Some Apple TV owners, specifically Apple TV (3rd gen) owners, may have recently noticed that the Hulu app suddenly disappeared from their device. The reason for this is that Hulu now classifies the older Apple TV player as unsupported. This also means that affected users won’t be able to simply re-add the app to their device again.
A lack of support for a particular device is not unusual with streaming services. While most services attempt to support as many devices as they can, some never gain support at all. In other cases, older devices become harder to maintain support for. This can be due to hardware/software limitations, or that there’s simply not enough people still using a particular device to justify maintaining support.
In Apple TV’s case, the issue is more of a general change that Hulu has made recently. On October 3rd, Hulu made wholesale adjustments to its supported devices by removing support for a number of older smart TVs and streaming players. For example, along with the Apple TV (3rd generation), the PlayStation 3 also lost its support. Hulu has updated all of its support pages, including the Apple TV page, to highlight the current devices that are supported. Any device that is not listed on these refreshed pages are no longer considered supported.
The Hulu app on Apple TV is actually one that came preinstalled on the 3rd gen model. Due to this, the app has been removed automatically, causing it to seemingly disappear. This also means that it is not possible to reinstall the app. On any unsupported device that does still have the app installed, opening it is likely to result in some variation of a Hulu is no longer supported on this device warning message.
It is worth keeping in mind here that this recent change only affects the Apple TV (3rd gen). All models before the Apple TV 3 had already lost support, while both the Apple TV (4th generation) and Apple TV 4K remain supported devices. If using either of these newer Apple TV players, and have noticed that the Hulu app has suddenly disappeared, then that’s likely to be unrelated to this recent change.
The Apple TV app was recently updated to version 7.45.1 on Oct. 5 with the changelog mentioning how Hulu has “done some cleanup work in our app.” The App Store changelog also mentions “update your Hulu app and get back to streaming!” So, if encountering an issue on a newer Apple TV player then it may be worth checking to make sure that the app is up to date.
To make sure that an individual Apple TV player has lost Hulu due to the recent change in support, the owner will need to verify which model they have. If unsure of the model number, this information can usually be found printed underneath the player. Alternatively, the model number can be located by opening the settings app, clicking on General and then on About. The user will then be able to see detailed information about the device including its name and model number.
Another way to identify the model is to simply look for the App Store. The App Store isn’t available on Apple TV (3rd generation), so if the user cannot find the App Store on the device then it is likely to be a 3rd gen model and affected by the recent change in Hulu support. If it helps with identification, the Apple TV (3rd gen) is the model shown in the image at the top of this article.