YouTube adds HDR video support

Yesterday, YouTube added support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. It is a huge deal for the nascent format, as finding a venue on the world's most popular video platform could force video producers and ordinary folks alike to shoot and upload HDR clips more often, proliferating the "true-to-life" standard.

Google said that you can now watch YouTube vids in HDR on relevant TVs with the new Chromecast Ultra dongle, and support for all 2016 Samsung SUHD and UHD TVs is also coming soon, and YouTube is going to partner for HDR streaming further down the road. If your gear doesn't have the HDR certification, videos will play in the standard range. Uploading HDR content is a more complicated ballgame, as you have to grade it according to the upcoming Rec. 2020 space, not the current DCI-P3 gamut support you can find on HDR devices, as Google wants to futureproof its support.

Apple's newest iPhone 7 and 7 Plus come with the so-called "wide color" displays, which is just Cupertino's term to say that they support the DCI-P3 gamut - one of the basic prerequissites for a device to be certified as compliant with the HDR-10 standard - but there are more conditions to be met, so it's not clear if those HDR YouTube clips will be any different when shown on the iPhone 7, compared to, say, the iPhone 6s. Nevertheless, HDR video support is a welcome addition to YouTube's quiver, as we are likely to see much more HDR-certified devices in the future, including phones.

source: Google



1. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

HDR videos shown on iPhone 7 will look exactly the same as one the 6s. iPhone 7 lacks the hardware codec to play HDR Main10 format and hence can't play that. No current phone can do that( note 7 did, but that's dead). Not to mention the fact that Youtube app doesn't support wide color on iOS and these videos are not graded at DCI-P3. And even if the iPhone 7 could support HDR10 playback, the screen would not be able to show how it's supposed to be viewed. An HDR display needs to have 1000 nits of brightness and truly deep blacks to show a wide dynamic range. Both of those conditions require either an OLED/Quantum dot panel or a really high quality IPS one with local dimming. I'm really thinking about getting an LG 4k HDR OLED TVs once they drop to below 3000$ or so. They are truly the best in class, support Dolby standard as well as HDR10 and will futureproof you for a good 5-6 years.

3. Macready

Posts: 1824; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

I agree, HDR is probably a much bigger (perceptive) deal than the jump to 4K (at least on most TV's and average viewing distance). Sadly, too many people associate it with often horrible photo "HDR" manipulations. Which is nothing more than tonemapping large DR scenes into (too) small color spaces in terms of dynamic range. The cool thing about real HDR as it was intended, is that we finally get to exploit the traits of OLED. Seeing the difference is believing. If only the S7 had the hardware (dedicated chip to deal with the processing and codec) to support HDR through a software update, similar to the Note 7. The display panel could do it...

4. jm405

Posts: 82; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

Blah now I'm missing my Note 7 even more now. The video enhancer on the Note 7 was the feature I miss the most. I thought it was a gimmick but it wasn't....for me. Before I returned it, I tested video playback on all potential replacements and all of them paled in comparison. I was waiting for true HDR compatibility from YouTube and now it's here....but no more Note 7. Damn you Samsung!

5. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

S7 edge has identical video playback unless you are viewing HDR videos particularly. Note 7's screen is not much better than S7 or edge, it's just that it has the chip to play HDR content. Anyway, the S8 will be able to play this stuff, and will probably even have a 10-bit panel for native HDR playback.

2. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Nice move from Big G. YouTube will remain the best video platform, as long as Google keeps upgrading it's featureset - just as it's been so, over the past years.

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