Netflix is dramatically expanding its 4K HDR content selection for 2016

by on April 25, 2016

Stephan Jukic – April 25, 2016

As we recently covered, Netflix has now finally started releasing its first selection of 4K UHD titles with HDR encoding built into them, for those of you who own or are considering buying a 4K HDR TV to really kick in 2016 with some notably improved home entertainment display quality.

Now we have further good news on this front. As of August, the company will also start releasing a wider array of HDR 4K content, in the form of 100 new hours of entertainment which will expand further to 150 hours of such content by the end of 2016.

HDR stands for high dynamic range (as opposed to the older, more common SDR or standard dynamic range in most TVs) and includes several different HDR standards for 4K UHD content which are currently being promoted by their various interested parties. However, what all types of HDR have in common consists of the following:

Dolby Vision HDR for 4K TVs

Dolby Vision HDR for 4K TVs

  • Considerably brighter peak luminance and much deeper minimum black levels than is the case in standard dynamic range TVs. These two standards are normally defined as 1100 nits peak luminance and 0.05 nits black level for LCD TVs, or as 0.0005 nits black level and 540 nits peak luminance for OLED TVs. Other standards vary slightly but stay roughly in these ranges. There are also plans for even higher ratings in near-future 4K HDR TVs.
  • Many more stops of dynamic range between the two extremes of black level and peak luminance, creating more varied tones of bright and dark
  • Expanded colors via what is called “Wide Color Gamut” technology. At a minimum, this means 10-bit color for a total of 1.06 billion different color values, vs. the older 8-bt SDR 4K and HDTV standards which allow for only 16.8 million color values.
  • DCI P3 color spectrum coverage above 90% (some standards)

The overall result of HDR technology is a much more vibrant and realistic image quality that is distinctly, notable superior to what you’d see in an SDR TV. For this reason, the majority of mid-range and premium 2016 4K TVs from all major brands have been released with HDR display built into them. Furthermore, all 4K Blu-ray discs now going on sale come with HDR integration, as do the existing 4K Blu-ray players which play them.

HDR is dramatically visible in 4K TV displays of any size

HDR is dramatically visible in 4K TV displays of any size

For this reason, HDR is definitely spreading to streaming 4K media sources and Netflix has no intention of being left behind on this front. Thus, the company is already rolling out the first editions of its high dynamic range 4K content, starting with their Netflix Original series “Marco Polo” season 1 and from there moving on to the second season in June. This will immediately be followed by the HDR version of the new Original series “Daredevil”.

Netflix HDR content will support both of the two main standards currently dominating for the technology. These consist of HDR10 (which has been adopted by the UHD Alliance) and Dolby Vision, which comes to us from Dolby Labs.

Among the titles to be offered in the two resolutions will be “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,” along with “The Ridiculous Six.”

As for subscribers who want to enjoy this content in its best existing image quality expression, they’ll need to buy a 4K HDR TV such as the new KS 2016 SUHD models being sold by Samsung, or Sony’s 2016 X850D, X900D and X930D 4K TVs, or one of LG’s OLED 4K TVs like the G6 (if you really want to go for the best in picture quality).

Most of Vizio’s 4K TVs for 2016 will also offer full HDR support for both of the dominant high dynamic range formats.

Story by 4k.com

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  • Jon Pitt
    May 16, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Which is all well and good except I can’t find a streaming media player currently available that has HDMI 2.0a connectivity necessary for HDR content


    • Stephen
      May 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Hello Jon, the Samsung UBD K8500 4K Blu-ray player essentially also acts as a streaming media device with 4K BD disc capacity and offers HDMI 2.0a connectivity. However, if you want a pure streaming media set-top box that also comes with HDMI 2.0a connectivity, the Roku 4 4K set-top box offers this.

      Here is our review of it: http://4k.com/devices/a-review-of-the-roku-4-4k-streaming-media-box/


    • Ryan Sanchez
      June 21, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      the streaming is built right into the samsung tvs


    • Reid
      September 9, 2016 at 6:32 pm

      You really need to just use the built-in apps, which can suck. But all my players are 1080p so using built-in apps on my x940d to stream 4k is pretty awesome. With HDMI ARC, audio is sent BACK down the display’s HDMI cable into my receiver so sound actually works. It’s fairly amazing kit, I had no idea ARC existed, and even the CEC stuff kind of works. I had a system built around a Harmony Home Hub remote, and frankly, when I switch to the TV remote to do youtube and netflix and so on, it seems pretty smart about controlling audio and inputs through my receiver.


    • Mike
      February 2, 2017 at 10:31 am

      The Xbox One S is a decently priced media player that supports HDMI 2.0 as well as 4K + HDR content.

      Plus it has the option to play HDR games as well at a competitive price to other 4K BD players


  • GBot
    May 17, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Those of us wanting HDR with pre-2016 versions of Samsung TVs are out of luck, even with the SEK-3500 Evolution kit. Amazon video can stream HDR with a firmware hack. Samsung’s UHD Blu-Ray player supports HDR. Kinda sucks…


    • Santos
      May 19, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      How so? The 2015 suhd have HDR 600


      • BruceM.
        June 4, 2016 at 12:15 pm

        Exactly. All the Samsung 2015 JS line have HDR capability as well, so the sentence in this article that states that 2016 sets are necessary is incorrect.


