Netflix has quietly started rolling out HDR streaming. The company supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Marco Polo is the first TV series to be available in HDR and Daredevil will follow soon.
Netflix in HDR
Netflix started streaming in 4K resolution two years ago and the streaming giant has now begun offering HDR (high dynamic range), which improves picture quality by enhancing the dynamic range and utilizing a wider color gamut.
- "We are indeed live with HDR. It works with compatible TVs, both in HDR10 and Dolby Vision," confirmed Yann Lafargue, Manager, Corporate Communications at Netflix to FlatpanelsHD.
Several owners of Sony and Vizio TVs in the US have confirmed that they can stream Netflix in HDR. Netflix has made no official announcement so it appears to be a soft launch. The company usually rolls out new features over the span of a few weeks so it might not show up for you yet but Netflix says that HDR will be available everywhere soon. An update for your Netflix app could also be required.
- "We have season 1 of Marco Polo for now, but much more content should be available shortly, so stay tuned," said Lafargue.
Season 1 of Marco Polo is available now and season 2 has been confirmed for release in June 2016. Netflix will also make Marvel’s Daredevil available in HDR later. No other TV series or movies have been confirmed at this point. Look for the HDR logos next to the shows description:
HDR10 and Dolby Vision
As we noted in our report from January 2016, Netflix will offer both HDR10 and Dolby Vision support.
HDR10 is the “open” format and the HDR10 streams are currently supported on TVs from LG, Sharp, Samsung and Sony, according to Netflix. A previous version of Netflix’s support page also mentioned Panasonic but it appears that there were last-minute compatibility issues that the companies are trying to fix.
Dolby Vision is Dolby’s premium HDR format. The Dolby Vision streams are currently supported on LG TVs (2016 LCD and OLEDs) and Vizio TVs, according to Netflix.
To start enjoying HDR through Netflix you obviously need a HDR-enabled TV, which means a 2015 or 2016 high-end TV. You also need Netflix’s 4-screen subscription plan. Netflix recommends an internet connection of “at least 25 Mbit/s” to enjoy HDR, but as noted by Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer at Netflix, in our September 2015 report 4K HDR will likely hover at around 18 Mb/s in bitrate. However, Netflix notes that if you internet connection is too slow you can also enjoy HDR at 1080p or 720p resolution.