What is HDR and how will it change the way you watch content on your phone?

What is HDR and how will it change the way you watch content on your phone?

21 May 2019


HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It’s a type of technology designed to make your content look better than ever. It’s available on the latest TVs and smartphones and works wonders when you’re streaming sport, watching films or playing games.

You might also recognise HDR from the camera app on your phone – the HDR setting gives images that ultra-realistic and hyper-vivid appearance. The effect was great at getting followers to stop in their tracks and take a look at your images while scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. Now HDR is doing the same for video.

It works by widening the gap between the darkest and brightest parts of the image and by ramping up the levels of details across the whole picture – especially in the shadows. What’s more, HDR combats overexposure, which can create big blocks of white space on the image when, for example, there’s bright sunlight in the video. This is a great benefit when you’re watching live outdoor sports or dark scenes in films and TV shows.

Another benefit of HDR is the overall brightness it brings to your content. Some smartphones, such as the iPhone XS Max, also support Dolby Vision, others, like the Huawei P30 Pro come with HDR 10, while Samsung uses HDR 10+. These display technologies increase brightness further and display an even greater palette of colour.

Where can you watch HDR content?

The most popular streaming platforms already feature lots of HDR content, including Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube – though not every show on these platforms is available in HDR for your mobile or tablet.

BT Sport is leading the way with live sporting events available in HDR. This year’s Champions League Final will be broadcast in HDR – a world first. If you’re a BT Sport subscriber you can enjoy the Champions League Final on your compatible smartphone or large-screen TV in HDR for free. Make sure you tune in
on 1st June to see all the action unfold as Tottenham Hotspur take on Liverpool – the first all-English Champions League Final since 2008.

Get three months' free BT Sport > 

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