Since its introduction in 2008, Hulu has transformed how we watch TV. With Hulu, you have the capability of streaming your favorite shows and movies — and the best part, all you need is a healthy internet connection. With Hulu, you’ll find thousands of licensed and original titles at your disposal.
Did you know Hulu’s catalog contains a growing number of titles available in crystal-clear 4K resolution? Hulu may lag behind competitors like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix in streaming quality, but as of late, the streaming platform has upgraded its performance. And a growing number of Hulu Originals can now be streamed in 4K Ultra high definition (HD).
Keep reading to learn more about compatible devices along with the internet requirements for seamless 4K streaming. Plus, if you wish to learn more about Hulu and its various plans and features, we cover everything you’ll need to know (and more) in our Hulu review and Hulu Live review.
What is 4K programming?
When you hear the term 4K resolution, the first thing that probably comes to mind is top-of-the-line video quality. You’ve probably noticed how “4K” is thrown around in commercials or by tech-savvy individuals professing their love for the format. But what exactly is 4K programming?
Well, let’s put it this way: a high-definition (HD) 1080p picture generates 1920×1080 resolution, packing two million pixels on the screen to produce that HD quality we all know and love. Now, 4K is four times better than 1080p, squeezing eight million pixels into your screen. The result is an image so clear, you’ll be hard-pressed to go back to anything less.
There was a time when a 4K quality TV was a hefty investment. But since the technology has been out for a few years now, nearly every new TV has 4K resolution. So, if you’re in the market for a new television, you’ll discover many affordable options.
For more information, visit our guide to 4K streaming.
Does Hulu support 4K resolution?
Hulu hasn’t always had the best track record when it comes to 4K-quality content. Hulu offered 4K streaming for Hulu Originals from 2016 until 2018, when the company decided to put it on hold. However, a year later, the streaming giant restored 4K resolution for Hulu Originals. As of now, you’ll find that both Amazon and Netflix have many more 4K titles than Hulu.
On top of only providing select titles in 4K resolution, it should also be noted that Hulu doesn’t currently support Dolby Vision or high-dynamic-range (HDR) formats. With Hulu, you won’t get the same richness in colors, textures, and depth-of-field as you would with Amazon’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan or The Man in the High Castle.
Which devices support 4K streaming on Hulu?
When it comes to devices that are compatible with 4K Ultra HD, there are, unfortunately, only a few to choose from at this point in time. And you’ll need to make sure that you have the latest version of the Hulu app. So, if you want to watch Hulu in 4K, you’ll need to get one of the select devices that are compatible with that streaming quality. Below is the most recent list of devices Hulu recommends on its website.
- Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- Apple TV (5th generation and up)
- Google Chromecast Ultra
- LG TVs (2017-2018, 2020 UHD)
- Roku, Roku Stick (3810X, 3920X, 4400X and 46*OX) and Roku Smart Soundbar
- VIZIO SmartCast TVs
- Xbox One (Xbox One S and Xbox One X)
The devices that don’t support Hulu 4K streaming include smartphones and tablets like Android and iOS devices. For gamers, you won’t be able to stream Hulu in 4K on your PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch.
For more information on Hulu’s compatible devices, visit our Hulu device guide.
What content on Hulu supports 4K streaming?
There are only select shows and movies on Hulu available in 4K. Instead, you’ll notice the majority of titles in Hulu’s catalog stream in HD. It’s Hulu’s original shows that mostly offer 4K Ultra HD, including Castle Rock, Catch-22, Harlots, Marvel’s Runaways, The First and The Handmaid’s Tale.
When it comes to movies, you’ll have a harder time finding titles available in 4K. Most of Hulu’s content comes in 720p and 1080p HD resolution at 60 frames per second (fps). Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad quality, as many niche services like DAZN and Sundance Now lack 4K quality streaming, too. Compared to Netflix, though, Hulu’s streaming quality ultimately leaves much to be desired.
Hulu + Live TV doesn’t support 4K streaming quality at this time. Instead, Hulu’s cable-alternative plan streams national networks like FOX and AMC in up to 720p/60fps or 1080p/60fps.
What’s the recommended internet speed for 4K streaming on Hulu?
Making sure that you have a strong internet connection is key to enjoying any streaming service, especially when it comes to watching in 4K. If your internet speed isn’t fast enough, you’ll face long buffering and loading times. For the best experience, Hulu recommends that you have internet speeds of at least 16 Mbps.
Our hot take
There are lots of reasons why you should give Hulu a try. Whether you’re somebody looking for an on-demand service or a complete cable-alternative, Hulu has a plan for you. That said, Hulu falls behind rivals like Amazon and Netflix when it comes to streaming in 4K.
You’ll be able to stream a few select Hulu Originals and the occasional movie in 4K resolution, but not the majority of its library. To enjoy Hulu 4K content, you’ll need the latest app and a compatible device, such as Apple TVs, select Roku models, Google Chromecast Ultra devices and a few others.
Hulu might not be the best option if 4K images are important to you. But, if you’re a fan of Hulu Originals or don’t mind watching its thousands of shows and movies without 4K resolution, sign up today to see if Hulu is right for you.
Do you have to pay extra for 4K on Hulu?
No. Unlike Netflix, 4K streaming is free with your Hulu subscription. However, only a few devices support 4K streams, and the content you can watch in 4K is quite limited.