American video-sharing website ‘YouTube’ has officially made an announcement regarding offering support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) videos, a feature that imparts a wider color range, brighter whites and darker blacks in video content. The resulting higher contrast and richer colors will make for a more realistic video watching experience. However, these advantages will only be visible in screens that specifically have HDR support built in, such as in the new crop of HDR televisions across various brands, and in the recently announced Chromecast Ultra.
The owners of new generation smartphones and laptops equipped with large color range display—such as the new Apple iPhone 7 and the Google Pixel—will get benefit from this new video standard. HDR videos more closely match the range of colors that the human eye is capable of perceiving, unlike existing color standards that can display a lesser number of colors with a narrower dynamic (brightness) range. Videos that support this new feature are viewed on a conventional Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) display, only the visible gamut of colors capable of that display will be shown, making these videos backward compatible with older hardware. But as with any new standard, the entire chain of components used in the playback will need to be compliant.
Well not only this, YouTube has also enabled uploading HDR videos, where users with the proper equipment will be able to capture content using this new standard. However, it is likely to be a while before this new standard becomes mainstream, as the rest of the hardware ecosystem catches up with displays that support this richer form of video.