Hulu brought back 4K streaming, but a big piece of the puzzle is still missing

Once again, you can watch Hulu content in glorious 4K resolution — sort of. While 4K content is back on Disney’s streaming service (Disney took over Hulu in May) after going missing last year, Hulu’s current selection of 4K programming is extremely limited, and you can only watch it on a couple of devices.

As The Streamable reports, 4K content reappeared on Hulu this morning, but only seems to include Hulu original series like The Handmaid’s Tale, Catch-22, and Castle Rock. In addition, the only platforms that currently support 4K streaming on Hulu are the Apple TV 4K and the Chromecast Ultra. If you use any other devices to watch Hulu, you’re out of luck.

Even if you do have an Apple TV or a Chromecast, you might notice that Hulu’s 4K streams don’t look quite as good as they do on other services. That’s not a mistake. Right now, Hulu only support Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) streams, and not High-Dynamic Range (HDR) streams. In other words, even if you have an HDR-capable TV, the contrast won’t be as eye-popping and the colors won’t be as rich and vivid as you expect. It’s a strange omission and one we expect Disney will want to rectify sooner than later.

Still, for Hulu subscribers, the reintroduction of 4K content could be a good sign of things to come. Hulu has been notoriously behind when it comes to 4K content, lagging competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime in multiple ways.

When 4K first arrived on Hulu in 2016, the supported programs were quite limited. At the time, the only programs that you could watch in 4K were some James Bond movies and a handful of selections from Hulu’s original programming line-up. The hardware options left something to be desired, too, with 4K streams only appearing on the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One S. Then, 4K programming was yanked unceremoniously.

As such, something is better than nothing for Hulu’s millions of subscribers. Thankfully, if you don’t have a Chromecast or Apple TV, or if you’re not interested in Hulu’s original shows, you can still enjoy 4K streams on a variety of different streaming services.

We hope Hulu will expand the number of devices that support 4K streams and add HDR capabilities soon. It’s 2019. It’s about time.

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