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Hulu is finally offering 4K and 5.1 surround sound audio on Roku

Roku Express 2019 remote control
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While some Roku Streaming devices support 4K resolution, not all 4K streaming platforms have supported these devices. Disney-owned Hulu recently updated its user-facing help pages to inform customers that the platform is finally offering 4K streaming and 5.1 surround sound audio on Roku devices. Previously, only 1080p streaming was available via the Hulu app on Roku. The platform still does not support HDR streaming on any device.

Hulu has had a difficult time implementing 4K on its platform, announcing the capability in 2016 on select titles and devices before removing support entirely in 2018. It has since been re-added on some devices, such as the Apple TV 4K, but the move to add Roku to the list of 4K- and 5.1-compatible devices indicates the platform hasn’t given up on the latest resolution tech.

Streaming in 4K on Roku will not be offered for all of Hulu’s content, of course. Popular Hulu Originals like The Handmaid’s Tale and Catch-22 will be available in 4K, but it appears as though no third-party content is available yet for 4K streaming on Hulu via any streaming device, let alone Roku. In this regard, Hulu trails behind other services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Hulu’s addition of Roku to the list of supported platforms for 5.1 surround sound is great news for Hulu lovers who also own a 5.1 soundbar or other surround systems.

Roku devices are among the most popular streaming devices in the U.S. (as well as the world), making the 4K and 5.1 updates significant ones for Hulu viewers who want to be able to enjoy their favorite content in the best quality.

Here’s the complete list of platforms on which Hulu can stream 4K video:

  • Apple TV (5th generation or later)
  • Chromecast Ultra
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick (4K models)
  • LG TVs (2017-2018 UHD models)
  • Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
  • Xbox One S, X

And the list of supported platforms for 5.1 surround sound:

  • Android TV (select models)
  • Chromecast
  • Amazon Fire TV (3rd generation and Cube) and Fire TV Stick 4K
  • LG TV (WebOS 3.0 and above)
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation 4
  • Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
  • Samsung TV (select models)
  • VIZIO SmartCast TVs
  • Xbox One

We should note that the Hulu site does not differentiate between 4K and non-4K Roku models for its 4K video device list, nor does it distinguish between Xbox One models. Our list above contains the missing information.

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