Google gives YouTube livestreaming a shot in the arm with HDR support

YouTube Axon 10 Pro
YouTube Axon 10 Pro (Image credit: Jason England / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube is finally adding HDR support for livestreams.
  • The company first introduced the feature for normal videos back in 2016.
  • HDR, which stands for high dynamic range, allows for more vivid and color accurate visuals.

HDR has been quite the buzz word in the tech world in recent years, with everything from the latest flagship smartphones to the biggest 4K TVs rushing to join the HDR bandwagon. While YouTube was one of the earliest movers in the space by bringing HDR support to its videos all the way back in 2016, it has dragged its feet with doing the same for livestreams.

Well, no longer. The company this week announced HDR support for livestreams, offering its rich color fidelity for anything from a liquor-induced late-night rant to a livestream of you winning a chicken dinner in a friendly match of PUBG.

YouTube's JR Futrell extolls the benefits of the addition as follows:

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.

At the moment, creators can push HDR content to YouTube using only a handful of supported encoders. These include Mirillis Action!, Cobalt, and Telestream. You can look up the exact specifications here. The blog post does, however, promise to bring support for more encoders and mobile devices in the future. Of course, viewers will also need a device with an HDR display to see the full benefits of HDR content.

In related news, Google recently started rolling out direct livestreaming to YouTube for all Stadia users. The combination of these updates should make YouTube the platform with the prettiest gaming livestreams around!

Muhammad Jarir Kanji