We’ve known for a while now that YouTube has been planning to add support for HDR (high dynamic range) video and now, ahead of the release of the Chromecast Ultra, Google has just made it official. Creators can start uploading HDR content, and users can start viewing HDR content on support devices effective today…

HDR has been a key selling point for many TVs and monitors over the past year or so as it allows those displays to pull better image quality and colors out of the pixels they have. The wider brightness and contrast enabled by HDR brings more pleasing image quality and more detail as well.

YouTube has been a prime space for finding 4K content over the past couple of years, and with the lack of HDR content available right now, this update is one that new TV owners will certainly appreciate. Google has even worked with a handful of content creators including MysteryGuitarMan, Jacob + Katie Schwarz, and Abandon Visuals to release HDR content available today.


Unfortunately, taking advantage of this content won’t be something everyone with an HDR TV can do. For now, HDR is limited to Samsung’s lineup of 2016 SUHD and UHD TVs as well as the Chromecast Ultra and any HDR TV you use with that. Presumably, devices such as LeEco’s new 4K HDR Android TVs and Xiaomi’s new 4K HDR streaming box will eventually be supported, but Google hasn’t confirmed that yet.

Starting today, you can watch YouTube videos in HDR on supported devices, such as HDR TVs with the new Chromecast Ultra, and soon on all 2016 Samsung SUHD and UHD TVs. If you’re using a device that doesn’t yet support HDR, don’t worry, videos will still play in standard dynamic range. As more HDR devices become available, YouTube will work with partners to enable streaming of the HDR version.

But regardless of playback devices, content creators can upload HDR content as of right now. You can learn more about uploading HDR videos at Google’s support website here, and Google says that it has “outfitted the YouTube Spaces in LA and NYC with all the gear needed to produce great HDR content.”

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Ben Schoon

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