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Seeing is believing: Launching HDR for live streams

  • By JR Futrell
  • Product Manager
  • Dec.08.2020
Seeing is believing: Launching HDR for live streams
Still not convinced? You have to see it to believe it.

Back in 2016, we added support for HDR (high-dynamic range) videos to bring a whole new level of color to YouTube. From witnessing the magic of a Phish concert to seeing the beauty of wildlife in Costa Rica, creators have used HDR to make visible things that have previously been left unseen. 


We want to continue enabling these vibrant experiences in real-time. That’s why today we’re launching HDR for live streams on YouTube. HDR videos have higher contrast, revealing precise, detailed shadows and stunning highlights with more clarity than ever. And by bringing HDR to live streams, we’re unlocking the most spectacular image quality for live content yet. 

sdr vs. hdr

SDR (above) vs. HDR (below)

Starting today, any creator using a supported encoder can stream in HDR to YouTube. And any viewer can watch live streams in HDR on supported devices, including the latest Android mobile devices or your HDR-capable smart TV or streaming stick. This launch marks the first step in our journey to bringing HDR live streams to YouTube. We’ll continue to iterate on this offering, including expanding options for creators to stream HDR from additional encoders and mobile devices. 


We’ve been so inspired with how creators have added a whole new dimension to their videos with HDR and can’t wait to see what this means for livestreams. Give it a try and let us know what you think!