YouTube Adds HDR Support for Live Streams-news

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SDR (left) vs HDR (right) (Photo via YouTube)

The virtual life we’ve curated this year will likely extend into 2021. So why not enjoy the best quality videos possible? YouTube this week introduced support for high-dynamic range (HDR) live streams, promising higher contrast, more precise details, and better clarity and vibrancy.

Creators using a supported encoder can stream in HDR, while viewers require a display with HDR support to view it as the creator intended. If your gadget/screen doesn’t support the feature, the stream will play in standard dynamic range.

“This launch marks the first step in our journey to bringing HDR live streams to YouTube,” product manager JR Futrell wrote in a blog announcement. “We’ll continue to iterate on this offering, including expanding options for creators to stream HDR from additional encoders and mobile devices.”

YouTube in 2016 introduced HDR videos for folks with a compatible device. 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. Higher contrast means more precise, detailed shadows and “stunning” highlights, according to Futrell. “By bringing HDR to live streams, we’re unlocking the most spectacular image quality for live content yet,” he said.

“We’ve been so inspired with how creators have added a whole new dimension to their videos with HDR and can’t wait to see what this means for livestreams,” Futrell added.

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