Hulu offers great content. However, many people face an issue where the screen turns black while the audio still plays. Are you dealing with the same problem?
Many websites suggest solutions such as clearing the cache, restarting your Fire TV Stick, and reinstalling the Hulu app. I’ll get straight to the point.
Key takeaway: For those using a browser or the Hulu desktop app, turn off hardware acceleration. Hulu can sometimes face compatibility issues with this feature. If you’re using a Fire TV Stick, change the audio setting from “Best Performance” to “PCM”.
Here are steps to fix the Hulu black screen issue for the desktop app, browser, or Fire TV Stick.
Disable hardware acceleration if you use the Hulu desktop app
The Hulu desktop app uses an integrated Microsoft Edge browser. If you’re getting a black screen while streaming content, disable hardware acceleration on Microsoft Edge.
Open Microsoft Edge, click on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner and click on Settings. Then, click on System and toggle the “Use hardware acceleration when available” off.
After changing the toggle, Microsoft Edge will prompt, “For this setting change to take effect restart your browser.” So, click the Restart button below the toggle.
If the hardware acceleration is off and Hulu shows a black screen, follow these steps: Turn it on, restart Microsoft Edge and Hulu, then turn it back off.
Hardware acceleration is a feature on Microsoft Edge that lets the browser move all graphics and text rendering from the CPU to the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) when available.
This frees up resources on your computer so it can run other applications faster. Unless you face issues, you shouldn’t disable the hardware acceleration setting.
However, if the graphics driver has compatibility issues or the display adapter lacks the right acceleration support, performance can drop instead of improving.
If you face the Hulu black screen due to slow webpage rendering or HTML5 video issues, disabling hardware acceleration can help.
If the Hulu screen remains black, set the toggle next to Efficiency mode to Off. You’ll find this setting in the Optimize Performance section.
Disable hardware acceleration if you use the browser
When watching Hulu on a browser, ensure your settings are correct. Start by checking hardware acceleration. If you use Google Chrome, consider disabling this feature.
Disabling hardware acceleration shifts the task of rendering graphics and decoding video from your video card to your CPU.
You should usually leave hardware acceleration enabled. However, for Hulu, it might lead to freezing or crashing. In such cases, consider turning it off.
Clear browser cache and disable third-party apps
Screen recording might cause problems. When Hulu detects an active screen recording, it blocks the video, showing only a black screen.
For a smooth experience, clear the cache, cookies, and local save data related to Hulu and hulu.com. After that, restart your browser.
Lastly, issues might arise from ad blockers or VPNs. Ensure Hulu is whitelisted and disconnect any VPN active in your browser.
Change the sound settings if you use a Fire TV Stick
After spending many days trying to solve the black screen problem on my Hulu (black screen with only audio), I’ve finally found the perfect workaround.
The issue is related to the sound settings on the Fire TV Stick menu. Though it sounds odd since the issue appears to be video freezing, it’s the key.
Open the Fire TV Stick settings. Press and hold the Home button on the remote for five seconds. If your remote has a Settings button, use that.
Navigate to Display & Sounds, select Audio, and choose Surround Sound. Change the selection to “PCM” instead of “Best Available” which is enabled by default.
The Fire TV Stick seems to freeze video content if it doesn’t detect audio.
Sometimes, this even turns the screen black.
My Hulu content was showing a black screen but once I changed the audio settings, all of the content, including Hulu Live TV, played just fine and the sound came out perfectly.
Many people have faced this issue using the same equipment. It appears that Hulu and Fire TV Stick aren’t fully compatible, so we need this workaround.
Play the content from the Live Guide if you watch Hulu Live
Hulu Live TV often turns black during a show. It isn’t buffering, and you can’t play, fast-forward, or rewind it. We both probably find this annoying.
For those of you watching on-demand content from Hulu Live TV, changing the audio settings might solve the black screen problem. If it doesn’t, try another workaround.
Switch to a different station, then return to your desired one. Or, open the Live Guide, choose your station, and select “WATCH LIVE”.
To access the Live Guide on TV, press down on your remote or controller. For Apple TV users, swipe up during playback.
If using a browser, click the ‘Live menu’ option on the main navigation bar. Or, choose the three-line icon below the player bar during streaming.
You likely won’t face this issue on mobile. But if you do, to access the Live Menu, tap the exit fullscreen icon or turn your device upright during playback.