Netflix Planning to Stream Mobile HDR Content Ahead of 'iPhone 8'

by

Netflix is planning to offer HDR quality mobile content for viewing on supporting devices because of an increasing mobile subscriber base and the company's belief that the format will eventually be universally adopted on mobile platforms.

The comments were made yesterday by Netflix executive Neil Hunt during a briefing with journalists, as part of a two-day event at Dolby Laboratories and Netflix headquarters in San Francisco. Hunt made the remarks as the two companies prepare to launch new Netflix series Iron Fist, which is being shot natively in HDR.

HDR stands for high dynamic range, meaning a display supporting the standard is capable of reproducing a wider and richer range of colors, brighter whites, and deeper blacks. HDR content is already available on Netflix and Amazon Video, but only for streaming to televisions that support the standard. However, Hunt and Dolby executives told The Verge that HDR is about to make the leap from big-screen to mobile, with Netflix aiming to be at the forefront of a global transition.


It's been about a year since Netflix became available globally — with the exception of a few markets, including China, and since then it has seen mobile usage soar. In established markets like the US and Canada, most Netflix watching still happens on TVs, Hunt said; but in some Asian countries, especially India, "mobile screens are the majority consumption device."

Both Netflix and Amazon are said to be gearing up to stream HDR content on mobile devices, possibly as early as April this year, although a specific date from either company has yet to be confirmed. Samsung's recently announced Tab 3 with AMOLED display is the first tablet to support videos with greater dynamic range, while the LG G6 is the first phone to support both HDR10 (the 10-bit open standard) and Dolby Vision HDR.

Apple is expected to announce new iPad models soon, possibly as early as next week, but apart from plenty of speculation regarding screen sizes, no rumors have mentioned the display technology that could feature. The same can't be said for Apple's rumored "iPhone 8", which will reportedly have a Samsung-supplied OLED display, making it more likely to support the HDR10 standard.

In addition to the mobile HDR announcement, Netflix said it was considering the idea of streaming mobile-specific cuts of its original movies and TV shows.

"It's not inconceivable that you could take a master [copy] and make a different cut for mobile," Hunt said. To date, Netflix hasn't been delivering different cuts for different viewing platforms, Hunt said, but "it's something we will explore over the next few years."

According to The Verge, the idea would be to create a version of the content with scenes or shots that are more easily visible or immersive on a mobile phone, given that certain shots can be hard to see or can appear diminished on a relatively small phone screen.

Tag: Netflix

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
43 months ago

What? Where'd you get that info?

Read any interview about any OLED TV with HDR on the internet. It can't compete peak brightness nits with LED backlight.

It's dynamic range on SDR is better than LED due to the black levels so it makes HDR even less noticeable on the displays. LCD panels are capable of 2000 nits, the very best OLED sets can only do 800nits at the moment.

That coupled with the fact that the black level gradients are not great (but getting better each year) on OLED is why i'm not 100% sold on the technology (yet). Black black are only good if you get every shade of black from 0.1% upwards otherwise you get a jarring black in places there should be subtle details and that's as bad as over contrast. Couple this with LED technology using advanced honeycomb backlighting to emulated OLED's per pixel brightness and the gap between the two is getting closer than ever. Neither is a clear winner, both have pros and cons.

Fundamentally on a phone though the nits are not going to be near high enough to display proper HDR - the Galaxy S7 only manages 440nits. You need at least 550-600 for it to be effective at the top end, maybe Apple are building the brightest handheld OLED ever that competes with it's big brothers.
[doublepost=1489671679][/doublepost]

The up to 1000 nits of brightness of the Apple Watch display with simultaneous perfect blacks isn't enough for you?

1000 nits would indeed be ideal, but no one has built that into a screen the size an iPhone would use yet. Also refrain from using "perfect blacks" perfect BLACK yes, (eg off) however as mentioned the grades of black below 'off' are yet to be anywhere near "perfect" on OLED yet unfortunately.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
43 months ago

I am probably in a small minority, but I couldn't care less about this. It is not like videos look crappy on non-HDR phones. Maybe I just need to see a demo and compare it.

I guess the best thing about this news is what it means for other devices. Maybe one of the great things in Tim Cook's clogged pipeline is a HDR Apple TV.

