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I have a old Apple iBook G4 that I decided to hook up to my main TV. I like the setup because I can surf the internet on my TV now. The only thing that I can't seem to do is watch Flash videos.

Apparently Flash Player 10 doesn't play nice with the iBook's graphics card's GPU, leaving all the graphics processing to the CPU which is a disaster. Others suggested downgrading to Flash Player 9, I did that, and youtube worked fine, but Hulu (The main reason I wanted to hook it up to the TV in the first place) did not.

Anyone know of a Flash alternative or a Flash 10 fix for the iBook? Or even a Hulu client that doesn't require Flash.

Here are my iBook's Specs

Model Name:        iBook G4 <br>  
Model Identifier:        PowerBook6,5 <br>
Processor Name:        PowerPC G4  (1.2) <br>
Processor Speed:        1.2 GHz <br>
Number Of CPUs:        1 <br>
L2 Cache (per CPU):        512 KB <br>
Memory:        512 MB <br>
Bus Speed:        133 MHz <br>
Boot ROM Version:        4.8.7f1 <br>
Mac OS X Version:  10.5.8 <br>

PS: Don't tell me that I need to buy a new computer. I know that I would have better results with a new computer but I don't want to buy a new computer just for Hulu.

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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can use plugins such as ClickToFlash (or even just a Safari extension) to have YouTube load just the H.264 video file and skip using Flash for playback. However this does not work with Hulu - quite simply there is no alternative when it comes to playing Hulu. It must use Flash and Flash, especially on Mac OS X and older hardware sucks in terms of performance. Even Hulu Desktop requires Flash 10 and an Intel processor to run.

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You need to buy a new computer for Hulu.

Sorry.

Web video services like that require the use of up-to-date Adobe software. As much as they would like to have you believe, Flash is NOT an open standard, and Adobe's most recent features will only be present in the closed spec that the official Flash player can read.

To the best of my knowledge, other Hulu clients are typically running Flash inside of WebKit anyway, so it's really no different from using a browser.

Now, one saving grace may be the fact that you weren't too specific about what the exact problems were. I notice you're only at 512MB of RAM on that machine. Maxing out to 1.25GB might help Flash Player 10 deal with all of that incoming data. YMMV.

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I've run into the same thing on my Quicksilver 2002, which has 1GB RAM and dual 1GHz processors. The problem is that newer versions of Flash no longer support PPC processors- I haven't tried using VLC to stream from Hulu yet, so maybe that's a possiblilty.

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