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Hulu Support is also on Twitter. Following Hulu Support is a good idea for those who rely on the service. Keep in mind, companies aren’t always forthright about their mistakes and flaws. You can Tweet their support account if you are having problems. Most likely, other people will be doing the same if the problem is widespread. Make sure that you have ruled out your Internet connection as an issue. Hulu Support can’t do anything about that.
If all else fails, you can call Hulu customer support at 1-877-HULU-411. They can be reached on weekdays from 5AM – 10PM PST and from 6AM – 10PM PST on weekends. You can also send them a message via the website if the issue isn’t urgent.
Turn Off WiFi on Other Devices
If you own a lot of devices, such as tablets and smartphones, these can hog Internet bandwidth. Even if you have fine-tuned notifications, you will notice your smartphone is using the Internet even when you are not using it. iOS devices will sometimes download software updates in the background. I noticed a drop in Hulu Plus quality, and shortly after, a notification popped up on my iPad. Then it went back to normal. The network overhead involved in sending even small amounts of data can decrease Hulu Plus streaming performance — it all depends on how much bandwidth you have to spare.
If you are having problems with Hulu Plus streaming, try turning off the WiFi on your devices. If you own an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, this can be done by tapping Settings > WiFi, then turn WiFi off. If possible, shut down any computers that are running. If your Apple TV is the only device on your WiFi network, you will enjoy a better Hulu Plus streaming experience.
No Picture Quality Settings
Unlike Netflix, Hulu Plus does not offer the ability to limit streaming bandwidth or adjust picture quality. You can only adjust picture quality for their web-based player. This can be done by clicking on your user name on the top right of the web page. Next, click “accounts” on the panel that slides out. After providing your password, you can change the web player’s video quality on the Privacy & Settings tab. Once again, this only changes video quality for the web-based player, not your Apple TV.
If you have bandwidth limitations, Hulu Plus on the web could be a possible solution. You can adjust Hulu Plus picture quality for the web player, then play video on your computer. Using AirPlay screen mirroring or an application such as AirParrot, you can beam Hulu Plus onto your Apple TV. You can even use an iPad or iPhone to remote control the whole setup. Check out this article for more information.
Adjust Apple TV Video Quality
It is possible to change Apple TV’s resolution settings (Settings > Audio & Video > TV Resolution). By changing the video output to 480p, theoretically, Hulu Plus should require less bandwidth. I tried this out, but it’s hard to tell if it makes a difference. Hulu Plus worked just fine in both HD and SD. The jury is still out on this one. I’ll try it again if I have problems with my ISP or Hulu is having an exceptionally busy night. I find it hard to believe that Hulu would send HD content to Apple TV if the resolution is set to 480p. That said, sometimes it is easier to implement a “one size fits all” solution. Try this if you’re having problems — it might work.
Weak WiFi on Apple TV?
If your Internet connection is fast and Hulu Plus isn’t having problems (works on your computer, smartphone, or tablet), your Apple TV might not be getting a strong enough WiFi signal. You can verify this by going to Settings > General > Network. If the signal strength is low or fluctuating, this may be the problem. Select Test Network to see if your bandwidth is adequate. If WiFi reception is a problem, consider moving your Apple TV or WiFi router. Placing either of these higher up can help a great deal. (continue…)