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Intel live-streamed glorious 8K60 HDR footage of the Tokyo Olympics
by Sayan Sen
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics concluded today and the world witnessed several new achievements and records being set (via NBC Sports YouTube) across multiple sporting disciplines at the global event.
While not a sportsperson, Intel too did something very impressive at this event. According to a report by TechHive, Team Blue was able to live stream 8K (7680x4320) 60fps HDR footage of the Olympics to certain parts of the world like in the U.S. and Brazil.
The 8K60 10-bit HDR footage was captured by NHK WORLD-JAPAN, which is Japan's public broadcaster, apparently using Sony's F65 8K camera. This raw data was then encoded and processed to HEVC (H.265) on a server that consisted of the following specs:
Four Xeon Platinum 8380H server CPUs (112 cores total) 384GB DDR4 RAM Intel Optane 900P 480GB SSD Spin Digital Enc Live software OS: Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS After this, the stream was distributed by certain undisclosed "Open internet cloud services" and the TechHive reporter was then able to view the demo on a 75-inch 8K TV in a conference room at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles. The video was decoded also on an above-average system.
The image below explains the entire process:
While we don't know the sizes of the HEVC video streams that Intel demoed here, we believe they won't be too small. That's why last year, its successor, the VVC or H.266 codec was announced for next-gen videos of such scale. Just like HEVC did earlier, H.266 also promises similar fidelity at around 50% of the size.
However, VVC is yet to take off with only a handful of hardware available that can decode it, like this one from Sharp, which was also the first such product in the world.
The YouTube app for Xbox now supports HDR videos
by João Carrasqueira
In the summer of 2016, Microsoft introduced the Xbox One S, bringing support for HDR to the Xbox family for the first time. Now, after four and a half years, Google has implemented HDR video support into the YouTube app on Xbox consoles, as reported by FlatpanelsHD (via Windows Central).
HDR has become a fairly standard feature in modern TVs and every iteration of the Xbox since 2016 has supported it. YouTube itself also added support for HDR videos later that year, so it's certainly interesting that it took this long for those two things to come together.
It's not completely clear when the capability was added to the YouTube app, but FlatpanelsHD points out that it wasn't available on the Xbox Series X back in December. The report confirms HDR is working on both the Series X and the One S, and there's no reason why it wouldn't also work with the One X and Series S.
You'll need to make sure you have the latest version of the app for HDR to work, or you can download the app from here if you haven't yet. While HDR support in the YouTube app is good news, it doesn't look like it's working as well as some might hope just yet. The app only supports HDR in videos using Google's VP9, instead of adopting the more modern AV1 format, which has also been backed by Google. Hopefully, a future update will address that issue.
Samsung's upcoming QLED TVs will feature HDR10+ Adaptive support
by João Carrasqueira
Samsung has been one of the biggest supporters of the HDR10 standard and its iterations with its TVs and phones, being one of the first to add support for new features. Today, the Korean giant announced that its upcoming lineup of QLED TVs, likely to be announced at CES 2021, will support the new HDR10+ Adaptive feature.
HDR10+ is an improvement on HDR10 which allows for dynamic metadata to be used, making it so that things like tone mapping, brightness, and so on can be adjusted on a scene-by-scene basis. However, HDR10+ content is usually best enjoyed in dimly lit environments, which means you won't always get the best experience depending on where you're trying to watch content.
HDR10+ Adaptive means TVs can adapt the HDR10+ content so it can be enjoyed in different lighting conditions. Samsung is also enabling support for Filmmaker mode with HDR10+ Adaptive content, and the first service to support it is Amazon Prime Video, which is often first to support new HDR features on Samsung TVs.
There's no indication that this feature is coming to previous generations of Samsung TVs, so you may have to buy one of the upcoming models if you're interested in it.
By Jay Bonggolto
Apple's Clips app now supports multiple aspect ratios, HDR recording, and more
by Jay Bonggolto
Apple today released a major update for the Clips app that introduces some "highly requested features" to let you create personalized videos. Clips 3.0 brings support for vertical and horizontal videos and HDR recording with iPhone 12 devices, along with a refreshed interface.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes is Clips' support for multiple aspect ratios. The app can now record videos in 16:9 and 4:3 in addition to its square aspect ratio, which was previously the only option. All of those aspect ratios are available both in vertical and landscape orientations.
On iPhone, the app automatically opens your video in 16:9 while 4:3 is the default on iPad. In addition, you can record with filters, posters, Live Titles, and Selfie Scenes in new sizes. The share sheet feature has also been updated so that it now displays a video preview before sending and offers new export options in any supported size if you wish to share a video with friends.
Clips' redesigned interface for iPadOS supports the new Scribble feature to turn handwritten text into typed text. You can create and edit videos in landscape orientation as well, with support for Magic Keyboard and a Bluetooth mouse or trackpad.
With its new interface, the app now lets you swipe up for a full-screen view of all filters, stickers, emoji, and other effects. There's a refreshed record screen as well and you can now view more content with new Effects, Media, and Projects browsers. Additionally, there are eight new stickers, six additional arrows and shapes, and 25 fresh soundtracks that customize to the length of videos.
Finally, you can now record HDR videos using the back cameras of the iPhone 12 phones and share the clips as a Dolby Vision HDR file. Clips 3.0 is available to download today from the App Store.
Netflix adds HDR10 support for new Samsung and TCL devices
by João Carrasqueira
Smartphones with support for HDR have become increasingly more commonplace in recent years, and thus it's only natural that Netflix has to continually keep adding support for new devices as they come. The streaming service has now updated its support page yet again (via MSPoweruser) to add a number of devices to the supported list.
Most of the new devices come from Samsung's recent Unpacked event, including the GalaxyNote20, Note20 Ultra, Tab S7+, and Z Fold2. The Galaxy Z Flip 5G, announced a week before Unpacked, has also been added to the list. Interestingly, the regular Galaxy Tab S7 doesn't support HDR on Netflix. Aside from the new Samsung phones and tablet, TCL also has a couple of new devices on the list, the TCL 10 5G and the TCL 10 Plus, both of which were recently introduced.
Netflix also updated the list of devices that support streaming in HD resolution, which includes all of the devices above, plus the following:
Samsung Galaxy A21s Samsung Galaxy A31 Samsung Galaxy A41 Samsung Galaxy A51 5G Samsung Galaxy A71 5G Samsung Galaxy M31s Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 While you might assume any device with an HD and HDR display would support these features on Netflix, certain requirements have to be met, specifically support for DRM plug-ins like Widevine, which enable or restrict support for certain kinds of encrypted content. The OnePlus 5 and 5T infamously didn't support HD content in 2017, and according to the Netflix support page, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro apparently don't support it either - though users claim it does work as intended.