Hulus Android TV apps can finally stream in 1080p on new Nvidia Shield TV set-top boxes and Sony Bravia TVs, as discovered by users on Reddit, and written by Gizmodo, Android Central, and 9to5Google.
Users first noticed the change in the “App & Device Info” page in the Hulu app. After updating, the app displays the new maximum video resolution as “1920 x 1080”. It’s kind of a sneaky way to make the change. If we look at the update description in the Play Store, there is no mention of it, so it is possible that something was also changed on the Hulus server page.
Gizmodo says it was able to confirm that at least Nvidia Shield from 2019 and Bravia TV got the 1080p bump on March 23, but the change has not been reflected in Hulu’s support pages, which were last updated in February. Hulu does not appear to specify which devices are streaming in each resolution (outside of Live TV streaming) on the support page, but it does provide a minimum bit rate for each:
- Standard definition (SD): 1.5 Mbps
- High Definition (HD) 720p: 3 Mbps
- High Definition (HD) 1080p: 6 Mbps
- 4K Ultra HD: 16 Mbps
For the newer Chromecast with Google TV, which runs a skinny version of Android TV, it is not clear when 1080p Hulu support was added, or whether it was launched with it. I was able to check on my own Chromecasts Hulu app, and it currently supports 1080p. We’ve reached out to Hulu to confirm which other Android TVs may have been affected by this update.
4K streaming is even more limited on Hulu. 4K content is primarily limited to Hulu’s original shows and movies, and according to Hulu’s likely outdated list, the devices that can actually stream in 4K are 5th generation Apple TV, Chromecast Ultra, Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, LG UHD TVs. from 2017 onwards, Roku devices, Vizio TVs with SmartCast and Xbox One S and X.
It’s nice that more devices can theoretically flow in a higher resolution, especially for people who have paid money for higher resolution screens. I think it’s worth mentioning, but that some of the Redditors who first found this change had no idea that they had been streaming in 720p all this time.