YouTube Streams in Support for HDR

Keeping pace with next-gen image quality, YouTube this week has added support for High Dynamic Range (HDR), a technology that delivers brighter, more colorful pixels.

“HDR videos have higher contrast, revealing precise, detailed shadows and stunning highlights with more clarity than ever,” Steven Robertson, YouTube software engineer, announced Monday in this blog post. “Support for wide color gamut means colors are more vibrant. Simply put, HDR unlocks the most spectacular image quality we've ever streamed.”

YouTube, which already supports 4K and 360-degree video, noted that HDR streaming will require TVs that support the technology. Supported devices include the new Chromecast Ultra, a $69 streaming adapter for TVs that is capable of 4K and HDR streaming, and “soon” for all 2016 Samsung SUHD and UHD TVs.

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“As more HDR devices become available, YouTube will work with partners to enable streaming of the HDR version,” Robertson wrote.  

YouTube has introduced an HDR playlist, which features content in the format from creators and partners such as MysteryGuitarMan, Jacob + Katie Schwarz, and Abandon Visuals.

He said YouTube is working with DaVinci Resolve to make uploading HDR as simple as uploading standard dynamic range videos on the OTT platform.

Among other major OTT players, Netflix expects to offer 150 hours of content in HDR format by year-end, and Amazon expects to have about 200 hours of HDR fare available by early 2017.

Comcast has been testing the Xi5, the first device from the MSO that will support HDR.