Manufacturers are bringing support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision to displays in mobile devices. Netflix is also planning to bring HDR streaming to mobile.
HDR on mobile devices
HDR is typically associated with TVs but the new video foundation can improve the viewing experience on any screen. HDR is built on a foundation of a wider dynamic range with brighter whites and deeper blacks, at the same time, and also covers a wider color space for more accuracy and vibrant colors.
To do HDR, however, the screen needs to be capable of reproducing the very high contrast. LG believes that it can be done with a 5.7” LCD panel. LG’s G6 smartphone will be the first device to support Dolby Vision (as well as HDR10).
Sony unveiled the Xperia XZ Premium phone, which is the first to offer a display with 4K resolution and HDR. Like LG, Sony is using LCD display technology. The display will support HDR10.
Samsung is also launching mobile devices with support for HDR. In this case the open HDR10 format. The Samsung Tab S3 tablet will feature a 9.7”OLED display (with 8-bit colors). Samsung is also launching the Galaxy Book Windows 10 tablet based on a 12” OLED display.
Despite Samsung’s devices using the slightly inferior HDR10 format, at least on paper, they should deliver a significantly more convincing HDR viewing experience than LG G6’s Dolby Vision.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings announced that the company will start streaming in HDR quality to mobile devices.
- “Starting with the LG G6 phones that support both Dolby Vision and HDR 10 streams, Netflix would be supporting HDR on mobile devices,” Hastings announced. “Today, users can watch shows like Santa Clarita Diet, Chef's Table, The OA and all of the Marvel series in HDR.”
Netflix is already offering HDR streaming in both the HDR10 and Dolby Vision format on TVs. Unlike higher resolution, HDR only requires slightly higher bitrates, making it achievable on mobile devices.
Netflix did not confirm when exactly HDR content will be available to stream on mobile phones.