Video-streaming company Vimeo has announced that it now supports high dynamic range (HDR) content.
HDR, for the uninitiated, is a technique used to enhance the contrast of colors, making shadows and highlights more distinctive — blacks appear blacker, and whites appear whiter. It’s ultimately about making videos appear more lifelike, as they are more in tune with what the human eye would see in the real world.
Online content providers such as Amazon and Netflix have supported HDR videos for a while, and YouTube rolled out HDR support last November. Vimeo is a similar proposition to YouTube, insofar as anyone can use the platform to upload and share videos with the world. However, the company strives to differentiate by offering a vast swathe of tools for creators and producers.
Vimeo claims that more than 240 million people watch content on its platform each month, with around 800,000 people taking advantage of its creator-focused tools. The company has supported 4K video for a couple of years already, and with more content and devices being made with HDR in mind — including the new iPhone X — Vimeo’s support will likely be welcomed by many.
Any Vimeo user will be able to shoot HDR footage and upload to the platform, though only those with an HDR-compatible device such as the iPhone X, iPad Pro, or Apple TV 4K will be able to reap the benefits. “We’re the only video-hosting platform available in HDR on these platforms right now,” noted Vimeo’s director of video product, Sara Poorsattar, in a blog post.
Viewers will know that a video is available in HDR because it will have a little “HDR” symbol on the content page and on the player itself. “We automatically detect and display HDR whenever it is supported,” continued Poorsattar.
Those without an HDR-compatible screen will still be able to watch a video without its quality being compromised, as Vimeo creates a separate SDR version for normal screens. “We know that an HDR file doesn’t look great on an SDR screen, and we don’t want your picture to suffer as a result,” added Poorsattar.