How to Put Hulu Videos on Your TV

Use your TV to watch Hulu for the whole family to enjoy

Hulu is one of the best ways to find legal HD movies and TV shows online. You can use the website on your computer or the mobile device for Hulu on the go, but there's a little extra step you have to take in order to watch Hulu on your TV.

There are a few methods for putting Hulu videos on your TV, and the one you choose depends on how you want to do it. The first is through the mobile app or website, another is with a smart HDTV, and the third and most complicated option is to hook up a computer to the TV.

Illustration of Hulu on various screens, including TV, game console, and laptop
Lifewire / Tim Liedtke

This information applies to televisions from a variety of manufacturers including, but not limited to, those made by LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, and Vizio.

Watch Hulu With a Casting Device

A casting device or set-top box might include any device you can plug into the HDMI port on your HDTV, like a Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV. These hardware devices either let you "throw" or cast videos on your TV or they include a built-in app that you can browse through directly from your TV screen.

For instance, both the mobile app and the desktop version of Hulu let you tap or click the Chromecast button to instantly put the video you're watching directly onto your HDTV.

If you're using a Roku or Apple TV, you can add the Hulu channel to your device to watch Hulu videos on your high-def TV. The same is true for the Amazon Fire TV Hulu app.

Watch Hulu From a Gaming Console

Hulu has apps for a variety of current and previous generation gaming consoles. You can watch Hulu with Live TV or Hulu On-Demand on Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Xbox One, while you can use Nintendo's Switch and Wii U as well as Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 to watch Hulu On-Demand.

Simply download the Hulu app from the respective game/app stores on any of these consoles, then sign in with your Hulu account to start watching.

Watch Hulu From a Smart HDTV

Some televisions have applications built right into the TV's hard drive. If your TV already has Hulu, you can just log in to your account to watch movies and shows in no time. If not, you can usually download a small, free app to make it work.

Smart TVs might come with a browser for surfing the web but if you want videos from Hulu (or YouTube, Netflix, etc.), it's best to use the dedicated app so you don't run into errors. They normally have a special remote that lets you access a hub of some sort in order to get to the apps section.

You might have to connect your Hulu account to your smart TV with an activation code:

  1. Log in to Hulu from the HDTV application.

  2. Write down the activation code that's shown on the screen.

  3. From a computer, visit Hulu's Activate Your Device page and log in if asked.

  4. Enter the activation code shown on your TV and then click Activate.

  5. The HDTV should automatically log in to your Hulu account within 30 seconds.

Connect a Laptop to Your HDTV

The third option you have for watching Hulu videos on your TV is the old fashioned way, which is to plug a desktop or laptop computer directly into a video input port on the TV.

ESPN showing on a laptop via Hulu

Most new HDTVs include HDMI ports, which means you have to have an HDMI cable and an HDMI output port on your laptop or desktop. However, almost all TVs have a VGA port for using the TV as a monitor for your laptop. This setup lets you watch anything on your TV, including Hulu.

However, the technical side of this method is a bit different for different folks. For example, if your laptop only has a DVI or VGA port and your HDTV just accepts HDMI cables, you have to buy a DVI or VGA converter that can utilize the HDMI port on the TV.

If you're not using an HDMI cable (which includes both video and audio), you need an adapter that will plug into your speaker port and split it into the audio component cable. A 3.5mm to RCA cable will do the trick.