Performance of Hulu Plus versus Netflix

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by BetaMark, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. BetaMark

    BetaMark New Member

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    Jan 23, 2008
    Van Nuys, CA
    With the new Premiere XL, we decided to spring for the 6 month free trail Hulu Plus, and what has us most impressed is the performance of hulu versus Netflix,

    While we haven't tried Netflix on the Premiere, we did try one or two trials on our TiVo S3, and we gave it a try on the G2 Apple TV... and in every case, the performance was pathetic. We were never able to get more than about 15 or 20 minutes into a movie without experiencing major fits of buffering. And even when this wasn't happening, there was almost always an annoying stutter when there was movement in a a scene (the Starz content seemed especially prone to this). Also, when watching HD content, the stream would vacillate between various levels of HD (causing yet more buffering) and even drop back to SD, within the course of a show.

    Hulu has had none of these issues, and the picture quality has been at least as good, if not better than Netflix. And mind you, our network is entirely hardwired: TWC cable modem>Apple Time Capsule>Netgear gigabit Ethernet switch>Apple TV/TiVo. And the cable modem puts out a healthy 25Mbps+.

    So why the huge difference in performance between the two streaming services?
     
  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    No idea. Netflix pretty much streams flawless from my Premieres on FiOS. Just like Hulu+. And when other devices were having issues with Netflix, I was still able to stream Netflix on my Premieres. If Netflix on the Premieres had at least 5.1 audio I would use Netflix on my Premieres most of the time.
     
  3. BetaMark

    BetaMark New Member

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    Jan 23, 2008
    Van Nuys, CA
    Hmmm. Is there any reason to believe that Netflix would perform better on the Premiere than on any other device?
     
  4. tre74

    tre74 Member

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    Nov 11, 2010
    Adjusting Netflix stream quality on their site does seem to help on any device. Hulu app far better than Netflix app on TiVo. Hulu app practically identical on any deivce. Hulu and Netflix better on PS3 than on TiVo or Xbox, though I do like the Netflix app's look on XBOX more than on any other device I've used. Audio and Video best on PS3 for Netflix. Roku box does each nicely as well.
     
  5. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    The TiVos have Native resolution output. So the advantage for me is I don't get the inferior quality scaling from devices like the PS3 etc. since I can let my extenal video processor do the scaling. And of course you can have the TiVo do the scaling too if you set it for one output resolution.
     
  6. txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Yes. The chip used for decoding video on the S3 didn't handle video with framerates other than 29.97 or 59.94 very well.
     
  7. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Mar 5, 2004
    Hulu runs in Flash and Flash can look very good is you a have a nice consistent stream of data to work with, which you appear to. Netflix uses Silverlight and the streaming is dynamic meaning it changes according to on-line conditions. Around 3AM when traffic is down results can be good, try it at 8pm and the picture goes downhill or will freeze up completely. Not to pick on them, try downloading a video file from Amazon at that hour.
    Netfix has also had some server issues of late which will probably be fixed.
    Netflix does well will lower speed connections while Hulu likes speed, lots of it but if you have a fast internet connection will give you a nice picture as you can see.
    If Hulu does it for you enjoy. Let the engineers sort out the rest.
     
  8. BetaMark

    BetaMark New Member

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    Van Nuys, CA
    A definitive answer at last. Thanks, tenthplanet! :)
     
  9. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome.
     
  10. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    For me, I can view any HD streaming title at any time of day and I have no issues. Whether it's 8PM or 3Am it makes no difference.
     
  11. wemetzger

    wemetzger New Member

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    Jun 17, 2004
    San Francisco
    I have used both. Both seem to stream flawlessy for me, but Netflix clearly has a lot more HD format. A lot of the Hulu movies, and of course TV shows, are in SD. So, maybe it is a bandwidth issue for you? The lower bit rate SD works for you, but you run into problems with the HIgher rate HD content. Just a guess.
     
  12. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    Personally I haven't noticed any performance difference between the two. Both stream well enough on my 25 Mbps connection. The primary differences are in the Premiere implementation and features:
    • Hulu Plus supports closed captioning on the Premiere, while Netflix does not. Not all programs have captions though. Netflix has captions on other devices.
    • Hulu Plus has ads, Netflix does not.
    • Hulu Plus allows you to chose the video resolution of the stream while viewing a program, Netflix does not (streaming bandwidth can be adjusted on Netflix's web site, but not on a show by show basis) .
    • Hulu Plus support 5.1 audio on TiVo, Netflix does not.
    • Hulu Plus has recently aired TV shows, Netflix does not.
     
  13. BetaMark

    BetaMark New Member

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    Jan 23, 2008
    Van Nuys, CA
    After playing a bit more with Hulu, we found that in fact it does suffer from some the same video stuttering as Netflix. This, plus the fact that it forces us to watch commercials (and on top of that, does an annoying buffering/caching each time it goes from content to ads and back) has pretty much made it a deal-breaker, so I cancelled the trial.

    We'll continue to rely on our trusty G2 Apple TV for movies and cable content.
     
  14. MeStinkBAD

    MeStinkBAD Member

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    Jul 16, 2003
    Tucson, Az
    I want you to try Netflix again now... tell me do you experience these issues now? Or have they gone? Please try it on the AppleTV. And your home network being hardwired is totally irrelevant.

    I recommend removing the Netgear switch. Let the Time Capsule do the work.
     

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