22 February 2021
YouTube has announced that creators on its platform can now live stream in High Dynamic Range (HDR). It says that it is the first major platform to offer HDR support for live streaming. The new support has been added four years after it allowed users to upload videos that were recorded in HDR.
HDR videos look more detailed and brighter than their SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) counterparts. The tech enables "higher contrast, revealing precise, detailed shadows and stunning highlights with more clarity than ever" which are noticeable right off the bat. In fact, there are many who believe that the quality difference between HDR and non-HDR videos is way more than the difference between a video shot in 1080p and 4K resolution.
YouTube HDR for live streaming currently works with HDR10 and HLG standards. The team says compatibility will be expanded to other standards soon. As a creator, you will need a compatible encoder and a camera that supports HDR video format. Those who stream video gameplay will need an HDR monitor/TV and an HDR-supported game with the HDR output setting enabled.
The viewers will only need to have an HDR display to view live streams in HDR quality. It can be any device like a smartphone, tablet, smart TV, or monitor. Those who do not have such a device will still be able to enjoy the stream but it will be displayed in standard dynamic range.