Youtube's latest move follows the company's announcement in November 2016 regarding its launch of High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. This time, the video hub is offering the HDR playback to capable mobile phones for users to enjoy. The content available to owners of HDR smart TVs will now be available to owners of phones compatible with the technology through YouTube. The feature rolls out to a select few mobile devices on Friday.

What is HDR?

High dynamic range (HDR) technology is a display specification capable of producing excellent contrast between light and dark frames. This results in brighter, vivid, and more realistic images that are not available on smartphones without HDR support.

The HDR video is similar to HDR photography regarding the wider range of tones between the lightest and darkest tones in an image. The former requires an HDR screen to be able to display the full range of tones. Also, the screen must feature both high-quality brightness and contrast, as well as an incredibly large number of colors.

There are currently two video formats dominating the scene, the HDR10, and Dolby Vision. Unfortunately, they do not operate interchangeably, which means only one format can run on a single platform. Some latest smartphones have already incorporated the support for it. In the case of samsung galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, both devices have HDR10, but not Dolby Vision. With YouTube being one of the world's biggest content providers, it has also updated its mobile app to improve its users' viewing experience.

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YouTube's HDR shelf

The Google-owned company began supporting HDR in TV sets back in November. As it expands the technology to mobile, only select devices are benefiting from the upgrade. Unfortunately for iPhone users, it is not yet available on iOS. The HDR content from YouTube creators is made using HDR-capable cameras, which is similar to their 4K videos and 360-degree videos. Renting HDR movies from the channel has also been made available. However, there is no confirmation if this will be included with HDR support.

As far as YouTube is concerned, the bulk of the work will rely on the content that creators will provide. The type of material they will create will make a difference, but the technology will be very advantageous for scenes involving high color and definition. As mentioned, the new feature comes in the form of an updated mobile app. It can be downloaded or upgraded from the Play Store on a few smartphone models. This includes Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, Galaxy Note 8, Google Pixel, Xperia XZ Premium, and LG V30. To navigate the app, simply play an HDR-enabled video, and in the settings menu, there are options for HDR with resolution as high as 1,440p.