Hulu Not Working on Vizio Smart TV: 9 Simple Fixes

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Your binging session has been interrupted, so let’s get this resolved quickly. In this article, we’ll look at the nine easiest fixes for when Hulu is not working on Vizio smart TVs.

1. Make Sure Your Vizio TV Is Compatible With Hulu

Several older Vizio TVs lost compatibility with Hulu’s app in 2016 and then again in 2018. Most of these models have older processors that can no longer handle the Hulu app. These models will likely never regain their Hulu compatibility.

The table below shows all the Vizio models that have known incompatibilities with Hulu. However, that list will likely grow as Hulu continues to update its app.

If your TV is on this list or is more than a few years old, your only real options are to replace the TV or add a streaming stick. Obviously, a streaming stick is a cheaper and easier option.

You can play Hulu on any TV (smart or otherwise) by adding a Fire TV Stick or a Roku streaming stick. Both are easy to use and have all of the major streaming apps. Unless you already have a preference, I’d go with Fire TV largely for the Fire Stick Alexa voice controls.

Vizio TV models that don’t work with Hulu app
E241i-A1 E241i-A1W E291i-A1
E320i-A0 E320i-A2 E321i-A2
E322AR E322VL E390i-A1
E3D320VX E3D420VX E3D470VX
E3DB420VX E401i-A2 E420d-A0
E420i-A0 E420i-A1 E421VT
E422AR E422VA E422VL
E422VLE E423VL E470i-A0
E472VL E472VLE E500d-A0
E500i-A0 E500i-A1 E502AR
E550i-A0 E551i-A2 E551VA
E552VL E552VLE E601-A3
E601i-A3 E601i-A3E E650i-A2
E701-A3 E701i-A3 E701i-A3E
ISV-B11 (Co-Star LT) M220NV M221NV
M261VP M320KD M320SL
M320SR M370SL M370SR
M370SV M3D420SR M3D421SR
M3D460SR M3D470KD M3D550KD
M3D550KDE M3D550SL M3D550SR
M3D650SV M3D651SV M420KD
M420SL M420SR M420SV
M421VT M470KD M470NV
M470SL M470SV M470VSE
M472VL M550KD M550NV
M550SL M550SV M550VSE
M650VSE SV422XVT SV472XVT
VF552XVT XVT323SV XVT373SV
XVT3D424SV XVT3D474SV XVT3D554SV
XVT3D650SV XVT423SV XVT473SV
XVT553SV    

2. Check Your Internet Speed

Slow internet can often cause buffering issues with Hulu and other streaming apps. In extreme cases, your internet may be too slow or unreliable to even connect to the Hulu servers.

You can do an internet speed test on your computer or phone. Make sure the device you are using is on the same network as your TV. For your phone, that also means turning off mobile data and connecting only to Wi-Fi.

You’re going to need speeds of at least 3–4 Mbps for standard streaming and 5–8 Mbps for HD. If your speeds are slower than that, you’ll need to:

  • Check for sources of interferences (e.g., too many walls between your router and your TV).
  • Restart your router (see the next section).
  • Contact your internet provider to see whether there are network problems or whether you need an upgrade.

3. Restart Your Router

Often, the problem is with your local Wi-Fi network rather than your TV or the Hulu app.

Rather than try to debug every potential network problem, it’s easier to just restart your entire network to see if that sorts everything out. You’ll generally want to do this once a month or so anyway to keep your network functioning at its best.

Before proceeding, make sure that nobody in your home is actively using the internet. This process will shut down all network and internet connections for roughly five minutes during the reboot.

Okay, let’s get started.

  1. Unplug the power cable from your router and modem.
  2. Wait 30 seconds.
  3. Plug the power cables back in.
  4. Wait a few minutes for the modem and router to boot up.

Once your TV connects to the network again, try to run the Hulu app. If your network speeds were slow when you tested them, this is also a good time to run another test. Restarting your router will often boost your speeds for a short while, but it won’t fix every underlying problem.

4. Update Your Hulu App

Hulu frequently releases updates that fix TV compatibility issues or address bugs in their app. You won’t have to struggle with those older bugs if you have the latest version of the app installed on your smart TV.

This fix is only pertinent to Vizio TVs running the older Vizio Internet Apps (VIA) and VIA Plus platforms. All Vizio TVs released since 2018 use the SmartCast platform that handles app updates for you.

  1. Press the V button (image below) on your remote control or the home button if there is no V button.
The V button on the Vizio TV remote
  1. Scroll to Hulu in the app grid under My Apps.
  2. Press and hold the OK button on the remote until a menu appears in the bottom corner of the screen.
  3. Press the OK button again to delete the app.
  4. Click Delete to confirm deleting the Hulu app.
  5. Go to the All Apps tab.
  6. Scroll through until you get to the Hulu app.
  7. Press and hold the OK button on your remote until a confirmation message appears.

Now try the Hulu app again. You’ll need to enter your Hulu log-in information again.

5. Update Your Vizio TV Firmware

Just like app updates, firmware updates will often fix your TV app problems for you.

Older Vizio TVs could only be updated automatically. You just need to leave your TV connected to the internet, and it will take care of the rest.

Newer Vizio Smartcast TVs still update automatically, but they also have an option to manually force a firmware update. This shouldn’t be necessary, but it is nice to have in case the automatic updates fails without telling you.

  1. Press the V button or the home button on your remote.
  2. Select System from the menu.
  3. Press Check for Updates.
  4. Wait for your TV to check for updates.
  5. Confirm the update installation if one is available.

Once the firmware is updated, try the Hulu app again.

6. Clear Your Hulu App Cache

While newer Vizio TVs may not let you upgrade or delete apps, they do have an option for clearing an app’s cache. This is the equivalent of clearing the cookies in your internet browser, and often it will solve random glitches in the app.

  1. Press the V button or the home button on your remote.
  2. Select System from the menu.
  3. Go to Apps.
  4. Click System Apps.
  5. Select the Hulu app.
  6. Click Clear Cache.
  7. Press OK.

7. Turn Off Your VPN

Those of you that don’t use a virtual private network (VPN) can ignore this step. If you don’t know what a VPN is, you’re probably not using one.

Most streaming services try to block VPN traffic. If you’re running a VPN that Hulu has managed to block, you likely won’t have access to your streaming content. The easiest way to test this is to turn off the VPN and try the connection again.

8. Try Hulu on Another Device

We’ve covered everything we can try on your TV itself, so let’s see how widespread the problem is. Try opening Hulu on your computer or any other device on your network.

If Hulu works on your other devices but not your TV, it’s time to contact Vizio support.

But if Hulu isn’t working on any of your devices, the problem may be with your Hulu account or with Hulu’s servers.

9. Check Hulu Server Status

You can use Downdetector to check whether other users in your area are having problems with Hulu. Most of the time, Hulu outages are local and quickly fixed.

If you can’t find anything on Downdetector, it’s time to contact Hulu support or check the Hulu community forum for more info. They’ll have more up-to-date information than I can provide in this article.

What’s Next?

There are a lot of advantages to a non-Android smart TV like those made by Vizio. They are easy to use and have few technical issues (although sometimes Vizio TVs won’t turn on.)

But when you have problems with apps, there’s often not much you can do. There are several ways to restart apps on Samsung TVs, but Vizio TVs don’t have as fine-grained control. When Hulu or other apps falter, Vizio basically expects that you’ll just call their support line.

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