The buzz I've heard around HDR is that it will have more real impact than the ever increasing resolutions we're seeing on screens (not just mobile). We're already at the point where most people's televisions are too small and/or too far away from their viewing location to realize the resolution they've purchased. A 55" screen at 12' won't produce noticeable image improvements above 720p, it's just too far for our eyes to detect the difference. For that same 55" screen to be useful in 4K you'd need to be 6' away, with most people placing a television on one wall and sitting against the opposite that has to be a very narrow room. A lot of people buy high res just because they feel it is "better" without considering whether they can make use of the resolution in their viewing environment. On the other hand, our eyes are capable of seeing many more colors than the 8 bit RGB system prevalent today (we can see about seven billion compared with 16 million colors in 8 bit color space).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
43 months ago

The buzz I've heard around HDR is that it will have more real impact than the ever increasing resolutions we're seeing on screens (not just mobile). We're already at the point where most people's televisions are too small and/or too far away from their viewing location to realize the resolution they've purchased. A 55" screen at 12' won't produce noticeable image improvements above 720p, it's just too far for our eyes to detect the difference. For that same 55" screen to be useful in 4K you'd need to be 6' away, with most people placing a television on one wall and sitting against the opposite that has to be a very narrow room. A lot of people buy high res just because they feel it is "better" without considering whether they can make use of the resolution in their viewing environment. On the other hand, our eyes are capable of seeing many more colors than the 8 bit RGB system prevalent today (we can see about seven billion compared with 16 million colors in 8 bit color space).

I understand the impact of HDR for TVs, but I question the impact of having an HDR on the phone.

But again, I am pretty sure I am in a minority.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
43 months ago

Read any interview about any OLED TV with HDR on the internet. It can't compete peak brightness nits with LED backlight.

It's dynamic range on SDR is better than LED due to the black levels so it makes HDR even less noticeable on the displays. LCD panels are capable of 2000 nits, the very best OLED sets can only do 800nits at the moment.

That coupled with the fact that the black level gradients are not great (but getting better each year) on OLED is why i'm not 100% sold on the technology (yet). Black black are only good if you get every shade of black from 0.1% upwards otherwise you get a jarring black in places there should be subtle details and that's as bad as over contrast. Couple this with LED technology using advanced honeycomb backlighting to emulated OLED's per pixel brightness and the gap between the two is getting closer than ever. Neither is a clear winner, both have pros and cons.

Fundamentally on a phone though the nits are not going to be near high enough to display proper HDR - the Galaxy S7 only manages 440nits. You need at least 550-600 for it to be effective at the top end, maybe Apple are building the brightest handheld OLED ever that competes with it's big brothers.
[doublepost=1489671679][/doublepost]

1000 nits would indeed be ideal, but no one has built that into a screen the size an iPhone would use yet. Also refrain from using "perfect blacks" perfect BLACK yes, (eg off) however as mentioned the grades of black below 'off' are yet to be anywhere near "perfect" on OLED yet unfortunately.

That's why there are two separate standards for HDR content, requiring 1100 nits for LCD and only 540 nits for OLED (last I looked). So, even if an OLED set is fully HDR spec'd, it might not be the best choice for viewing with moderate to high ambient light.

That said, even in dark rooms, OLED still isn't perfect as you say... I totally agree about the crushed blacks. I was very close to buying a 65" OLED a few months back but I decided that it wasn't "perfect" enough to shell out $3k for. Actually, I ended up going the projector route (1080p LED with a 92" tensioned screen, spent well under $1k total) and don't regret a thing. Sure, the contrast is comparatively terrible and it's a far cry from HDR, but blu-rays still look fantastic, and that big-screen cinema feel is just plain fun. I'm going to enjoy this setup for a while, until the world of 4K HDR hardware and content gets a little more firmly established.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
43 months ago
"Native HDR" :rolleyes:

HDR just doesn't down sample color depth at the end of editing to fit standard TV colors.
[doublepost=1489670886][/doublepost]

The buzz I've heard around HDR is that it will have more real impact than the ever increasing resolutions we're seeing on screens (not just mobile). We're already at the point where most people's televisions are too small and/or too far away from their viewing location to realize the resolution they've purchased. A 55" screen at 12' won't produce noticeable image improvements above 720p, it's just too far for our eyes to detect the difference. For that same 55" screen to be useful in 4K you'd need to be 6' away, with most people placing a television on one wall and sitting against the opposite that has to be a very narrow room. A lot of people buy high res just because they feel it is "better" without considering whether they can make use of the resolution in their viewing environment. On the other hand, our eyes are capable of seeing many more colors than the 8 bit RGB system prevalent today (we can see about seven billion compared with 16 million colors in 8 bit color space).

Exactly why I need to get a 85" TV to appreciate the higher resolution. :)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
43 months ago

Interesting considering the next iPhone is runoured to have an OLED screen and OLED isn't bright enough yet to full take advantage of HDR.

