BBC will bring Blue Planet II to iPlayer in 4K and HDR

BBC will release a 4K resolution version of Blue Planet II on its on-demand streaming service iPlayer, the release also features high dynamic range (HDR) colour to give the image a bit more pop. The will soon be available to those in the UK who have TVs capable playing 4K HDR content.

Becky Roberts from What Hi-Fi magazine told the BBC:

“It’s very obvious the amount of colour that HDR gives you over normal pictures. It’s definitely more impressive than the extra resolution alone, and it really lends itself to showing off the colourful coral reefs and other ocean images … It has been quite a slow process by the BBC to get to this point.”

According to the BBC, the reason it is taking so long to get on-board the HDR bandwagon is because it is working on a new HDR format with the Japanese broadcaster NHK to create what it calls hybrid-log gamma (HLG) whereas other video providers such as Netflix and Amazon, who have already jumped on HDR, use existing technology called HDR10 and Dolby Vision.

With HLG, BBC will be able to better adapt HDR to live broadcasts because it doesn’t need to provide metadata like other formats, meaning data is less likely to be corrupted in transmission. BBC’s Andrew Cotton says that metadata is extremely difficult to relay through live production workflows.

The special edition of the series Blue Planet II will be available immediately after the final episode is broadcast on BBC on Sunday. Around 400 TV models and Roku’s Streaming Stick+ 4K will be able to fully support the 4K and HDR content.

Source: BBC News

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