Roku App & Hulu

My programmable TV remote stopped working properly when trying to use it to control the Hulu channel on Roku (4K). With all other streaming sources it worked fine. The separate Roku remote didn’t work either.

But then I wondered whether there might be a Roku iPhone app. I found it, installed it, connected it to my Roku box via bluetooth and — voilà: it worked.

I phoned my local repair shop and they explained that Roku has been having a dispute with Hulu and the streaming service changed their settings to make older boxes no longer work properly with that source. They want you to buy a new Roku box that will work with the rejiggered Hulu. Updates to the old box do not solve the problem.

I’m sticking with my iPhone 14 Pro for now.

Unfortunately, this is a problem with smart TVs of all kind. Sooner or later (and long before the TV stops working, typically), the CPU used for running the “smart” features ends up too slow for the apps it needs to run. And then instead of being smart, it ends up worse than dumb.

Which is why, even though I have two smart TVs at home, i don’t use the built-in capabilities at all. I have an Apple TV 4K connected to each of those TVs, and I use them for all my streaming media.

In the future, when the apps need more horsepower than the Apple TV can put out, it will be much easier to replace it than to buy a new TV.