The up to 1000 nits of brightness of the Apple Watch display with simultaneous perfect blacks isn't enough for you?

What? Where'd you get that info?

Newer HDR LCD TVs actually have better brightness than OLED TVs. But we're talking about 2500+ nits.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Officially Obsoletes First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display

Wednesday July 1, 2020 3:40 am PDT by
As expected, Apple's first MacBook Pro with a Retina display is now officially classed as "obsolete" worldwide, just over eight years after its release. In a support document, Apple notes that obsolete products are no longer eligible for hardware service, with "no exceptions." This means that any mid-2012 Retina MacBook Pro 15-inch models still out there that require a battery or other...

New Mac Ransomware Found in Pirated Mac Apps

Tuesday June 30, 2020 11:44 am PDT by
There's a new 'EvilQuest' Mac ransomware variant that's spreading through pirated Mac apps, according to a new report shared today by Malwarebytes. The new ransomware was found in pirated download for the Little Snitch app found on a Russian forum. Right from the point of download, it was clear that something was wrong with the illicit version of Little Snitch, as it had a generic installer...

Unreleased iMac With 10-Core Comet Lake-S Chip and Radeon Pro 5300 GPU Shows Up in Geekbench

Wednesday July 1, 2020 10:48 am PDT by
Benchmarks for an unreleased iMac equipped with a 10th-generation Core i9 Intel Comet Lake-S chip and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics card have surfaced, giving us an idea of what we can expect from a refreshed 2020 iMac. The Geekbench benchmarks, which appear to be legit, were found on Twitter and shared this morning by Tom's Hardware. The iMac in the benchmarks would be a successor to the...

Leaker: Future iPhone Models to Come in 'Exquisite' Thinner Box

Wednesday July 1, 2020 1:57 am PDT by
Leaker L0vetodream this morning posted a tweet corroborating recent rumors that Apple's "iPhone 12" lineup won't come with EarPods or a charger in the box, adding that this will also eventually apply to the existing second-generation iPhone SE. L0vetodream also claims that future iPhone packaging will be "thinner" and "exquisite," which would make sense if Apple's handsets are set to come in ...

Apple's A12Z Under Rosetta Outperforms Microsoft's Native Arm-Based Surface Pro X

Monday June 29, 2020 10:31 am PDT by
Apple's Developer Transition Kit equipped with an A12Z iPad Pro chip began arriving in the hands of developers this morning to help them get their apps ready for Macs running Apple Silicon, and though forbidden, the first thing some developers did was benchmark the machine. Multiple Geekbench results have indicated that the Developer Transition Kit, which is a Mac mini with an iPad Pro chip, ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Models Won't Include Charger in Box, 20W Power Adapter Will Be Sold Separately

Sunday June 28, 2020 7:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 models will not include EarPods or a power adapter in the box, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. This lines up with a prediction shared by analysts at Barclays earlier this week. Kuo said that Apple will instead release a new 20W power adapter as an optional accessory for iPhones and end production of its existing 5W and 18W power adapters...

Rosetta 2 Benchmarks Surface From Mac Mini With A12Z Chip

Monday June 29, 2020 7:48 am PDT by
While the terms and conditions for Apple's new "Developer Transition Kit" forbid developers from running benchmarks on the modified Mac mini with an A12Z chip, it appears that results are beginning to surface anyhow. Image Credit: Radek Pietruszewski Geekbench results uploaded so far suggest that the A12Z-based Mac mini has average single-core and multi-core scores of 811 and 2,781...

Display Analyst Once Again Says No 120Hz ProMotion Display Coming to iPhone 12 Pro

Wednesday July 1, 2020 11:29 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 models will not feature an upgraded 120Hz ProMotion display, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young previously said that Apple would not implement ProMotion technology until it adopted low-power LTPO display technology, a move Apple is not expected to make until 2021. In a tweet shared this morning, Young said that the none of his contacts have been able to...

Apple Seeds Third Betas of iOS and iPadOS 13.6 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Tuesday June 30, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the third betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.6 updates to developers, three weeks after seeding the second betas and over a month after releasing iOS/iPadOS 13.5 with Exposure Notification API, Face ID updates, Group FaceTime changes, and more. iOS and iPadOS 13.6 can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or over the air once the proper developer profile has been...

The New York Times Ends Apple News Partnership and Pulls All Articles

Monday June 29, 2020 11:17 am PDT by
The New York Times today announced that it is pulling out of Apple News, as the service does not "align with its strategy of building direct relationships with paying readers." Starting today, articles from The New York Times will no longer show up in the Apple News app. The news site says that Apple has given it "little in the way of direct relationships with readers" and "little control...