Hulu is partnering with IMAX to exclusively carry 16 of the technology company’s documentaries in the United States, including A Beautiful Planet, Destiny in Space, and Into the Deep — but none of the titles will be available in 4K.
A spokesperson for IMAX tells The Verge that “Hulu is not planning on showing the documentaries in 4K,” but a press release notes that many of the films heading to Hulu have been remastered. Other streaming services, like Disney Plus, have offered 4K remastered versions of films, including the Star Wars series, for streaming purposes. While not every IMAX movie has received a 4K home release option, some IMAX titles, including A Beautiful Planet, received IMAX Enhanced Blu-ray physical releases, which offers 4K viewing.
Hulu has a complicated relationship with 4K streaming. While Netflix and Disney Plus offer a wider array of 4K streaming titles, Hulu’s offerings are considerably fewer. Hulu first introduced 4K streaming in 2016, but at some point was removed before being re-added in July 2019. Even then, most of the titles available to stream in 4K are a small slate of Hulu originals. Also, while Hulu supports 4K streaming, it doesn’t support 4K HDR, meaning that colors won’t appear as vividly.
Still, having on-demand access to IMAX documentaries through a streaming service like Hulu is pretty great. Disney’s other streaming service, Disney Plus, offers a pretty wide slate of National Geographic documentaries, while Netflix has also invested in its own slate of nature documentaries. The full slate of IMAX documentaries heading to Hulu will land on the streaming service over the next few months, with some available now. The full list of titles includes:
- A Beautiful Planet (2016)
- Pandas: An IMAX Original Film (2018)
- Superpower Dogs (2019)
- Destiny in Space (1994)
- Fires of Kuwait (1992)
- Galapagos (1999)
- Hail Columbia! (1982)
- Into the Deep (1994)
- Journey to the South Pacific (2013)
- Space Station (2002)
- Survival Island (1995)
- The Dream is Alive (1985)
- T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (1998)
- China: The Panda Adventure (2001)
- Horses: The Story of Equus (2002)
- The Secret of Life on Earth (1996)