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Hulu Cuts App Support for Pre-2015 Roku Devices

(Image credit: Roku)

Moore’s Law is alive and well in the OTT streaming biz.

Hulu, which just finished a major user-interface redesign that aesthetically puts its software environment much more in line with corporate sibling Disney Plus, has informed users (opens in new tab) of older-model Roku hardware that on June 24, they will not be able to use their streaming boxes and sticks to access their Hulu service. 

Also read: Hulu UI Gets Disney-esque Redesign

The switch affects primarily devices manufactured and sold up to 2015—Roku streaming player models 2400 to 3100 and Roku streaming stick models 3420 and older. These devices had already been limited to accessing Hulu via the “classic” iteration the Hulu app, which doesn’t enable live linear streaming. 

Starting June 24, these users will get messages including, “Hulu is no longer supported on this device,” and “your user session has expired.

Hulu said the following Roku players will need a firmware upgrade (to version 8.1) in order to work with the latest iteration of its app:

> Roku Ultra
> Roku Premiere and Premiere+
> Roku Express and Express+
> Roku 3
> Roku 4
> Roku 2 (model 4210), 
> Roku Streaming Stick (model 3500 and later)
> Roku TV
> 4K Roku TV

The OTT business is in a state of fast evolution that is at least mildly painful for early adopters, who cut the cord and purchased OTT-enabled smart TVs, boxes, dongles and streaming sticks in the easier part of the last decade. 

With operators quickly iterating their UIs in a competitive “streaming wars” market, older model devices can’t keep up. 

Netflix, for another example, left older model Roku, Samsung and Vizio smart TVs behind late last year. And WarnerMedia announced in April that its streaming apps wouldn’t work with older model Apple TV devices. 

Daniel Frankel
Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!