For movie and television fans interested in pushing the absolute best picture they can to their favorite television device, Google is helping them through the addition of titles supporting HDR playback to the Google Play Movies & TV service on both the desktop and the mobile app. If you want to take advantage of the HDR availability, you also have to get the video in 4K UHD resolution and you have to have a television that supports both 4K UHD and HDR.
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and provides a wider range of brightness and color than the typical playback. This is supposed to make videos appear even more lifelike on top of the added sharpness 4K UHD brings to the screen.
The good news for consumers is the Chromecast Ultra is able to support both 4K UHD and HDR playback. Alternatively, users can cast videos to a Google Cast enabled television. On the downside, even though the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 are capable of displaying videos in 4K UHD and HDR, Google has not currently enabled playback of these videos on mobile devices. Likewise, the titles are limited to only being available to consumers in the U.S. and Canada.
The current selection of titles with HDR support is slightly more than 40, though that will grow. Pricing is rather steep as well with most titles listed at $29.99, though a few are a couple dollars cheaper. Users can look for the HDR badge in the Additional Information section for a title to determine whether HDR playback is available.
Google notes that in order to stream titles in 4K UHD, a download speed of 15 Mbps should be available. Otherwise, the stream may drop down to HD or SD quality. To find HDR titles, you can do a search for “HDR movies” on the Movies & TV site or in the app.