Hulu’s Android TV apps can finally be streamed in 1080p on new Nvidia Shield TV set-top boxes and Sony Bravia TVs, as discovered by users on Redditand written by Gizmodo, Android Central, and 9to5Google.
Users first noticed the change on the App and Device Information page in the Hulu app. After the update, the app lists the new maximum video resolution as “1920 x 1080”. It’s kind of a sneaky way of making the change. It is not mentioned in the update description in the Play Store, so it is possible that something has changed on the Hulu server side as well.
Gizmodo says it could at least confirm that the 2019 Nvidia shield and Bravia TVs received the 1080p bump on March 23, but the change wasn’t reflected Hulus support pageslast updated in February. Hulu doesn’t seem to specifically list which devices are streaming at each resolution (outside of live TV streaming) on its support site, but it does offer minimum bitrates for each:
- Standard Definition (SD): 1.5 Mbit / s
- High Definition (HD) 720p: 3 Mbit / s
- High Definition (HD) 1080p: 6 Mbit / s
- 4K Ultra HD: 16 Mbit / s
For the newer ones Chromecast with Google TVIt’s not clear when 1080p Hulu support was added or if it started with this version. I was able to check out the Hulu app on my own Chromecast and it currently supports 1080p. We reached out to Hulu to confirm which other Android TV devices could be affected by this update.
4K streaming is even more limited on Hulu. 4K content is primarily limited to Hulu’s original shows and movies. According to Hulu’s likely outdated list, the devices that can actually be streamed in 4K are 5th generation Apple TV, Chromecast Ultra, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, 2017 LG UHD TVs, Roku devices, Vizio- TV with SmartCast as well as the Xbox One S and X.
It’s nice that in theory more devices could stream at a higher resolution, especially for people who have spent money on higher resolution displays. However, I think it’s worth noting that some of the Redditors who first found this change had no idea that they had been streaming in 720p the entire time.