Although several years behind competitors, the new Hulu HDR streaming option is now available with select Hulu originals on Apple TV, Roku and other compatible hardware.
- Hulu finally launches high dynamic range (HDR) streaming
- HDR is limited to some Hulu originals on select devices
- HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision are also supported
Years later, Hulu enables HDR streaming
Both the original and the second-generation Apple TV 4K support Hulu’s new HDR option.
Keep in mind that HDR streaming requires plenty of bandwidth—Hulu notes that streaming quality automatically adjusts based on your available bandwidth. So if you try to stream an HDR-enabled show in HDR but only get non-HDR video, you know why.
Recommended Hulu bitrates for popular resolutions
Hulu recommends the following minimum bitrates for these resolutions:
- Standard definition (SD): 1.5 Mbps
- High Definition (HD) 720p*: 3 Mbps
- High Definition (HD) 1080p: 6 Mbps
- 4K Ultra HD: 16 Mbps
Supported Hulu HDR devices
According to a newly-updated support page on the Hulu website, HDR streaming works on the following devices with the most recent version of the Hulu app:
- Roku (HDR models)
- Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube devices (HDR models with Fire OS 7 or later)
- Apple TV 4K
- Vizio (HDR models)
- Chromecast Ultra (HDR models)
If a show is available for HDR Streaming, an HDR badge is displayed on its page.
HDR vs. regular video: What’s the difference?
Aside from regular HDR, Hulu also now supports the HDR10+ standard that uses dynamic metadata to adapt the dynamic range and scene characteristics on a scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame basis. On top of that, Hulu has said that Dolby Vision is supported as well.
As Engadget points out, Hulu’s support for both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision is noteworthy because most of the other streaming platforms sans HBO Max currently only support one or the other, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Paramount+.
As opposed to non-HDR video, HDR footage typically delivers a much greater dynamic range and finer detail with more than a billion colors (versus 16.7 million colors regularly), as well as high contrast, no visible color gradient banding and other perks.