that's being loaded with either one of these two HULU apps. are run. Anyone have a clue what they load that could cause stutter in another app.?

I can remedy my stutter in regular video playback by rebooting and not running Secondrun.tv or TunerFree MCE.

Mike
post #110 of 213
for those having stutter issues... have any of you tried uninstalling IE?

http://www.ghacks.net/2009/04/13/uni...et-explorer-8/

What will Media center do if that happens?
post #111 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 View Post

for those having stutter issues... have any of you tried uninstalling IE?

http://www.ghacks.net/2009/04/13/uni...et-explorer-8/

What will Media center do if that happens?

Haven't tried, but my guess is any ie related MC functionality will not work. I haven't found anywhere you can assign a different browser to MC.

Mike
post #112 of 213
Same problems.

Hulu us unwatchable using IE7 and IE8 on Vista Ultimate. I have been going nuts, ripping my ahir out trying to make it work. My other two computers (running XP and MacOS respectively) have no trouble even when done of wireless (on the laptop)

As soon as I try IE7 (then i Upgraded to IE8 in hopes it would fix it), it becomes unwatchable and stutters.

So, for kicks i installed Chrome last night and it works perfectly... Smooth as Silk, and I watched 3 hours of TV in 480p....

Has anyone out there had any luck solving this? I too run into the Secondrun.TV problem since I cannot assign a different browser to VMC.

-maltice
post #113 of 213
Hi all, thanks for all the good reading. I was running an old athlon 2100+ and a 64m agp video card which left full screen hulu basically useless. after reading this thread and others I have upgraded to 780g board with amd 5050e processer and 4gb ddr 800 ram with 256 shared for video. using screen resolution of 1280x720 output thru hdmi i can now view hulu full screen on my 42" lcd tv, smooth as butter. with about 30% cpu usage per core. at 1920x1080 still smooth but about 60% cpu usage. video and stereo audio good via hdmi. Using firefox and all latest drivers. No idea how gaming might be as this is htpc only.

gigabyte ma78gm-us2h motherboard, onboard graphics 256mb shared
amd 5050e 45w processor
4gb corsair ddr800 ram
350w enermax ps
clean install xp 64
80 gb ide hard drive
dsl speedtest.net 1.32 mbps
post #114 of 213
We have a Dell 400sc (2.4ghz P4, 1M, X800 Pro, XP, Firefox) that I've been experimenting with running fullscreen 480p Hulu on a 50" Sony LCD. It's worked better than I expected at 1280x720 with only some choppiness and the occasional pausing for buffering. The processor runs near 100% almost constantly and you can see it top out at 100% when there is alot of movement on the screen. It's unwatchable at 1920x1080.

I threw money at the problem and got a new Dell machine (Core-i7 920, 4M, 4850, Vista) and figured I'd post a comparison.

It's interesting that hulu in IE was really choppy on this machine straight out of the box. 360/480 didn't matter. Fullscreen or windowed didn't matter either, it still ran like crap windowed. I've tried a bunch of things since and haven't been able to get it to play right in IE at all on this thing.

Installing FF was a huge improvement. Upgrading to the latest flash player seemed to help a little. Right now it runs pretty smooth at 480p 1280x720 and only slightly choppy at 1920x1080. The processor is running at roughly 20% across all 8 cores, so whatever is causing the current chop isn't likely processor related.

Some things I have yet to experiment with:
Hardware acceleration
Checking for latest video card drivers
Video card settings
FF cache

I'm not sure what's limiting the performance now. It's not processor. The 4850 should be more than enough video card. I'd point the finger at inet bandwidth, but if that was the case it would run fine buffered. Thoughts?
post #115 of 213
Sounds like a software problem- your hardware is way, way more than adequate. Make sure you have vid accel enabled and definitely get the latest drivers for the vid card. Try going to Fox.com and downloading the browser plugin for their HD content. It is their own player, but uses flash. My HTPC just downloaded a flash update tonight, so see if that helps. I think ABC uses their own flash player as well, so you might try installing that plugin as well. I've found that there is no difference between IE7 and FF in term of performance for me, so you might try both and see.
post #116 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9volt View Post

We have a Dell 400sc (2.4ghz P4, 1M, X800 Pro, XP, Firefox) that I've been experimenting with running fullscreen 480p Hulu on a 50" Sony LCD. It's worked better than I expected at 1280x720 with only some choppiness and the occasional pausing for buffering. The processor runs near 100% almost constantly and you can see it top out at 100% when there is alot of movement on the screen. It's unwatchable at 1920x1080.

