Netflix is dramatically expanding its 4K HDR content selection for 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:
- 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.
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