I contacted Hulu support about a week ago with a traceroute report because Hulu has been almost unwatchable for a while now at home over my 5mb/s connection. Here is the email response I just received from Hulu support.
I dug into this issue and found that the problem is that you’re being routed to an incorrect server. This happens because your DNS assigned by your internet service provider is very remote - based on the information you provided, your DNS server is located in New York.
Unfortunately, this is not something Hulu can fix as the route between you and the server is managed by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), a third party service. We recommend that you contact your ISP to have them fix your DNS location to be where you’re at. Once they fix it for you, the streaming issues you’ve been seeing should disappear. Additionally, your overall internet speed experience will increase as well with a closer DNS.
We apologize for the inconvenience; please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
I happen to be using OpenDNS instead of my ISP’s DNS, and have been for over a year now. If this email is correct most of my recent internet issues may be caused by OpenDNS. I may just need to update my DNS settings to use the closer Washington, DC server. I will need to do some testing tonight after work to see if this is the cause of my issues.
UPDATE (12-11-08): I was only able to do a quick inconclusive test last night. Hulu was working fine with my ISP’s DNS, however I didn’t have enough time to thoroughly test OpenDNS to see if it was indeed causing streaming issues. Expect later updates.
UPDATE 2 (12-12-08): I have not tested OpenDNS again yet, but my ISP DNS has been working fine with Hulu so far.