Everything You Need to Know About YouTube HDR Content
Posted by Amanda
Summary: 4K HDR videos truly are the absolute best in terms of quality and they’ve finally been making their way to many streaming platforms including YouTube. Here we will tell you something about YouTube HDR content.
High Dynamic Range, often simply referred to as HDR, is a buzzword that’s been getting a lot of traction in recent years. If you’ve ever seen an HDR video you know exactly why more and more people are getting excited about this technology. These types of videos truly are the absolute best in terms of quality and, luckily, they’ve finally been making their way to a number of streaming platforms as of late, including YouTube. YouTube HDR content is still not very common but there are already a good number of such videos to enjoy on the platform. Before we jump further into that topic, however, let’s first take a look at what HDR is.
Part 1: What is HDR?
You already know that HDR stands for High Dynamic Range but those words probably don’t mean much to someone who isn’t particularly tech. Well, the simplest explanation of HDR is that this is a technique that improves image quality by using a wider range of colors and luminosity when compared to Standard Dynamic Range (SDR). In practical terms, this results in more realistic and vibrant colors, with brighter whites and darker blacks, as demonstrated by the YouTube HDR content we mentioned earlier.
The actual purpose of this technique is to reproduce images that look virtually identical to those experienced by the human eye. In other words, HDR videos should look indistinguishable from the real thing so that viewers feel like they’re seeing the images through they own eyes, as opposed to a screen. In reality, though, the resulting image quality is even clearer and more detailed than what most people can perceive.
Part 2: Is HDR Content Available on YouTube?
YouTube HDR content is indeed a thing and has been available for almost two years now. Before 2016, HDR videos were almost nonexistent online despite the fact that this technique had actually been invented long before. HDR had been used in photography for some time but reproducing a still image is very different from reproducing a video. However, as consumer-grade displays became increasingly more powerful, a number of streaming platforms soon became interested in offering their users HDR content before their competitors. The race was on.
By late 2016, it was possible to watch an HDR video on YouTube provided you had a compatible display, be it a TV screen, computer monitor or even a cutting-edge smartphone. As one might expect, the selection was very limited at first and actually online included a total of four videos. These videos were created by the YouTube developers themselves and were used to showcase the platform’s new capabilities. The videos are very impressive but as with everything on YouTube, HDR content started to become more popular only after creators started to upload their own videos.
Jumping forward a couple of years, you’ll find that today YouTube HDR content consists of much more than those four initial videos. Plenty of creators already took it upon themselves to put together beautiful HDR videos that and their number is growing with each passing day. In the meantime, Apple released the iPhone X, the first iOS device with a native HDR screen. A number of Android manufacturers have also released their own HDR-compatible smartphones during this time. Whether you’re an iOS or Android user, it’s now possible to enjoy YouTube HDR content on mobile devices not just TVs and computer monitors.
Part 3: How to Find HDR Content on YouTube
YouTube is a pretty straightforward platform for the most part so if you want to find HDR content the easiest way is to use the search function. Simply type anything along the lines of “HDR video” and you’ll be presented with a whole list of videos to choose from. For YouTube 4K HDR content, make sure you also add “4K” as one of the keywords. 4K videos have a unique tag that appears under them so you can see at first glance if such a video is, in fact, available in 4K resolution or not. It’s also worth noting that a proper YouTube HDR video comes with a special HDR badge and extra player controls.
Another great way of finding HDR content on YouTube is to search for channels that often upload these types of videos. Uploading an HDR video on YouTube is fairly simple now so a number of channels that specialize in sort of content have popped up as a result. We recommend starting with channels like The HDR Channel, Jacob + Katie Schwarz or Daniel HDR Art and working your way up from there. To find more channels, simply type “HDR” in the search bar and use the filtering options to reveal channels instead of videos.
Part 4: What Devices Do You Need to Watch YouTube HDR Content?
We already mentioned iPhone X and unfortunately, that’s the only iOS smartphone capable of natively rendering this format for now. On the Android front, there are multiple options to choose from, including Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8 and later models, and LG V30, to name just a few. In addition to mobile devices, a large selection of TVs are also fully capable of handling HDR videos. There are too many different models to list here but you can find out if your TV is HDR compatible by checking its user manual. Finally, the PS4 Pro and the Chromecast Ultra also able to play YouTube HDR videos, as are a few other multimedia players.
YouTube HDR content is here to stay and with good reason. Videos that make use of HDR technology are objectively superior from a visual standpoint when compared to any other type of content. But what about videos that are not on YouTube? Well, to get the most out of HDR videos on your machine we recommend playing them using DVDFab Player 5 Ultra. This is a tool that was designed to handle any type of content you throw at it, including 4K HDR videos. As it happens, it’s now possible to buy or rent these types of videos online so you don’t own a state-of-the-art media player, you can simply watch them by using DVDFab Player 5 Ultra.