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Hulu on Plex compared to Hulu on Playon on my Roku

christmasloverchristmaslover Posts: 8Members ✭✭
Good Sunday Morning all
I am still a newbie to plex and have a question
I do realize my pc is not really up to specs when it comes
to using plex or playon (I do hope it is okay to post about playon in this forum)

I have an older emachines it is just
a intel celeron 440@ 2.00ghz with 1gb of ram
I have everything that I can on an external drive and also use
a jump drive, so I have 92 gs of 138gs free on my c drive

and we have a roku lt (the 49 dollar one was a christmas gift to us from our daughter)

I also close any apps that do not need to run when using either of these
programs (plex or playon)

here is my question, why why why can I not get Hulu to work with plex?
I have played with the prefrences turning it down to 1.5mbs from the standard
3 I have it set to transcode automatically and it still just wont play
well It will load, the skip and load, it is jumpy and the audio will be great
but the video will be like a slideshow (IF it even plays)

on the playon which I only have the two week free trial as of now
it warns that you need to have a dual processor, and a MUCH faster pc
then I have to even use it but WOW Hulu is amazing on there, NOO problem
whatsoever to play,

I have to say thank you soooo much for plex though as I use it continuously to
watch movies and tv shows off of my external and my jump drives, and it is flawless
we also watch the history channel alot through plex,
have not had alot of luck with other channels though, but I will always keep
this program to use!

thank you anyone that may be able to help


  • hozedheadhozedhead Posts: 238Members ✭✭
    You didn't specify what OS you have on your computer and since you said it's an older machine, it's possible that Windows XP is your OS and it's not compatible with the Hulu plugin.

    PMS Windows XP SP3
    Roku N1000 Software v3.1 Build 1167

  • christmasloverchristmaslover Posts: 8Members ✭✭
    hozedhead wrote:

    You didn't specify what OS you have on your computer and since you said it's an older machine, it's possible that Windows XP is your OS and it's not compatible with the Hulu plugin.

    I am so sorry it is windows vista sp2
    like I said Hulu through playon works excellent, no jumpyness,buffering,stall etc, it is like watching a tv show
    on tv, (again this is through my roku)
    but if I try hulu through plex. it is horrible, takes forever to load,then it stalls, jumps, audio is great video is

    I was just wondering due to I LOVE plex for my media sharing on the roku and due to playon supposebly needs alot faster and
    better pc then I have yet it works great, I just want to be able to have hulu and it work when the 2 week trial is up on playon
    thanks again for taking time to help a newbie

  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,786Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee
    On certain Windows machines, the video for channels that require Flash (which includes Hulu) isn't able to grab video frames at a watchable frame rate. You said the audio is great and the video is like a slideshow, so this sounds like the issue you're running into. It's not always known what triggers the choppy video, but it's more likely to be a problem on an underpowered machine. We certainly hope to improve the performance of channels that use Flash with the windows PMS, but in the short term I'm afraid there's nothing you can do to improve it on that machine.
  • christmasloverchristmaslover Posts: 8Members ✭✭
    I want to say thank you so much for taking time to answer my question, unfortunatly I have tried this from my laptop
    it is wireless and well with the signal going to the laptop and then to my wireless roku, it is worse (It is still not
    quite a powerful machine either)

    I have a question if I added more ram to my desktop would that help? I have another emachines tower that the
    power supply went in but all other components are good and it uses the same ram as this machine
    I hope this is not the wrong forum to post this question in, I am just LOVING using Hulu and I really really
    LOVE plex (over playon!!!)

    again thank you for helping a newbie
  • shopgirl284shopgirl284 Posts: 2,763Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Forum Moderator Plex Ninja
    I haven't been using Plex for that long and am no way an expert, but I am using the trial of Playon right now, so I thought I would do a few test and to compare the two and see what resources they use. If nothing else, the info could help someone who is more Plex savvy help you figure out you problem. (I also was curious about the resources that each server used)

    I played two identical shows on each server and let them run about halfway through. I also shut down each server while testing the other server. I had already noticed that when I am running PlayOn, it seemed to use a lot of my CPU when playing any of the channels (about 20-40%). Plex channels, on the other hand, uses some CPU, but it always stays pretty low (around 5%). But the Hulu channel on Plex uses alot of CPU power (30-45%) the entire time it plays. So I would think the most likely reason you are having trouble using Hulu on Plex, is that the CPU on the computer you are using is not powerful enough to run that app. But as I said, overall, Plex uses much less CPU than Playon when it comes to playing videos on all of the other channels.

    Also, this is one of the channels on Plex that uses your computers sound card (mutes computer's sound when video is playing). Not sure, but this could be why this channel uses more of your CPU. And neither server program increased the RAM usage, so adding more RAM would not help you at all. Most of what I have read here says that CPU of your machine makes much more difference in the performance of Plex Server than your RAM.

    The only other thing I noticed was that the initial loading time of shows was much slower on Plex's Hulu channel than it was on PlayOn's. I have a 6Mbps Internet connection and wired Ethernet to my Roku 2XS. Your delays could be due to using the Roku LT and since the initial load time is slower, it could be timing out. (Though honestly I doubt this is the problem, since your Roku box would be the one constant between the problems your are having with the two different Hulu channels)

    Hope this helps.

    BTW, I have Plex and PlayOn servers running on a fairly new computer (4GB, I-5 2.4 GHz processor, Windows 7 Pro, large hard drive and have closed alot of the services and background operations on my computer to make it run a little faster).

    Many issues and questions can be resolved by reviewing the Plex Support Documentation
    Providing details about your issue, Plex setup, and including log files are important when when asking for help on the forums.
    See Log Files
    Before posting channel plugin questions or issues, please review the pinned threads at the top of the Channel Plugin forum:
    READ FIRST: Guidelines for Posting Channel Plugin Issues/Questions and Things to Check First
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