YouTube Now Supports HDR Video

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YouTube on Monday announced support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video, which promises higher contrast, more precise details, and better clarity and vibrancy.

The photographic technique uses several shots of the same high-contrast scene at different exposures; highlights from the underexposed images and shadows from the overexposed frames blend together to create a more natural look.

"Simply put, HDR unlocks the most spectacular image quality we've ever streamed," software engineer Steven Robertson and product manager Sanjeev Verma wrote in a blog post.

As of Monday, anyone with a supported device—like an HDR television with Chromecast Ultra or Samsung's 2016 lineup of SUHD and UHD TVs—can tap into HDR videos from YouTube stars like MysteryGuitarMan, Jacob + Katie Schwarz, and Abandon Visuals.

You can check out their playlist of HDR content online, but any YouTuber can now upload HDR videos. If you need help, the YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles and New York City will provide access to HDR-video-making gear. As Polygon notes, the announcement is also timely due to the launch of the PS4 Pro, which allows gamers to upload HDR content.

"HDR adds a whole new dimension of creative freedom and visual spectacle," Robertson and Verma wrote. "And we've barely scratched the surface of what this means for storytelling."

For those without an HDR-supported device, your videos will continue to play in standard dynamic range.

Streaming video competitors, meanwhile, have already entered the High Dynamic Range game: Amazon Prime members in the US, UK, and Germany have been watching shows and movies in HDR since 2015—the same time Netflix added 100-plus hours of HDR content to its library.

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