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Netflix may have jumped out to an early lead with its 4K content but it is rival Amazon that’s first out of the gate with what some predict could be the next big thing in video.
The e-commerce giant has become the first video streaming service to offer content in HDR, or high dynamic range, albeit in limited fashion. The debut season of original series Mozart in the Jungle is now available to stream in HDR as is the pilot episode for another Amazon original, Red Oaks. The only catch is that you’ll need a compatible Samsung SUHD TV and the Amazon Video app to view the shows.
HDR is a buzzword you’ve probably heard tossed around lately as it relates to televisions but the technique has been used for years in the world of photography.
As you may have noticed in your own experiences when snapping photos or capturing video, scenes involving both bright and dark areas are difficult for a camera to expose properly. What typically happens is you have to either adjust to correctly expose the bright sections – thus eliminating almost all of the detail in the dimly-lit areas – or do the oppose in which you correctly expose the darker areas and blow out the lit areas.
HDR aims to correctly expose both the dark and bright portions of a scene simultaneously. The end result, as least in terms of video, is better overall picture quality with richer colors and improved contrast. In photography, the technique is often used in dramatic fashion although that’s not always the case.
Amazon said it plans to add more HDR titles this year.