Netflix has confirmed to Digital Trends that HDR is indeed live and ready to stream and will soon make its appearance on other titles too. Though nothing has been announced yet, Netflix users have already started to notice the presence of HDR–for one specific show at least. FlatpanelsHD noticed that for days, the first season of Netflix’s original series Marco Polo has been available in HDR.
Marco Polo – an odd choice for HDR
Netflix says it had “great enthusiasm from the creative team,” making Marco Polo an easy first choice. Marco Polo is not one of Netflix’s hottest titles and may seem like an odd choice, but the high-budget period drama was shot natively in HDR. Season 2 of the show will also be available with HDR soon, with the official release marked for June of this year.
In an interview with Digital Trends, a Netflix representative said, “As of mid-March, we have been providing both Dolby Vision and HDR10 streams to supported TVs, giving Netflix members an even more visually stunning experience,” and “Marco Polo Season 1 is available now, with more titles — including Marvel’s Daredevil — coming soon.”
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Netflix has not yet announced when other titles like Daredevil will follow.
HDR will soon go mainstream
Going forward, HDR streams will be available in large volumes, as every 4K Ultra HD TV from a reputed maker will support either HDR10 or Dolby Vision, says the streaming giant. TVs from companies like Sony and Samsung can provide HDR10 via updates, but LG and Vizio have Dolby Vision enabled currently.
Also it will be easier to find new content now as the Ultra HD 4K badge will be replaced with a simple HDR badge on the supported series to make them stand out. Since 2015, Amazon has been showing streams like Mozart in the Jungle and Red Oaks in HDR.
Netflix and HDR
In February, Netflix’s chief product office Neil Hunt told Digital Trends, “I think HDR is more visibly different than 4K. Over the past 15 years, we have had plenty of increments of pixels on the screen, and from what we saw with digital cameras, pixel count eventually stopped being interesting,” Hunt said. Hunt compares HDR with adding color to black and white movie. A lot of effort will be needed, but it may still be worth the grand picture in the end.
There is still some time for HDR to go mainstream, so by the time, the streaming firm plans of offering plenty of 4k content to the viewers. “We have most of our live-action originals in 4K and plan to have 600 hours of 4K programming by the end of 2016,” Netflix told Valuewalk.
Update: the article has been updated with the comments from Netflix on 4k.