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Hulu Plus is one of the best content channels for Apple TV. The tips in this article will help you get the most out of your Hulu Plus experience.
If you like to watch recently aired TV shows, there’s no better service than Hulu Plus. The streaming content provider offers recently broadcast shows, such as The Daily Show, Family Guy, The Simpsons and many more. The service is essential for cord-cutters, allowing access to new television shows, as well as movies and other programs. For the most part, Hulu Plus programming is complimentary to Netflix. Hulu Plus has the best new shows while Netflix offers better movies and older episodes of premium shows like Breaking Bad.
The Hulu Plus content channel for Apple TV is mature and stable. The service has been on Apple TV since July 2012, with many updates. For the most part, Hulu Plus is a pain-free experience on Apple TV. However, like any streaming provider, they sometimes have too much traffic or problems in their data center. Your ISP could also be experiencing issues. Let’s take a look at some of these problems and how to fix them.
Test Your Internet Connection
If Hulu Plus video is stuttering or continually buffering, it may be a problem with your Internet connection. You can test this by going to Speedtest.net or using the Speedtest.net mobile app for iOS or Android.
After you run Speedtest, you will see a summary of your Internet connection speed. Hulu Plus requires at least 1.5 Mbps for SD video. HD video requires at least 3 Mbps. If you don’t have enough speed, there could be a problem with your ISP. Most likely, they are having a temporary problem. Most Internet connections run slower during peak hours — weekday evenings and weekends. You may want to contact your ISP and see if they can fix the issue or upgrade you to a faster service. Some ISPs will “throttle” users who gobble up too much bandwidth. If this is the case, you can either find a better ISP or curb your Internet usage.
If your Internet speed is over 1.5 Mbps, your ISP is not the problem. Hulu may be having difficulties. There are also a few things you can do with your Apple TV to improve streaming.
You can also test your network speed directly on your Apple TV. Go to Settings > General > Network and select Test Network. This will determine if your Apple TV can stream video. Unfortunately, this doesn’t provide detailed information. Speedtest.net is better.
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack can dramatically affect Hulu Plus streaming performance. Basically, this is a coordinated attack on websites and Internet Service Providers. DDoS attacks have been increasing in number and I have experienced a few that have rendered services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and iTunes unusable, sometimes for days. The DDoS attack might not be affecting Hulu Plus, but may be aimed at your ISP or ISP’s Domain Name System (DNS) provider.
The telltale sign of a DDoS attack is that some web sites work, while others don’t. It isn’t a case of just Hulu Plus not working, for example. As the attack progresses, you will find that more websites and media services are affected.
My ISP has had quite a few DDoS attacks, but when I test the Internet speed, there is nothing wrong. The Internet connection is working, it’s just that DNS servers are being attacked and overwhelmed. DNS servers allow browsers and media players to look up hosts by their host name. When they are subjected to a DDoS attack, your browser or media player cannot look up streaming services, such as Hulu Plus.
It’s not easy to find out for sure if a DDoS attack is the problem. ISPs don’t always want to admit it. After all, they could lose customers. If you find that some sites work and others don’t, it is usually a DDoS attack. You can search Google News to find out if there is a rash of attacks going on. If so, it is likely to be the problem. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it. You have to wait until your ISP handles the issue, which can sometimes take a few days. Most DDoS attacks are the result of malware on mobile devices. They are becoming more common, however, ISPs are getting better at handling these attacks.
Is Hulu Having Problems?
Like any streaming service, Hulu sometimes experiences issues in their data center. This can either be a problem with their servers, or just too much demand. People tend to watch a lot of streaming video over the holidays, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is also when the best network engineers are on vacation. It makes for a perfect storm. Without fail, services like Netflix and Hulu Plus almost always perform poorly over the holidays. Consider having some iTunes purchases pre-downloaded on your computer or iOS device.
Peak demand can also occur when a new episode of a popular show is released. You can check out the status of Hulu Plus on the “Is It Down Right Now?” website. Keep in mind, this is the status of their website, not their streaming servers. Their streaming content is likely coming from servers all over the world, known as content distribution networks (CDNs). Nonetheless, by looking at the comments, you can see if other people are experience issues with Hulu Plus streaming video. (continue…)
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