I threw money at the problem and got a new Dell machine (Core-i7 920, 4M, 4850, Vista) and figured I'd post a comparison.

It's interesting that hulu in IE was really choppy on this machine straight out of the box. 360/480 didn't matter. Fullscreen or windowed didn't matter either, it still ran like crap windowed. I've tried a bunch of things since and haven't been able to get it to play right in IE at all on this thing.

Installing FF was a huge improvement. Upgrading to the latest flash player seemed to help a little. Right now it runs pretty smooth at 480p 1280x720 and only slightly choppy at 1920x1080. The processor is running at roughly 20% across all 8 cores, so whatever is causing the current chop isn't likely processor related.

Some things I have yet to experiment with:
Hardware acceleration
Checking for latest video card drivers
Video card settings
FF cache

I'm not sure what's limiting the performance now. It's not processor. The 4850 should be more than enough video card. I'd point the finger at inet bandwidth, but if that was the case it would run fine buffered. Thoughts?

Welcome to the club. This is still a mystery to me. I haven't had any luck finding an answer. One thing you might try is making sure your PC isn't taking any "power saving" measures.

It didn't help me, but it's worth a shot. aside from that video drivers and server/network issues might be the cause. But then, you'd think buffering the video would take care of that, but no dice.

I only really suffer from the stutter on video pans. You can see a lot of those if you watch any house hunters, it's a good benchmark for stutter.
post #117 of 213
thanks for google chrome suggestion in this thread. now my 4 years old amd athlon can now play 480p hulu smoothly.
post #118 of 213
Thanks for all the great info everyone. I am running OS X 10.5.7 on a Mac Mini 1.47Ghz. I use to run Hulu flawlessly (except when time machine was running in background), but in the past couple of months, I've been having this issue with Hulu and CBS.com. I can start a show from the beginning and it runs perfect with no choppiness at the beginning. Once it goes to the first commercial, it comes back to the show and it gets choppy. It won't build up any buffer, and the network speed drops from 150KB/s to 15-25KB/s.

What's worse is that the network never goes back up to the 150 mark, until I click in the timeline and either move forward or backward a few seconds in the show. It then seems to reset and the network speed bumps back up and starts to buffer and play with no interruption (until the next commercial that is). Once in a while I'll get thru a whole show without this problem, but not often anymore.

I thought this was an issue with RealPlayer after reading some threads. I reinstalled OS X last night and installed all updates, played Hulu today, and problem persists. I don't know if this is a Hulu problem, browser issue, hardware issue, or network problem.

I'm running Firefox and Safari. Same issue on both browsers. I have not tried Google Chrome, but will try that tonight.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
post #119 of 213
i mainly watch hulu in a program called secondrun.tv (an add-in for vista media center) . and then its generalyl the daily show every day, usually the same time.

some days the content is fine, others its slightly choppy. Im leaning toward this being a network problem as it appears to be happening cross browsers and hardware, and isps.

the servers hosting the content are the ONLY constant in this whole equation.
post #120 of 213
with all of the talk about hulu i checked it out today and signed up.

i didn't have any issues playing any hd content in full screen via internet explorer 8. this is with:

amd athlon 7750 kuma core
asus m3a78-em 780g mobo using the oboard hd 3200 gfx @ 256mb
using 47" toshiba connected via hdmi @ 1080p

however, i am disappointed with hulu. after all of this discussion i was expecting much more hd content than is available. they only had 5 shows available.

also, the shows (including hd) are in analog stereo. again disappointing.

i guess that i am spoiled. i don't see the big deal and i am not impressed......
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