Watching Hulu in 4K and HDR

Hulu Originals

What you need to know

4K and HDR content have been widely available on many streaming service platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video for a while now, however, I can’t say the same for Hulu which has been slow to jump on the 4K bandwagon. That being said, Hulu now offers 4K content which they reestablished back in 2019, and just started adding HDR content in 2021. HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision formats are all offered with Hulu’s HDR content.

By industry standards, Hulu’s 4K content is limited yet continues to grow on a regular basis as they add new titles. What I discovered and also read elsewhere is that Hulu’s 4K and HDR content is primarily located in their “Original” movies and series programming. Prior to writing this article, I decided to explore Hulu’s 4K and HDR programming for myself. I will get to that in a moment. But first I will tell you what devices you will need to access Hulu’s 4K and HDR content.

Note: Hulu + Live TV service does not support 4K streaming, just the standard streaming service which is much cheaper ($6.99 per month) than the “Live TV” subscription.

First, you will need broadband internet service with a minimum of 16 Mbps. You will also need a 4K HDR TV.

The following is a list of devices to stream Hulu’s 4K content:

  • Apple TV (5th generation or later)
  • Chromecast Ultra
  • Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • LG TVs (2017-2018, 2020 UHD models)
  • Roku and Roku Stick (3810X, 3920X, 4400X and 46*0X models) and Roku
    Smart Soundbar
  • Vizio SmartCast TVs
  • Xbox One

List of devices to stream Hulu’s HDR content:

  • Roku (HDR compatible models)
  • Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube devices (HDR compatible models with Fire OS 6 or later)
  • Apple TV 4K (Gen 5 or later)
  • Vizio (HDR compatible models)
  • Chromecast Ultra (HDR-compatible models)

Hulu Catch 22

My Viewing Experience

My setup for this evaluation was a Sony XBR950H 4K HDR TV with an Ultra Chromecast built-in, Roku Streaming Stick+, and my Galaxy S9+ smartphone.

What I found was that most of Hulu’s current original content is in 4K Ultra HD. I was able to view Hulu’s 4K Ultra HD content via the 950H’s Android smart TV interface, but only in 4K, not 4K HDR. However, when casting Hulu’s content via the Hulu app from my Galaxy S9+ phone to my 950H, I delightfully discovered that I was able to view the 4K content in Dolby Vision which was due to the TV’s built-in Chromecast, and I must say the picture quality was awesome!

When viewing Hulu’s content via my Roku Streaming Stick+ (3810X) I was also able to view in 4K HDR, but the quality was limited to HDR10 since my Roku Stick is only capable of handling HDR10 and not the HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR formats.

The picture quality of the Dolby Vision versions of the movies and shows I sampled were better than the HDR10 versions, which was expected. Nevertheless, the HDR10 picture quality was still great.

Dolby Vision is consistently better than HDR10 because HDR10 only asks for static metadata. With static metadata, the boundaries in brightness are set once for the entire movie or TV show and are determined by taking the brightness range of the brightest scene. Dolby Vision and HDR10+ improve on this by using dynamic metadata, which allows them to tell the TV how to apply tone-mapping on a scene-by-scene basis, or even a frame-by-frame basis.

I have provided a link to HD Report that provides a list of 4K and HDR titles on Hulu. This list, however, is not all-inclusive. So I have listed additional titles below:

Only Murders in the Building 4K HDR

Dopesick  4K HDR

Mother Android  4K

The Premise  4K

The Last Man  4K

The Hardy Boys  4K

The D’Amelio Show  4K

Defining Moments  4K

Tentacles  4K

Boss Level  4K

69  4K

Hit Money  HDR

Monsterland  4K HDR

Kid90  4K

Sasquatch  4K

Eater’s Guide to the World  4K HDR

Terapia Alternativa  4K

Final thoughts….

As Hulu’s 4K and HDR titles continue to grow, I’ve found this to be another good source for Ultra HD and HDR content. Furthermore, you don’t have to pay extra for this content since it’s included with their standard streaming subscription for a very affordable price.

If you have comments you’d like to add, please leave a reply below.

Happy viewing!

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