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Mac mini and HULU
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Kingteddybear
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Mac mini and HULU Reply with quote

Looking for comments from people using a Mac mini to display streamed video from NBC's www.hulu.com site. I am particularly interested in hearing from mini users that have tried the HD trailers from Hulu. While the mini should be fine with the SD content the HULU's HD content system spec's say a minimum of 64 Mb of VRAM is needed and I believe the current mini's share system ram for video.

I am thinking about picking up a mini to sit under the tv with a 1Tb drive full of ripped movies hooked to the firewire port and using the combo to drive the TV with streamed web content, and movies from the dive.

Thanks,
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johnzy9493
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:28 pm    Post subject: spotty Reply with quote

Very quick test:

1. Mini 1.83 core duo, 1 GB ram (connected DVI-to-HDMI to HDMI switch to Sony TV)
2. wireless connection to DSL via an airport express
3. launch safari, go to hulu.com, click HD Gallery, select Leatherheads trailer
4. Click full screen option, serious pausing occurs every 3-5 seconds but it looks GREAT. Like it needs to allow more to cache before starting to play. Is basically unwatchable.
5. Try in non-full-screen mode, same stutters.
6. Nothing else happening on my wireless network at the time as far as bandwidth, FYI.
7. Tried Horton hears a who trailer... same result.

For argument's sake, called up a Simpson's episode in normal def. Played at first with a little bit of pausing too but seemed to work itself out and was very watchable once it got past the commercial and into the episode.

I'm sure someone else can be more thorough but that's a quick take!

-johnzy
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Kingteddybear
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the test. One thing I did not mention in the op is the HD content needs a 2.5 Mbs or faster broadband connection. My DSL connection is 2.1 Mbs max and when I have tried with my iMac the flash player cannot buffer enough ahead to keep the image from pausing occasionally. Looks like I will have to change to a faster cable broadband connection.

Thanks again.
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MrBabou
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi! First post here...

I tried going on Hulu.com, but for some reason, the videos do not load. I did however go on the Apple site and downloaded an HD trailer. I tried a 1080p one, and it ran fine. HOWEVER, my LCD screen is not full HD, but 720p. So the 1080p video was overscanning in a major way, but was still fluid. When I viewed it Full screen (to fit the entire image on the screen), it was still fine. But I'm not certain if the fact that I have a 720p screen needs less CPU power or not.

I also tried a 720p video, and obviously ran fine as well.

I have a 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo, with 1Gb or RAM.
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johnzy9493
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:39 pm    Post subject: Bandwidth Reply with quote

Yep, if "HD content needs a 2.5 Mbs or faster broadband connection" then it follows that I'd have some hiccups. My broadband isn't very fast. Someone with the right specs will be more helpful, and/or if you know 2.1 is your max -- you'd need to get a better service.
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DavidBaker
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:05 am    Post subject: Hulu content plays fine for me Reply with quote

I have used Hulu a lot when it was in Beta on my 1.83 Core Duo Mini and it works great. Every once in a while I got a few second hang up when it came out of a commercial.

Since it went public I only watched one HD trailer, just to see what it looked like, and it worked fine.
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cmolway
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been watching Hulu on my 1.83 C2D mini since the early beta days. It worked fine with 1GB or ram (though I have since upgraded to 4GB). The content served up is normal def. That's fine as long as you aren't looking for HD. I hope hulu does more with their HD offerings. At the moment they only have trailers even though abc.com has full HD shows on their main site which is pretty weak.

As long as HD content is crippled on hulu, I will go elsewhere . It's too bad because I like the fact that you can now subscribe to shows, something beta testers clamored about.
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optikinescant
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is an old thread, but I just tried the HD Gallery on Hulu last night for the first time since I finally got an HDTV last week hooked up to it. I've been watching their SD with no problem for many many months. Anyhow, I fit the specs perfectly and go over in some regards and still have issues viewing. I honestly think its a cache/buffer issue as stated above. It seems like it's not letting enough of the video buffer and it just plays extremely jerky because of it. My mini is a 1.83 C2D, 2 GB RAM, on a 3.0mbps DSL line. I happen to be upgrading to 6.0mbps this week so I'll report back if for some odd reason the increased bandwidth fixes the streaming problem.
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ghostdawg
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just started watching Hulu recently myself with my HDTV, but since I only have 768k DSL speed, no need to try and watch HD channels. Watching SD, did have a few stutters but not too bad. The reason I watched Hulu last week was my cable was out for a few hours. Maybe it's time to upgrade on my speed! Confused
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optikinescant
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I hardly notice any stuttering at all with their SD content on my 3mbps. Though, in my experience I did notice I get better performance in Safari than Firefox for what it's worth. I think Safari either requires fewer resources or utilizes the Flash plugin a bit better...
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optikinescant
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so the line upgrade occurred last night and I got a chance to test out Hulu's HD Gallery again. It did play a little bit better, but it's still not acceptable. Now its not a start and stop stutter just a clunky very poor frame rate. Bummer. Hopefully they make some improvements to the player, because Vimeo uses flash video and their HD feeds seem to play just fine on the mini regardless of my different connection speeds.
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ghostdawg
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did try mine with FF, I think I will use Safari just to see how it goes, but my speed may be an issue.

Thnx.
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Squid
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mac plays Hulu HD fine. You can see my macs stats in my signature. I have a Comcast 6mbs connection.
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csixty4
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 1.8GHz CoreDuo Min handles Hulu just fine. It really depends on your bandwidth -- the Mini handles HD just fine.
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hjruiz
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am evaluating buying a G4 mini because of its price instead of an apple tv. Does it handle Hulu HD? I have 4 mb internet service.
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