The streaming market has greatly expanded over the past few years, with original content, 4K HDR, and huge content libraries as tentpoles of most platforms. Hulu is among the best offerings, but even in 2021, the Android TV app has been sorely lacking, limited to 720p for ages. Now, 1080p is expanding for some devices.

Digging into Hulu’s Android TV app, there’s an “App & Device Info” screen that shows a few notable details, including the max resolution available on your device. As some Redditors noticed, that max resolution has jumped up to 1080p from 720p on some devices including the 2019 Shield TV.

This 720p-1080p upgrade could be coming from the recent Hulu update that rolled out on Android TV around March 22, but there seems to be a server-side component as well. On a Chromecast with Google TV, we noted 1080p support on both the latest update and the previous version that rolled out last September, but on a 2019 Shield TV the update does indeed introduce 1080p. On an older 2017 Shield TV, 720p is the max regardless.

The fact that many Android TV devices have been limited to 720p when streaming Hulu doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as Hulu has always neglected the platform. It took years for Android TV to move on from Hulu’s legacy design and also get access to the service’s Live TV option.

Hulu took quite some time to expand to 4K content, and even then it was mostly limited exclusively to original content. As it stands today, 4K streaming is only available on Hulu on select platforms including Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast Ultra, Apple TV, and some smart TVs as well. On a support page, Hulu says that Android TV devices are still limited to 720p when watching Live TV or recorded programs, but it’s unclear if that has changed at this point.

Update 3/28: After publishing this story, some good news arose. While Hulu’s support page hasn’t yet been updated, a Twitter user shared an image with us showing that his 2017 Sony Bravia TV supports 4K output from Hulu on Android TV. It’s unclear if this arrived as the same time, though.

Thanks Patrick!

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Ben Schoon

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