        • Paul
          June 19, 2016 at 5:14 am

          I have JS 8000 which Samsung say is HDR, but does not show the HDR logo in Netflix. Talking to Samsung about issue.


          • Mickey
            July 23, 2016 at 11:33 pm

            Hey Paul Same problem any luck with Samsung or Netflix. My J7000 will play HDR Content of a usb but Netflix won’t find it. Looks like a Xbox one s if they don’t update the app.

          • machacapopa
            August 22, 2016 at 7:12 pm

            Exactly. This is why I’m confused about this HDR conversation as far as how do I test if my TV really supports HDR content (i.e. Netflix content). I have the JS9000 and the HDR logo does not show, only the Ultra HD 4K logo. Have you gotten any answers from samsung on this? Thanks!

  • Tim
    May 19, 2016 at 7:29 am

    This is the best set up box money can buy that will support it https://shield.nvidia.com/android-tv


    • Mo
      June 30, 2016 at 11:31 pm

      Agreed. They just came out with an update supporting Netflix HDR, YouTube 4K @ 60 fps and Vudu 4K. Unbelievable device. Loving it along with my Sony 75X9400C


  • Nick
    May 23, 2016 at 5:52 am

    The Panasonic DMP-UB900 4K Blue ray player also supports 4k Netflix with an app and has the HDMI 2.0a output, as does the CX and DX range of TV’s from Panasonic. The CX range doesn’t have HDR support yet but Panasonic say there will be a firmware upgrade coming this summer. The DX range has that support already.


  • Lesley
    June 2, 2016 at 7:50 am

    IDo you realize Ultraflix is and will continue to be the largest provided of 4K content

    ?It appears to me that Netflix is running behind with its 4K content. I am wondering how they can possibly catch up. As I understand, most of the 100 hours of 4K viewing consists of Netflix original series i.e. Bloodline, Marco Polo…versus hours and hours of award winning and newly released major motion pictures as can be found on Ultraflix.


    • Stephen
      June 2, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Much of the “4K content” on Ultraflix is really upscaled Full HD video, while Netflix provides a smaller selection, it’s predominantly native 4K content, especially for their Original Series, which are filmed with 4K and even 6K cameras (House of Cards being a good example).


  • MOAD
    June 16, 2016 at 2:49 am

    Great articles, thanks

    So If I have 4k tv that support HDR, I still need HDR-supported machine to run the content, am I right here?
    Because it being mentioned that the Latest xbox one S recently announced by Microsoft does support HDR


    • Stephen
      June 17, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      hello there Moad, no. If you have a 4K HDR TV, it will support any HDR content available to the apps on the TV directly, without the need for an external set-top streaming box or anything like that. You only need an external device if you want to play 4K HDR Blu-ray discs, for which you’ll obviously need a 4K Blu-ray player too. Also, some set-top boxes have their own sources of HDR 4K download, VOD or streaming content that an HDR T might not have. In this case you’ll need these devices for their HDR offerings.

      On the other hand, if your TV doesn’t have HDR, then even HDR-capable set-top boxes or content apps of any type at all will only display HDR content in SDR on your screen.


  • Newman221
    July 30, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Can anybody try to ask Samsung why the JS8-series from 2015 doesn’t have HDR-support in Netflix? Netflix says the app was sent to Samsung ages ago, but they’re holding it back.
    Is it so we will buy their new bluray player or the new KS-model?

    Please, anybody from a magazine or something? If you ask as a “normal person”, they just saying they don’t know anything


  • milo
    July 31, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Hi, can anyone help me out? I just bought a Sony 4KTV and streaming movies in Netflix is awesome. Everything looks pristine. I’m not even talking about the UHD titles. Old films like The Wizard of Oz looks brilliant. Now, the UHD is a whole new other spectrum of quality. Watching mundane shows like FULLER HOUSE, they look amazing. The detail is insane.

    However my question is this, how come the quality looks so much better in netflix than it is in my blu-ray? For instance, I popped up a bluray disc of FAST AND FURIOUS 6. It looks way better on netflix than it does, on my blu-ray player. Mind you, I only have a standard BD player connected to a 4K TV via HDMI 2. I’m just curious as to the difference of quality. Seeing it in Netflix, the detail is crazy and full of contrast. Thanks!


  • Cpc
    December 31, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Vizio 2016 M( and P)series does both HDR methods. Great thing is no worries about “built in apps”. Just download latest app and Smartcast stream direct to the display. Downside-Due to politics Amazon won’t allow streaming to any Google (Smartcast)device. I also use Roku Ultra which streams Amazon and all available 4k Ultra-HD and HDR content. For 4k Ultra-HD and HDR I use mostly Netflix, Amazon, Youtube on the Roku. I like the Roku interface just for ease of use.
    Lot’s of titles coming online now. Pretty amazing PQ and awesome 5.1 audio!!


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