Q. I have Hulu and I have a 4K TV. Hulu says some of its shows are in 4K, but they don’t have a list of which shows are in 4K. I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find a list of 4K shows on Hulu. I’ve asked Hulu’s customer service and they don’t seem to know, either. So do you know which Hulu shows are in 4K? — Peter, Milwaukee.
Peter, you have hit upon one of TV’s biggest mysteries. Does Hulu actually offer 4K programming, as it says it does. And if it does, which shows are allegedly in 4K.
Hulu says it offers most of its original programming in 4K on select devices. But I have a problem with that.
I did a search for 4K shows on Hulu using two supported devices — an LG OLED TV and a Roku Ultra streaming device — and nothing comes up. Nothing. There appears to be no way to get a list of 4K titles available on Hulu. Even worse, if you click on an episode of a Hulu original show — any Hulu original show — there’s no reference to 4K in the episode information.
Just three days ago, a Hulu subscriber asked Hulu’s Twitter customer service team for a list of 4K titles. Here was Hulu’s response:
“While we still don’t have a specific list, most of our originals are available in 4K. That said, we’ll continue to share your feedback with the proper teams. Please let us know if we can assist you with anything else!”
The Hulu subscriber seemed to have trouble believing the streaming service, and suggested Hulu is trying to trick people into thinking they are offering 4K.
“How do you not have a list of your own shows that are streaming in 4K? This is baffling and leads me back to thinking you don’t really have anything in 4K,” tweeted Dan_Lowrey.
Lowrey and myself are not the only ones perplexed by the lack of 4K transparency here. A Twitter user, @danbo_4 , also recently asked Hulu’s Twitter support team for a list of 4K titles. The response? No response at all. (Digital Trends also apparently came up empty-handed when it asked Hulu for a list of 4K titles.)
Another Twitter user, @PlayingNicely3 , also has had issues with Hulu’s 4K streaming, or lack there of:
“Hulu isn’t transparent about video quality; Hulu doesn’t say if things are streaming in HD (even 720p) or not; it just says “best (video quality) available” — clearly Hulu is trying to hide the fact that it doesn’t stream in full HD (1080p) or 4K. This is flat-out consumer abuse,” he tweeted.
So does Hulu actually offer 4K considering it can’t produce a list of 4K titles? If shows were really in 4K, you would think it would be a cinch to tell us what they are.
This is particularly concerning because Hulu introduced a small number of 4K titles in 2016, but then removed them a few years ago without any announcement. Hulu last year announced that it was bringing 4K back, but where is it? Where is it, really? How do we know it’s really there?
I recently watched a handful of Hulu original shows, including Castle Rock, The Act and The Handmaid’s Tale. The video usually seemed slightly better than HD, but I couldn’t testify that they were in 4K. And sometimes, the video was downright muddy, of a lesser quality than even high-def.
So does Hulu offer anything in 4K? The mystery continues.
By the way, if you want to check for yourself, Hulu says its 4K programming is supported on the following devices:
Apple TV (5th generation or later)
Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
LG TVs (2017-2018 UHD models)
Roku and Roku Stick (3810X, 3920X, 4400X and 46*0X models)
Vizio SmartCast TVs
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Hulu Video, uses the HD format, but a very low bit rate. In the HD world Bit rate makes all the difference between good HD and HD in name only.