Here's Where You Can Get HDR Content on Your Phone or TV

Find HDR Content on Phones or TVs

Display technology has been advancing rapidly in recent years as companies invest heavily in higher resolutions, better screen technologies and other enhancements. But the jump from HD to 4K or ultra HD isn't the only big trend.

Credit: SamsungCredit: SamsungMore and more TV makers and now smartphone makers are turning their attention to high dynamic range (HDR). Rather than take aim at definition, HDR tackles contrast and color accuracy. For years, we've  been watching shows and movies on our televisions and handsets in standard dynamic range, a technology that has limited the amount of color we can see on screen.

To address that, companies are delivering HDR-compatible devices that can accommodate the broader color spectrum HDR delivers and ultimately allow you to see a better, more vibrant picture than you would with standard dynamic range.

But there's a catch: accessing HDR. First, you'll need to have a device, like the Galaxy S8 (pictured above) or the LG V30, that can accommodate HDR content on mobile. The iPhone X also supports HDR with its new OLED display. On the television side, you'll need a set from Samsung, LG, Vizio or other brand that supports HDR.

And finally, you're going to need a source for HDR content.

Although there are some ultra-HD Blu-ray players that  support HDR, one of the best ways to get the content to your smartphone or TV is by using streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video. YouTube and Vudu also support HDR content.

So, once you know that you have a smartphone or television that supports HDR, and you have the content source, you should be ready.

But how, exactly, can you find HDR video, and what is available?

Netflix

Netflix is one of the more prominent destinations for HDR content, due in no small part to the streaming service's popularity. However, Netflix has a relatively short list of HDR-ready titles, and  to access that content, you'll need a few things.

For one, you'll need to be a four-screen Netflix plan holder, a service that costs $11.99 per month. If you're a one- or two-screen account holder, you're out of luck. Additionally, you'll need to have a 25 Mbps Internet connection. And if you want to watch Netflix's HDR content on your television, both your TV and the set-top box you're using must support the technology.

Marvel's Luke Cage. Credit: NetflixMarvel's Luke Cage. Credit: NetflixYour best bet for finding HDR video is to use the Netflix search and type in "HDR." Upon doing so, Netflix will list most, but not all, of its HDR- or Dolby Vision-compatible content. (Dolby Vision is an HDR format).

As of this writing, most popular Netflix shows support HDR, including Marco Polo and Marvel Daredevil. You'll also find HDR support for Cosmos Laundromat.

Look for the HDR or Dolby Vision icons next to your chosen content to find out which shows or movies support HDR.

Netflix HDR Content*

  • Marco Polo
  • Iron Fist
  • Abstract: The Art of Design
  • Marvel Daredevil
  • Knights of Sidonia
  • Meridian
  • Chef's Table
  • Samurai Gourmet
  • The OA
  • The Do Over
  • Jessica Jones
  • The Ridiculous 6
  • Luke Cage
  • Santa Clara Diet
  • Chef's Table France
  • Hibana Spark
  • Marco Polo: One Hundred Eyes
  • Sparks
  • Cosmos Laundromat
  • Marvel Defenders
  • Naked
  • Death Note
  • Friends From College
  • Glow
  • First They Killed My Father
  • Girlboss
  • Brad Pitt War Machine
  • Sandy Wexler
  • Fire Chasers
  • Okja
  • The Siege of Jadotville

* Not a complete list

Amazon Video

Amazon's Video streaming services don't require you to jump through so many hoops, but like Netflix, HDR content on Amazon Video is difficult to find.

To access Amazon's HDR content, you'll need to be a Prime subscriber in good standing who pays $99 per year for access to the service. And like all others, you'll need to have an HDR-compatible device to stream the content.

Transformers: Age of Extinction. Credit: ParamountTransformers: Age of Extinction. Credit: ParamountIf you check both boxes, go to Amazon Video and search through the service for "HDR." It's a little wonky, for sure, but it's the only easy way to find what's available.

Many of the original Amazon series like Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent support HDR. In our search for HDR, several movies were are also listed, including Interstellar and Ex Machina.

Amazon HDR Content*

  • Interstellar
  • Ex Machina
  • Coral Reef Adventure
  • Fury
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction
  • Men In Black 3
  • HowStuffWorks NOW
  • Bosch
  • Good Girls Revolt
  • Highston
  • Mad Dogs
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • Mozart in the Jungle
  • One Mississippi
  • Patriot
  • Red Oaks
  • The Interestings
  • The Last Tycoon
  • Transparent
  • Z: The Beginning of Everything
  • After Earth
  • Amazing Spiderman 2
  • Chappie
  • Elysium
  • Hancock
  • Pineapple Express
  • Salt
  • Smurfs 2

*Not a complete list

Vudu

Vudu actually makes it easy for you to search for and find HDR content on its service.

