YouTube announced that it brings HDR support for live videos, being the first major platform to support high quality live streams.In 2016, YouTube added support for HDR (high-dynamic range) videos on its platform, allowing creators to upload videos with higher contrast, more accurate shadows and lights, a wider range of colors, and generally an improved image quality.
Now, these enhancements will also be available for live images.
HDR support will be available to creators using a supported encoder, and HDR videos can be played on the latest Android mobile devices or HDR-compatible smart TVs or streaming sticks.Google’s Chromecast, of course, supports HDR content. The company had announced HDR playback on Android mobile devices since 2017, so this is not unexpected.
Who can enjoy higher quality streaming?
When HDR was first released on YouTube , it was initially offered only to a selection of YouTube channels.
But support for live streaming in HDR will be available immediately to any YouTube creator who wants to try it. YouTube says it will improve the experience by allowing creators to stream HDR from additional encoders and mobile devices.
The new change to live video content indicates YouTube’s interest in better supporting the TV platform.
During the pandemic, YouTube said that its service, as well as its live TV streaming service, YouTube TV, saw a considerable increase.
As the directives that prevented people from leaving their homes so often came into force, YouTube noticed that total TV viewing time increased by 80% in March.
Also that month, YouTube content accounted for 41% of video-on-demand streaming time. Meanwhile, YouTube’s use of television has increased to about 450 million hours a day, from 250 million hours in 2018 .
Live video consumption also increased in the early days of the pandemic. According to YouTube’s presentation to advertisers, live TV media increased by 250% globally between March 11 and April 10, 2020.
He also mentioned that the viewing time of the broadcasted content increased by 75% from year to year during this time.
By providing live HDR streams, YouTube can provide a better tone for advertisers to shift more attention to online platforms – even if viewing HDR on the YouTube platform remains more limited.
The company predicts that HDR support will be useful for a range of live streams, such as games, e-sports, live music and sports events, as well as nature and travel streams.