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Netflix spotted working on an HDR toggle button

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Netflix and its hundreds of millions of subscribers are no strangers to HDR content. The streaming giant supports different High Dynamic Range formats such as HDR10 and Dolby Vision. However, what it doesn't offer right now is the ability to enable or disable HDR while streaming movies and TV shows.

Hopefully, this might change in a future update. Android tipster AssembleDebug and Android Authority found evidence of an HDR toggle button as an experimental setting. The toggle will supposedly allow users to switch between HDR and SDR content when streaming Netflix on Android devices.

A couple of strings were spotted during an APK teardown of the Netflix app for Android (version 8.117.0 build 3 50695 beta):

  • “Android Allow SDR/HDR Stream Selection (sic)”
  • “Additional Switch Button To Choice SDR/HDR Streams for Streaming (sic)"

HDR content comes with its perks, but it might not be a cup of tea for everyone. For starters, HDR content is known to gobble down more battery juice compared to SDR. The difference is significant enough that Microsoft doesn't offer HDR video playback by default when the device is on battery power.

While it doesn't take a massive toll on the bandwidth, according to a Dolby executive, HDR content might add about 5% to 10% overhead compared to SDR at the same resolution. The bright highlights and deep shadows might entice viewers, but the increased brightness over a prolonged time might make some users uncomfortable.

Netflix itself recommends changing the device's HDR settings if the video is too dark or bright. Moreover, HDR-capable screens are required to watch movies and TV shows with high dynamic range, so disabling the feature might save some battery and bandwidth if the user's device doesn't have one.

Whether Netflix will bring the toggle button in a future update should be taken with a grain of salt as it appears to be an experimental setting. The streaming giant already has technology in place to dynamically optimize HDR video streaming, considering factors such as storage footprint and data usage.

Source: Android Authority

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