Hulu’s Android TV app finally allows 1080p streaming on NVIDIA SHIELD TV

Hulu’s Android TV app finally allows 1080p streaming on NVIDIA SHIELD TV

Hulu has never seemed to pay much attention to Android TV devices. Hulu’s Android TV app finally received an overhaul in 2019, with the same updated interface that other platforms already had, but there was still one frustrating limitation: many devices were stuck playing content at 720p. No, really.

For years, Hulu subscribers have complained that the Android TV Hulu app seemingly refused to stream at the highest-available resolutions. The issue has mostly affected NVIDIA SHIELD TV devices, as some other Android TV products had no problem streaming at 1080p (or 4K, if the content supported it). My own Nebula Capsule II can stream Hulu content at 1080p, and there are reports that the Chromecast with Google TV also plays Hulu at 1080p without any issues.

Thankfully, a new update first spotted by some Redditors is rolling out to the Hulu for Android TV app and it appears to enable 1080p streaming on the SHIELD TV (via 9to5Google). It’s not clear if the change occurred with a server-side update or not, but APKMirror reports a new version of the app started rolling out around March 23.

It’s not all good news, though — the older 2017 SHIELD still seems to be capped at 720p streaming. Hulu’s support website says Live TV streaming is still only at 720p/60FPS on all Android TV devices. If you want to watch live programming in 1080p, you’ll need a Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV (Stick), game console, or a compatible Samsung smart TV.

The Hulu app for Android TV still sits at a 1.7-star rating on the Google Play Store, with the vast majority of reviews having only one star. Many of the reviews were from the multi-year gap in updates, but there are many recent issues too, including slow performance with Live TV and streams not starting properly. Even with the recent fixes, it’s clear Hulu still has a long way to go before its Android TV app is comparable to Hulu on other platforms.

Hulu: Stream TV Series & Films
Hulu: Stream TV Series & Films
Developer: Hulu
Price: Free
Hulu for Android TV
Hulu for Android TV
Developer: Hulu
Price: Free

About author

Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.