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Hulu Kills Its Classic App, Ending Support For PS3, Apple TV (3rd Gen), And More

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Hulu appears to have killed its Classic app, ending support for a number of older devices in the process. While this change won’t affect the ability to watch Hulu Live TV, it is going to impact homes that were relying on older Samsung and Sony smart TVs, as well as the PlayStation 3 and Apple TV (3rd generation), to access the basic Hulu on-demand library.

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For the last few years, Hulu has offered two main apps, Classic and Latest. As the name suggests, Latest is the newer version of Hulu that’s loaded with all the bells and whistles, including integrated live TV for those signed up to Hulu Live TV. Classic was the more basic Hulu app experience that was used before the Latest app was released, and didn’t support live TV.

Put simply, all devices that were compatible with Hulu could only download one of these app types, with that decision based on the age of the device and support level. Up until this week, Hulu provided a help page (cached version) which specifically detailed the differences between the two apps. A separate help page (cached) made it even clearer as to which devices were classified as compatible with either the Classic app or the Latest app.

According to the Aug. 19 cached version off that page, older devices still reliant on the Classic app included:

  • Apple TV (3rd generation)
  • LG TVs and Blu-ray players (select models)
  • Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
  • Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players (select models)
  • Sony TVs and Blu-ray players (select models)

Hulu also offers dedicated help pages for many of its supported platforms and devices. Below are screenshots of the dedicated Apple TV page which further confirmed that the Apple TV (3rd gen) was previously supported, but isn’t anymore.

Apple TV 3rd Gen Hulu device support
Apple TV (3rd gen) loses Hulu support

While not specifically mentioned on the general Classic/Latest app support page, a separate PlayStation help page confirms PlayStation 3 as another of the supported devices that has since lost support.

PS3 Hulu device support before and after
PlayStation 3 loses Hulu support

In general, all of Hulu’s help pages have now been totally scrubbed of any mention of the Classic app. Furthermore, reports are starting to surface indicating that devices that were previously using the Classic app, suddenly can’t. For example, this Apple forum post confirming the loss of access on an Apple TV (3rd gen). Likewise, this Reddit thread appears to confirm that some PlayStation 3 users were notified by email a few weeks ago that their devices would be losing support on Oct. 3 – the same date Hulu made wholesale changes to its device support documents by removing mention of the Classic app.

While it is likely that other affected device owners were notified ahead of time, many might not have been (or haven’t noticed yet). Either way, with the Classic app now discontinued, anyone previously using a device that was only capable of downloading the Classic app is likely to have now lost support for Hulu. This includes some older LG, Samsung, and Sony TVs, as well as older Roku players and Sticks.

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Coincidentally, or not considering Hulu and Disney Plus are both Disney-owned services, this change has taken place in the same week that Disney Plus added native support for the PlayStation 5. While it was previously possible to access Disney Plus on the PS5, the new version of the app is expected to offer an improved streaming experience, including the ability to watch Disney shows and movies in 4K HDR.

As for owners of any of those older and previously Classic app-compatible devices, it might be time to consider picking up a cheap streaming player. Or at least digging out a slightly newer device to watch Hulu on.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

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