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Hulu’s live TV service now streams at 60 fps for NBC, TBS, TNT, and other channels

Hulu’s live TV service now streams at 60 fps for NBC, TBS, TNT, and other channels


You should notice smoother motion in sports

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Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Just in time for the Olympics and March Madness, Hulu has announced on its subreddit that it has added support for 60-frames-per-second live TV streams for some channels on select devices. The company is referring to this as “phase one” of its 60 fps roll-out, which will result in noticeably smoother movement when you’re watching content like sports. That’s the situation where this improvement will pay off the most, but Hulu says you’ll also spot the difference when watching news on CNN; everything from the anchors to the moving text chyron at the bottom of the screen should be smoother with the added frames.

As part of phase one, Hulu is checking off around a dozen channels. In terms of the big four broadcast networks, all NBC affiliates are covered and “about half” of Fox affiliates support 60fps. (Hulu warns that NBC and Fox stations might revert back to the usual 30 fps at times to favor stream stability over frame rate.) With NBC on board, the network’s primetime Winter Olympics coverage should look pretty great on Hulu. But Hulu isn’t alone here: some of the company’s internet TV competitors including PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now already offer 60 fps streams. Support varies depending on channel and the device you’re watching on.

And on the subject of devices, Hulu is starting off with iOS, Apple TV, Fire TV, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Samsung’s Tizen smart TVs. Yes, you’ll notice that Android is completely left out of phase one — as are Roku products. It’s odd to see the Nintendo Switch getting priority above those platforms, but it is what it is.

The full list of channels that Hulu says supports 60 fps is below.

  • Adult Swim
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNN
  • CNN International
  • Fox (“about half” of affiliates on Hulu)
  • HLN
  • NBC (all affiliates on Hulu)
  • New England Channel News
  • Showtime
  • TBS
  • TCM
  • TNT
  • TruTV

Separate from this, Hulu has tried to make amends this week for the Super Bowl troubles that some live TV customers experienced during the closing moments of Sunday’s game. Users who had their game disrupted are receiving a free extra month of their Hulu with Live TV subscription. The company is sending out emails to those who were affected. “We’re confident in our ability to come back, and we hope you’ll give us another shot,” an employee said on Reddit. The issue was apparently the result of Hulu’s extensions — the things that tell the service a sports game or event is running longer than its given timeslot — not working correctly for the Super Bowl.