Netflix just announced plans to introduce more high dynamic range (HDR)-quality videos to its library this year.
Though we already knew Netflix had big plans on the HDR front and that it had recently upgraded the first season of “Marco Polo” to HDR, we now have a clearer picture (pun intended) of what’s to come this year. Indeed, the company has revealed that it will add more than 100 hours of HDR programming by August, with another 50 hours worth of shows to come before the year is out. This will include “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Bloodline,” “Chef’s Table,” “Hibana,” “Knights of Sidonia,” Marvel’s “Daredevil,” Marvel’s “Iron Fist,” Marvel’s “Jessica Jones,” Marvel’s “Luke Cage,” Marvel’s “The Defenders,” “The Do-Over,” and the “Ridiculous Six,” which will also all be available in Dolby Vision.
For the uninitiated, HDR improves the contrast of colors within a video, making shadows and highlights more distinctive — so whites appear whiter and blacks appear blacker. It’s designed to mimic what a human eye might see in the physical world, with clearer and more realistic colors.
Amazon introduced its first HDR-quality streams to Prime users in the U.S. last summer, and a spokesperson tells VentureBeat that it currently has around 100 hours of HDR content available, with plans to double that by early 2017. And in January of this year Google announced it was doing the same for YouTube.
Alongside 4K videos, which display more pixels, HDR should create much better picture quality for Netflix’s original programming. But there is a catch — it’s only available to subscribers on the $12 Ultra HD monthly plan, and you will, of course, require an HDR-enabled TV. Assuming you tick both those boxes, your Netflix experience is about to get a whole lot better.