YouTube will soon support HDR video, following the likes of Amazon, Netflix and major motion picture studios who have already confirmed their support for the technology. High Dynamic Range video will basically provide all the same benefits as it does in photography: a higher contrast ratio and wider dynamic range for colors.
The confirmation was made at CES 2016 by YouTube’s chief business officer, Robert Kyncl, in a keynote on 360 video and virtual reality with the CEO of GoPro, Nick Woodman, and Chris Milk from VR studio VRSE.
You’ll soon be able to consume HDR content from MGM, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, Netflix and Amazon, who have already signed up to use Dolby Vision HDR technology. The one big difference with these studios and services is that they tend to be living room-centric, whereas more than half of YouTube content is streamed on phones and tablets.
Don’t expect to enjoy the benefits on your smartphone anytime soon though. You’ll need a TV equipped with a screen that supports HDR to partake in the new imaging standard. While this tech is included in various new computer displays and 4K TVs, it might be a while before it starts appearing on mobile devices.
The good news is that when HDR displays do arrive on mobile, which they inevitably will, that you’ll also be able to better appreciate the effects of HDR in your smartphone photography as well. Once that happens, it should only be a matter of time before app developers and Android itself start to make use of the increased dynamic range, just as they have done (slowly) with higher resolution screens.
The only limitations at this point in the game are that mobile devices have nowhere near the brightness required to make full use of Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision encompasses a range between 0-10,000 nits and nature easily surpasses 15,000 nits. In comparison, smartphones are still struggling to break the 1,000 nit barrier.
Are you psyched for HDR video on YouTube? When do you think it will to mobile?