How to Fix a Hulu Playback Failure

Can't get to your show? Try these fixes

hulu playback failure

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When Hulu stops working, the error messages aren't always that helpful. One of the most common error messages simply indicates that playback failure has occurred. This message is most commonly seen on streaming devices like Roku and Fire TV, consoles like Xbox and PlayStation, and smart televisions from Vizio, LG, and others.

In some cases, Hulu provides you with an error code that can help you pin down the problem. When that doesn't happen, and all you see is the playback failure message, you need to start with the basics, like checking your internet connection, and move on from there.

What Causes Hulu Playback Errors?

Hulu playback errors are caused when the app on your device is unable to communicate with the Hulu servers, or the Hulu servers are unable to provide a video stream.

Hulu playback errors are usually caused by issues with your device, software, or home network, and you can fix them by following the instructions provided below.

In other cases, Hulu playback errors are caused by issues on Hulu's end. What that means is that when if you see a playback error when trying to watch a Hulu video, and everything checks out fine on your end, Hulu itself may be experiencing a problem.

When a playback error is caused by a problem with Hulu itself, all you can do is let them know about the issue and then wait for them to fix the problem.

If you want to rule out problems that you can actually fix yourself, here are the things that you can do when you experience a Hulu playback error on your streaming device:

  1. Verify that your internet connection speed is fast enough for streaming.
    1. Hulu videos may stutter, buffer, or not play at all if your internet speed drops too low.
    2. Regular Hulu videos require 3.0Mbps.
    3. Hulu With Live TV requires 8.0Mbps.
    4. If you are unsure how fast your internet is, check out our guide to testing your internet speed.
  2. Restart your device and networking equipment.
    1. Fully shut down, power off, and unplug your streaming device and network equipment.
    2. Leave your equipment unplugged for about one minute.
    3. Plug your equipment back in, turn it on, and check to see if the Hulu playback error persists.
  3. Switch to a wired connection if possible.
    1. Try connecting your streaming device to your router or modem with an ethernet cable.
    2. If the playback error goes away, either use a wired connection to stream, or relocate your wireless router to be closer to the device you use to watch Hulu.
  4. Disconnect other devices from your network.
    1. If you have a lot of computers, smartphones, game consoles, and other devices connected to your network, disconnect them.
    2. Secure your network, and make sure nobody is connected to it without your knowledge.
    3. If the playback error goes away, you may want to purchase a multi-band router or a router that allows you to prioritize streaming traffic.
  1. Check your router settings.
    1. If your router allows you to prioritize certain types of traffic or devices, set it to give priority to the device you are trying to watch Hulu on.
    2. Try changing the domain name server (DNS) settings in your router.
    3. If you are unsure what DNS is, or how to change it, check out our full guide to changing DNS on the most popular routers.

If you still have a Hulu playback error after trying all of these fixes, then deleting or resetting the Hulu app on your device may help. In some cases, your device may also have an option to check or test its internet connection.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on PlayStation 4

If you're trying to watch Hulu on your PS4, and you get a playback error, you need to check the status of your internet connection:

  1. If you have Hulu or any other app open, close it and return to the main XrossMediaBar (XMB).
  2. Navigate to Settings > Network Settings > Internet Connection Test.

If that checks out fine, then try resetting your system date and time:

  1. If you have a game or app open, return to the XMB.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Date and Time > Date and Time Settings > Set via Internet > Set Now.

If the playback error persists, the next step is to remove the Hulu app and re-download it:

  1. Highlight the Hulu app.
  2. Press the triangle button on your controller.
  3. Select Delete.
  4. Open the PlayStation Store and re-download the Hulu app.

If that still doesn't work, then try clearing your system cache:

  1. Turn off the PlayStation 4.
    1. Important: Do not enter rest mode. Shut the system down entirely.
  2. When the indicator light on the system has stopped blinking, unplug the console.
  3. Wait at least 30 seconds.
  4. Plug the PlayStation 4 back in and turn it on.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on PlayStation 3

If you're experiencing Hulu playback errors on your PS3, the first thing to do is check the status of your internet connection:

  1. If you have Hulu or another app open, close it and return to the main XMB.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Network Settings > Internet Connection Test.

If there are no problems with the internet connection, then try resetting your PS3 system time:

  1. If you have a game or app open, close it and return to the main XMB
  2. Navigate to Settings > Date and Time Settings > Set via Internet.

If that doesn't work either, try removing and reinstalling the Hulu app:

  1. Highlight the Hulu application.
  2. Press the triangle button on your controller.
  3. Select Delete.
  4. Open the PlayStation store, and re-download the Hulu app.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on Xbox One

If you're experiencing playback errors on your Xbox One, the first thing to do is test the internet connection on your console:

  1. Press the Xbox Button to open the guide.
  2. Navigate to Settings > All Settings > Network > Network settings.
    1. If there are any known outages, they will be displayed.
  3. Select Detailed Network Statistics.
  4. Verify that your connection is working and the speed is high enough to stream video from Hulu.

If your connection is solid, then try deleting and reinstalling Hulu:

  1. Log out of Hulu on your console and close it.
  2. Highlight the Hulu app.
  3. Press the Menu button on your controller.
  4. Select Manage App.
  5. Select Uninstall.
  6. Reinstall the Hulu app and check to see if you still have playback errors.

