Here’s Why Your Hulu Screen is Dark (Dimming Randomly)

Key takeaway: If the Hulu screen darkens, press the star (*) button and adjust the Picture mode to any setting. You can also return to the prior screen and click “WATCH AGAIN” to brighten the picture.

A perplexed individual standing in front of a black TV screen.

Hulu tends to darken during and after commercials. Even with the Hulu (No Ads) plan, there might be a delay before the server processes that it shouldn’t play an ad.

Unfortunately, this is a known issue with Hulu. You can force-stop Hulu on your Roku TV, but you probably don’t want to reopen the app every time you watch.

In this article, I’ll discuss when the Hulu screen darkens and offer workarounds to address the dimming issue.

In this article, I’m going to explain the instances where the Hulu screen becomes dark along with some workarounds you can do to solve the Hulu dimming issue.

Change the picture mode when the Hulu screen becomes dark after a commercial

After a commercial, the Hulu screen becomes super dark. This issue doesn’t occur with other apps on Roku TV. It only happens with Hulu Originals content.

The situation can be temporarily resolved by pressing the star (*) button on the Roku TV remote, and then changing the Picture mode setting to any option.

After changing the Picture mode, you can return to your preferred setting. It’s troublesome, but it only takes about 10 seconds of your time.

You can either force-stop the Hulu app or choose the previous episode and fast-forward to its end. This makes the next episode start right away. However, the dimming issue will return after the next ads. I’ve been using the Hulu plan with ads on a Hisense Roku TV.

I’ve talked with the Hisense support team and they told me to talk with Roku because it’s a software problem. I’m guessing there’s a compatibility issue between Roku and Hulu.

It’s a known issue with Hulu. For us customers, we can only work with temporary workarounds but for a permanent solution, we can only hope Hulu fixes the problem.

Press any button on the remote when the Hulu screen dims after an episode transition

In a recent Hulu update, I noticed the screen dims after moving to a new episode. Just click any button on the remote to restore the screen brightness to normal.

Hulu uses two different “transition animations” for the next episode. The app seems to pick which animation to show randomly.

Animation 1 is a rectangular block in the bottom right of the screen with a countdown. Animation 2 is a circle in the top right of the screen. The circle shrinks as the countdown goes on.

Both animations dim the screen when they start, but the issue is with Animation 2.

If Hulu uses Animation 2, the screen remains dim as the next episode starts. The screen stays dark until you press a button on your remote.

Also, the time of day doesn’t seem to matter. Hopefully, Hulu will fix this soon.

Click watch again when the Hulu screen becomes dark randomly

Even if you use Hulu without ads, the screen might dim at times. I’m unsure if this dimming relates to ad spots. I contacted Hulu and here’s what they said:

”I checked my resources, and it seems that we have a ticket recently opened for this exact scenario. Our team is still investigating the root cause of this issue at the moment, which is why we are unable to recommend any troubleshooting steps yet.”

I asked about a timeline for resolving this issue. They said there isn’t one, though the Hulu developer team knows about the dimming problem.

If the Hulu screen darkens, you can try two things.

First, go back to the previous screen and click “Watch again.” This often makes the picture brighter. Second, pressing the play/pause button on the remote also works. This restores the brightness quickly, but the screen may dim again in 10 to 15 minutes.

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Go back to the previous screen and watch again to solve the dimming problem.

If you pause and restart the content or return to the program menu, it often fixes the dimming. This is because the dim overlay can “stick” if content is left idle.

Update Hulu to the latest version

Last but not least, ensure you’re using the latest version of Hulu. No matter the device, like an iPhone or Roku TV, older Hulu app versions can have bugs.

Look for updates in the settings menu of your device and the app store for both your streaming system and the Hulu app.

On multiple forums, many Hulu users have solved the dimming issue by simply updating their app. After the update, there’s a good chance the screen won’t dim anymore.

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