According to a recent article from Digital Trends
, Netflix is bullish on high dynamic range (HDR). Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer at Netflix, is quoted as saying, "I think HDR is more visibly different than 4K," and I couldn't agree more. The benefit of greater pixel resolution is marginal for "normal" screen sizes and seating distances, but the benefit of HDR is immediately apparent at any screen size and seating distance.
The article also points out that HDR goes hand in hand with wide color gamut (WCG), allowing TVs to display a larger palette of colors over a greater range of brightness. Again, the benefit of WCG is much more obvious than merely increasing the spatial resolution from HD to UHD.
Netflix now streams its original shows Marco Polo and Daredevil in Dolby Vision HDR, and HDR10 is expected in a few months. Hunt says that, starting this year, the company will shoot and master its original shows in HDR, and the final product will include the metadata for both HDR formats. He expects that five percent of Netflix content will be available in HDR within a year, increasing to 20 percent by 2019.
Interestingly, Hunt says that Netflix will certify Dolby Vision and HDR10 TVs, though he didn't mention any specific models. I'm not sure why that certification is necessary; if a TV conforms to the Dolby Vision or HDR10 specs, all Netflix has to do is master to those specs, and all should be well. Of course, we know that the 2015 and 2016 Samsung SUHD TVs all implement HDR10, and the Vizio Reference Series offers Dolby Vision, as will the TCL X1. The 2016 LG OLEDs and Philips 8600 will be able to display content encoded in either Dolby Vision or HDR10, a dual-format trend that I dearly hope will expand to other makes and models.
In any event, I'm thrilled to see Netflix embrace HDR so fully, and I can't wait to check out its new content on an HDR-capable display.