Hulu is a top-rated American streaming service that hosts many exciting movies and shows. If you’re using Hulu, you probably want to know if it will work with the fantastic surround sound technology offered by Dolby Atmos.
Unfortunately, Hulu does not support Dolby Atmos. Hulu streams most of its content, including live shows, in 2.0 stereo sound. However, select on-demand titles and live playbacks support an alternative, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
Looking on the brighter side, there are other streaming services that offer a huge list of Atmos-capable content, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. So, let’s see why Hulu doesn’t stream Atmos content and where you can turn to find it instead.
What is Dolby Atmos?
Developed in 2012 by Dolby, the Atmos sound technology aims at bringing the cinematic experience to private homes. The sound format provides object-oriented audio effects from different angles by adding extra height channels.
For instance, you can hear a helicopter whirling over your head or an explosion happening in the background. By using these placement techniques for sounds, Atmos creates a 3D surround sound effect and enhances the home theater experience.
Does Hulu Support Dolby Atmos?
Unfortunately, Hulu does not support Dolby Atmos sound. Natively, the streaming service is designed to encode audio in 2.0 stereo quality. Therefore, you will only be able to access content without Dolby Atmos surround sound effects.
Nonetheless, Hulu does offer 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound on select live channels and on-demand content. You can check the pages of on-demand titles to identify the 5.1 sound-compatible movies and TV shows.
5.1 Dolby Digital-Compatible Devices
As mentioned, you can stream Hulu using a few devices to play select on-demand or live content in 5.1 surround sound. For instance, you can play 5.1 surround sound with a Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and basically any other modern streaming device.
However, finding the right device and content won’t finish the job. You also have to check the audio settings on your TV to make sure you are getting a Dolby Digital audio stream to your audio player (soundbar or AV receiver).
Go to the audio output settings in your TV and make sure it is set to bitstream, not PCM. If you set it to PCM, it will limit the sound to 2 channels of audio.
This can work with HDMI, HDMI ARC, digital optical, and digital coax. You can’t use AUX or RCA cables to transmit 5.1 channels of audio.
Which Streaming Platforms Do Support Dolby Atmos?
It’s no wonder why other streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ are gaining more traction than Hulu.
With the capability to provide users with high-definition surround sound content, these platforms leave no stone unturned in order to bring the user experience to a completely new level.
All you need to do is connect the devices that support an Atmos signal and browse the related content to enjoy 3D surround sound.