Right from its home page, Vudu offers a link to the company's complete selection of streaming ultra HD and HDR films. Simply click on that page and you'll find everything you want to know.

Collateral Beauty. Credit: New Line CinemaCollateral Beauty. Credit: New Line CinemaAs of this writing, Vudu lists 95 films that come with ultra HD and support either HDR or Dolby Vision. Either way, you'll find a slew of films that will deliver the richer colors you seek, including Jack Reacher, Sing, The Girl on the Train, The Secret Life of Pets and more. Even Goodfellas gets the Dolby Vision treatment.

Although Vudu offers some films for free if you're willing to sit through ads, the vast majority of its content is available for download. So be ready to sign up for the service and dole out some cash to access the HDR content. Most of the other HDR programming you'd find in competing services comes with the subscription you're already paying for.

Still, for the price, you're getting easy access to a boatload of HDR content.

Vudu HDR Content*

  • Fantastic Beasts
  • Sing
  • Arrival
  • Collateral Beauty
  • The Accountant
  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
  • The Girl On the Train
  • Sully
  • Live Die Repeat
  • Storks
  • Pacific Rim
  • Jason Bourne
  • Lucy
  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • Goodfellas
  • Annabelle
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • The Hangover
  • Furious 7
  • Lone Survivor
  • The Conjuring
  • Central Intelligence
  • Gatsby
  • Man of Steel
  • Pan
  • Oblivion
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Argo
  • Entourage
  • The Legend of Tarzan
  • Intern
  • Creed
  • Batman vs. Superman

*Not a complete list

YouTube

Rather than offer curated HDR content, YouTube allows any of its Creators, or people who upload content to its site, to deliver HDR. While in one respect that can be a good thing, since it increases the amount of HDR content on the site, but in another, you don't know whether it's the real thing or not. After all, if someone says the video is HDR, how do we really know it's true until we try it out?

In 2016, YouTube announced its support for HDR and with it, published the "HDR Launch Playlist," a repository of HDR content. However, there are only four HDR videos there, including one that shows redwood trees and another that explores the world.

Still, YouTube's list of recommended videos underneath the playlist could be your best friend: when you open the launch playlist, you'll see a handful of other HDR-tagged videos you can check out.

Searching for "HDR" on YouTube might also yield some results, though in many cases, you'll find informational videos and other content that isn't actually in HDR.

YouTube HDR Content*

  • The World in HDR in 4K (Ultra HD)
  • The Redwoods
  • The Underdog
  • Turning Point
  • LG Jazz HDR UHD
  • 4K African Wildlife
  • LG Chess HDR UHD
  • Australia 8K HDR

Apple TV/iTunes

At long last, Apple now supports 4K and HDR content through its new Apple TV 4K set-top box. The device allows for you to stream its collection of 4K HDR movies to your television.

Apple was quick to note that the company's 4K content comes from the vast majority of movie studios, and it'll be offering the content at the same price you could formerly get HD content through its services. Better yet, if you have movies that are now available in 4K, Apple will automatically upgrade their visual quality at no charge to you.

For now, Apple's 4K HDR content lineup has dozens of films, but look for the company to add more as studios make additional content available.

To find Apple's 4K HDR content, simply choose that category in its iTunes marketplace. You can see it both on the Apple TV and on your computer. You can also search for 4K content with your voice using the Siri remote with the new Apple TV.

Here's a look at some of Apple's top titles in its 4K HDR repository:

Apple HDR Content*

  • John Wick Chapter 2
  • Arrival
  • Logan
  • Wonder Woman
  • Goodfellas
  • Annabelle
  • Get Hard
  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • Lucy
  • Baby Driver
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • La La Land
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Snatched
  • Argo
  • Assassin's Creed
  • Fifty Shades Darker
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Moonlight
  • Fences
  • T2: Trainspotting
  • The LEGO Movie
  • John Wick
  • The LEGO Batman Movie
  • Live Die Repeat
  • Alien: Covenant
  • Passengers
  • Office Christmas Party
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Despicable Me
  • Lone Survivor
  • Life of Pi
  • The Magnificent Seven
  • Deadpool
  • Brooklyn
  • Live By Night

*Not a complete list

Image Credit: Hopper Stone

Create a new thread in the Audio forum about this subject
No comments yet
Comment from the forums
    Your comment