You Will Soon Be Able To Play HDR Videos On Chrome For Android


The propagation of High Dynamic Range (HDR) video is steadily becoming the ultimate standard of video quality. With HDR, the exposure percentage in the video is enhanced that in turn builds better contrast ratio and thus brings higher definition.

For those who don't know, Android gained HDR support with Android 7.0 Nougat. However, it still depends on devices' hardware to support the format and also on the apps to extract HDR metadata from videos. Moreover, a compatible display is also needed to produce wider color gamut.

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Most of the flagships are perfectly capable of handling HDR videos, but there is lack of HDR content availability as not many services support it yet. Services like Google Play Movies & TV, Netflix, and most recently YouTube support HDR video playback even though their libraries are still limited. Now, according to a report from XDA Developers, Google Chrome for Android will soon be joining the list of apps that support HDR video playback.

HDR metadata extraction

As per the two recent commits on the Chromium Gerrit, Google Chrome for Android will soon extract HDR metadata from the video container and pass it to the MediaCodec class. According to the commits, HDR video embedded in the VP9 Profile 2 (10 bit) video codec, can be played on a supported device.

Enhanced viewing experience with HDR

With the HDR video playback support on Chrome for Android, the viewing experience will enhance manifolds for the viewers. Sadly, not much HDR content is available for the users. With the lack of HDR content availability, users may not be able to notice the viewing difference on Chrome. Moreover, streaming HDR content takes more bandwidth that non-HDR content as it requires higher data encoding.

If your device is capable of handling HDR videos and you also have a faster internet connectivity, then HDR support on Chrome will be a treat for you. You can playback HDR videos on YouTube to check out the viewing difference between HDR and non-HDR videos.