The next thing that you can try is to clear the system cache on your console:

  1. Turn off your Xbox One.
  2. Once the console has totally shut down, unplug it from power.
  3. Leave it unplugged for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Plug the console back in, turn it on, and check to see if you still experience playback errors.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on Xbox 360

Before you try anything else, you may solve a playback error by simply logging out of the Hulu app on your console. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open the Hulu app.
  2. Go to the Account section.
  3. Select Log Out From Hulu.
  4. Log back in and check to see if you still get a playback error.

The next step is to completely delete the Hulu app and re-download it:

  1. Navigate to Settings > System > Storage > All Devices > Games and Apps.
  2. Highlight the Hulu icon, and press Y on your controller.
  3. Select Delete.
  4. Re-download Hulu on your console and check to see if you still have a playback error.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on Wii U

The first thing to try on the Wii U is to remove the Hulu channel from your console and then reinstall it:

  1. From the home screen, select System Settings > Data Management > Copy/Move/Delete Data > System Memory > Hulu.
  2. Press Y to Delete All.
  3. Open the Nintendo eShop and re-download Hulu.

If that doesn't work, make sure that your Wii U has the latest system update installed:

  1. From the home screen, open System Settings.
  2. Select System Update.
  3. If there is a system update available, follow the on-screen prompts to download and install it.

The last thing you can try, if you still have a playback error, is to reset the date and time on your console:

  1. From the home screen, open System Settings.
  2. Select Date and Time.
  3. Make sure that the settings are correct.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on Nintendo Switch

The first thing to do if you're seeing Hulu playback errors on your Switch is to run the internet connection test:

  1. If you have any apps or games open, press the home button and return to the home screen.
  2. From the home menu, navigate to System Settings > Internet > Test Connection.
  3. Verify that the internet connection is working, and that the download speed is sufficient for streaming Hulu videos.

If your internet connection is fine, try closing and restarting the Hulu app:

  1. Press the home button to return to the home menu.
  2. Highlight the Hulu app, and press X.
  3. Select Close.
  4. Restart the app and check to see if you still have playback errors.

The next step is to check for updates to the Hulu app:

  1. Press the home button to return to the home menu.
  2. Navigate to System Settings > Manage Software.
  3. Select Hulu > Software Update > Via the Internet.

If you still experience playback errors, make sure your Switch itself is up to date:

  1. Press the home button to return to the home menu.
  2. Navigate to System Settings > System > System Update.

The last thing you can try is to uninstall the Hulu app and re-download it:

  1. Press the home button to return to the home menu.
  2. Navigate to System Settings > Manage Software.
  3. Select Hulu > Delete Software.
  4. Open the Nintendo eShop and re-download Hulu.

For more information about fixing issues with your Switch, check out our full guide to solving common Nintendo Switch problems.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on Roku

On your Roku, you can remove the Hulu channel and then add it back via the Channel Store.

  1. Press the asterisk (star button) on your Roku remote.
  2. Select Remove Channel.
  3. Open the Channel Store.
  4. Locate Hulu, and select Add Channel.

If that doesn't work, make sure that your Roku has the latest firmware installed:

  1. Open the Home menu on your Roku.
  2. Navigate to Settings > System > System Update
  3. Select Check Now.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on Amazon Fire TV

The first thing to try when you experience playback errors on your Fire TV is to clear the temporary files that Hulu has stored on your device:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Applications > Hulu.
  2. Select Clear Cache.
  3. Select Clear Data.
  4. Check to see if you still have playback errors.

If that doesn't work, you can try to uninstall and re-download the app:

  1. If you have an app open, return to the main menu.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Applications > Hulu > Uninstall.
  3. Wait for the uninstallation process to complete.
  4. Reinstall Hulu.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on Apple TV

If you're getting Hulu playback errors on your Apple TV, there are a few things that you can try:

  1. Verify your network settings by navigating to Settings > Network.
  2. Update your Hulu app by navigating to Settings > System.

For more in depth information about Apple TV issues, check out our full guide to solving Apple TV problems.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on Vizio TVs

If you have a Vizio TV that has the Hulu app, and you're experiencing playback errors, you can delete the app and re-download it:

  1. Press the VIA button on your remote control.
  2. Highlight the Hulu app and press the yellow button on your remote.
  3. Select Delete Snippet.
  4. Navigate to the Widget Gallery, and find Hulu.
  5. Select Add Widget to My Profile.
  6. Check to see if you still have playback errors.
Note: You can only delete and reinstall the Hulu app on Vizio televisions. Vizio Blu-Ray players and Streaming Players do not have this option.

Fixing Hulu Playback Errors on LG Televisions and Blu-Ray Players

Your device specific options for tackling Hulu playback errors on LG devices are limited. If you are able to start videos, but they stutter, buffer, or stop playing, try lowering the video quality:

  1. Start a video on Hulu.
  2. While the video is playing, press the down button on your LG remote.
  3. Navigate to Video Quality.
  4. Lower the video quality, and see if that fixes your problem.

If you still experience playback errors, try updating your LG firmware:

  1. Press Home on your remote control.
  2. Navigate to Setup > Support > Software Update.
  3. If there is an update available, follow the on-screen prompts to install it.