Hulu’s Android TV app has been upgraded from 720p to 1080p on some devices

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Hulu’s Android TV apps can finally stream in 1080p on new Nvidia Shield TV boxes and Sony Bravia TVs, as noticed by users on Redditand written by Gizmodo, Android Centraland 9to5Google.

Users first noticed the change in the “App & Device Info” page in the Hulu app. After the update, the app lists the new maximum video resolution as “1920 x 1080”. It’s sort of a sneaky way to make the change. Looking at the description of the update on the Play Store, there is no mention of it, so it’s possible that something has changed on Hulu’s server side as well.

Hulu’s app and device information screen showing the new maximum resolution.
Picture: 9to5Google

Gizmodo says he was able to confirm that at least 2019’s Nvidia Shield and Bravia TVs received the 1080p bump on March 23, but the change wasn’t reflected in Hulu’s Support Pages, which were last updated in February. Hulu doesn’t appear to specifically list devices that stream in each resolution (outside of live TV streaming) on ​​its support site, but it does provide minimum bitrates 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 new Chromecast with Google TV, which runs a skinned version of Android TV, it’s unclear when 1080p Hulu support was added, or if it launched with it. I was able to check out my own Chromecast’s Hulu app and it currently supports 1080p. We’ve reached out to Hulu to confirm which other Android TV devices may have been affected by this update.

4K streaming is even more limited on Hulu. 4K content is mostly limited to Hulu’s original shows and movies, and according to Hulu’s likely outdated list, devices that can actually stream in 4K are Apple TV 5th Gen, Chromecast Ultra, Amazon’s Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick, LG UHD TVs from 2017, Roku devices, Vizio TVs with SmartCast, and Xbox One S and X.

It’s nice that more devices can theoretically stream in a higher resolution, especially for people who have shelled out the cash for higher resolution screens. I think it’s worth mentioning, though, that some of the Redditors who first saw this change had no idea they’d been streaming at 720p this whole time.

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