Netflix Announces HDR Support; Considering Offline Downloads

Netflix announced today its goal of adding over 100 hours of HDR (high dynamic range) content by the end of August, and over 150 hours by the end of 2016.

HDR means pixels on your TV have greater depth, wider real-world colour range, brighter highlights and better detail in dark scenes, in other words, a more “realistic and stimulating TV viewing experience,” explains the company.

To view HDR content, your television will be required to support 2016 Dolby Vision or HDR. Starting today, the Netflix original series Marco Polo is viewable in HDR for customers subscribed to the company’s Ultra HD plan (4 screens at a time).

Blog DolbyVision 1

The following is a list of upcoming titles coming in both Dolby Vision and HDR:

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Bloodline
  • Chef’s Table
  • Hibana
  • Knights of Sidonia
  • