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Thread: Can't record Hulu videos with Replay Media Catcher

  1. #1
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    Default Can't record Hulu videos with Replay Media Catcher

    I've been using Media Catcher to collect episodes of Naruto from Hulu, and until recently, it has worked just fine. However, for the last two days, whenever I try to record from Hulu, it fails at 0 bytes, and I get the following:

    Internal error while trying to download RTMP stream
    Exception:
    m_nErrType = 11
    m_strDesc = "code: NetConnection.Connect.Rejected
    description: [ AccessManager.Reject ] : Must use RTMPE or RTMPTE on this connection"
    m_strFile = F:\proj32\TestRTMPClient\RTMPStreamRip.cpp
    m_nLineNumber = 969

    I have literally no idea what any of that means, and if anyone here could explain it to me, and perhaps tell me if there is something I need to change in my settings or on my computer, please do.

    Other media sources, such as youtube, are continuing to download just fine, as far as I can tell.

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    RTMP is the protocol Hulu uses to stream video to the Flash player hosted by your web browser, when you are watching a program on the Hulu website. It stands for Real Time Messaging Protocol but who cares about that.

    RTMPE is the same thing where the E stands for encrypted. Hulu uses it to stream the two hi-def formats they currently support, 360P and 480P, which refers to the video resolution in terms of lines (P is for Progressive, as opposed to the inferior Interlaced method). It is technically possible for a stream-capture program to defeat the encryption problem, and according to some, it would be legal to do so. However Hulu SMTPE downloads a Flash program (.SWF file) that employs a copy-protection method to display the stream. While it is also technically possible to defeat this protection, according to Adobe it would not be legal. The result is that no stream capture program which does so can be sold by anyone without legal risk.

    The 360P and 480P formats are fairly new on Hulu. They are sent to your Flash player as .FLV (Flash Video) streams, however the content is actually an industry-standard format called H.264. Previously they used the old, Adobe proprietary Flash Video format which was inferior to H.264 in video quality. Hulu provided two versions of this format (480K and 700K, which I believe refers to bit rates) depending on the user's Internet connection speed.

    Up until a few weeks ago I was able to select the old 700K format (which RMC could record) instead of the newer H.264 SMPTE stream, just by clicking Off the Hulu Hi-Res option. However now that button just switches between 360P and 480P, neither of which seem to be compatible with RMC. As far as I know Hulu is still able to send the old FLV stream formats, however I don't know how to get it to play these so RMC can capture them.

    Disclaimer: I am not an expert on the above subjects, this is just information I have collected in the process of trying to download my favorite tv shows. If I have made mistakes I welcome any (civil) corrections from more knowledgable members.

    P.S. I have been able to download some Hulu content by going through www.fancast.com. They apparently stream everything in the old 480K FLV format which RMC will capture. However this is the lowest quality FLV format and you may find the video experience disappointing. If so that's not the fault of RMC, but of fancast's streaming format.
    Last edited by seventree; 03-11-2009 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Added P.S.

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    Default Fancast Works For me 2

    I was having the same trouble with Hulu no longer working. By accessing through Fancast, I can now download.
    YEAH!

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    Quote Originally Posted by seventree View Post
    As far as I know Hulu is still able to send the old FLV stream formats, however I don't know how to get it to play these so RMC can capture them.
    Good synopsis.

    Forcing/selecting the 700k stream would be a real breakthrough. On occasion I try, but have nothing to offer for success.

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    To get RMC to record the old format files they need to be played by the flash player. There is another program that does try and record(ie: play) ALL the hulu streams and if you start it first , then start RMC and then start IE and HULU, it will start those recordings which RMC will detect and start recording them too. This is somewhat complicated but it usually works fine, but since hulu no longer uses these streams I suspect their life is limited.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhb50 View Post
    To get RMC to record the old format files they need to be played by the flash player. There is another program that does try and record(ie: play) ALL the hulu streams and if you start it first , then start RMC and then start IE and HULU, it will start those recordings which RMC will detect and start recording them too. This is somewhat complicated but it usually works fine, but since hulu no longer uses these streams I suspect their life is limited.
    What is this other program you're referring to?

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    Just a headsup, there ARE other stream-capture programs that are working just fine with Hulu, capturing both the standard streams and the Hi-Res 480p streams. I'm not going to say which program, because I don't want Adobe to go after them too. Just saying, look around, try out some trial software... they exist.

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    Zanefan, I dispute your contention.

    The 480P stream is RTMPE, and I can only find one other streaming capture program that tries to grab RTMP streams and it can only capture the 700K (640x360) and Titled (480K)(512x288) RTMP versions of these files, but not the Standard (360P) or HiDef(480P) files which are RTMPE encrypted.

    We would much appreciate if you would check again. If you really have captured RTMPE then you are the only one so far and we would all like to PM you for more info.

    Thanks.

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    I believe that jhb50's statement is correct.

    Nobody is going to distribute an RTMPE (and copy protected SWF) stream grabber and stay under Adobe's radar. Those guys know how to use Google too.

    As for Hulu's old-format (non-H264) streams, they still exist for some program material but could be removed at any time. For that matter I don't know any technical reason why the protections now applied to H264 streams couldn't be applied to the 480K and 700K formats if they do stay. If and when that happens, auto-capture Hulu downloads will be a thing of the past.

    Applian says their Video Capture is the answer. I have not been able to test the trial version yet, but maybe my 1GHz laptop is not up to the task.

  10. #10
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    I think the problem with video capture lies with your Internet bandwidth which must be adequate to stream without interruption. I only have 750K bandwidth which results in frequent pauses durig playback all of which are captured.

    I understand however that HULU will buffer 5 minutes of video and so if you pause the playback at the start before recording and wait until 5 minutes of video have been received, (which could take many more minutes) then you should be able to record 5 minute chunks without pauses.

    This is not too practical but if the video is important and only available in this way it might be worth the effort to grab RTMPE.

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