Thursday, 21 April 2016 01:18

Netflix adding 150 hours of HDR programming by end 2016

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HDR delivers better photos from cameras, and on compatible HDR capable TVs, you get much better colour - you just need the kind of HDR programming Netflix is delivering.

Billing HDR content as ‘the next generation of TV’ that adds ‘more colour to storytelling,’ Netflix is definitely talking up its HDR content advantage.

Of course, to see the massively better colours that HDR programming delivers, you’ll need an HDR compatible TV first, most likely to also be an Ultra HD 4K capable model like one of LG’s new 2016 models, which you can read about at this iTWire report from late last month. 

Indeed, LG states that various HDR capable TVs will come out soon, but won’t have the Dolby Vision technology that ensures HDR tech is applied to each and every frame of your TV show, as LG’s Ultra HD, HDR 4K TVs can deliver.

TVs without Dolby Vision are said to simply apply HDR to the entire program in one hit, not on a frame-by-frame basis - but that’s separate, as such, to Netflix’s announcement.

You see, you can have all the HDR TVs in the world, but you need to have content designed to work with HDR TVs, with Netflix has in spades, with 150 hours of HDR programming due to arrive on the streaming network before year’s end.

In Netflix’s blog post on the topic, the company’s Chief Product Officer, Neil Hunt noted that at “Netflix, pushing the boundaries on video quality is one of our passions.”

Hunt said that: “We’re particularly excited about High Dynamic Range - or HDR. While 4K offers more pixels, HDR offers better pixels that have greater depth, and on HDR screens you get brighter highlights, more detail in dark scenes, and a wider colour range that more closely matches the real world.

“The new HDR technology looks great, and it will keep getting better. It is more true to life than anything you've ever seen on a TV, giving viewers a much more realistic and stimulating TV viewing experience that might even make you want to reach for your sunglasses!

“It wasn’t so long ago that online video meant grainy quality and constant buffering, but today the Internet is the home of the best possible video you can get thanks to Ultra HD 4K and HDR. That’s why we are pleased to announce that Netflix is adding over 100 hours of HDR programming by August, with more than 150 hours slated by the year end.

“Just as our catalog of 4K titles has grown over the past couple of years - now over 10x as when we started - we plan to grow our catalog of HDR titles at a similar pace.

“Today, you’re already able to watch Season One of the Netflix original series Marco Polo in HDR if you’re subscribed to the Ultra HD (4 screens at a time) price plan and have a 2016 Dolby Vision or HDR-enabled television from the top TV manufacturers.”

More below, please read on.

Hunt continued, stating “We’re also excited to unveil some of the additional titles we plan to make available in both Dolby Vision and HDR formats:

  • 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
  • The Ridiculous Six

Hunt concluded by stating: “We’re looking forward to providing a visually stunning experience across a diverse slate of content to Netflix members all over the world - whether it’s a docuseries about international culinary talents, Japanese anime, or TV shows about fighting crime in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen.”

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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