Here’s something you might have missed from last month. Netflix quietly started streaming high-dynamic range content to its customers. It’s not a crazy huge deal just yet, since most of us probably don’t own the newer TVs that actually support HDR, but it’s a nicety that folks who do have those TVs will appreciate.
If you have an HDR TV, expect more colors and a wider range between the darkest of blacks and the brightest of whites. It’s the same idea taken from your smartphone camera, which also uses HDR, and allows you to see parts of the picture that might otherwise be too blown out in bright areas or dark in really dark areas. The gist is you see more of the picture that Hollywood wants you to see.
“As of mid-March, we have been providing both Dolby Vision and HDR10 streams to supported TVs, giving Netflix members an even more visually stunning experience,” Netflix told Engadget earlier this week. “Marco Polo season 1 is available now, with more titles — including Marvel’s Daredevil — coming soon.” So, really, you get a single season of HDR content to stream right now, but Netflix has to start somewhere, right? At least you can finally put that HDR-supported TV to use, too.
A lot of the new Samsung, LG and Sony TVs that were announced at CES have HDR10 support, and you might find it in slightly older and high-end ones, too. But don’t expect to take advantage of high-dynamic range content if you have an older set. Oh, and don’t have Netflix? Don’t worry, Amazon Prime Video also offers HDR content, including for hit shows like The Man in the High Castle.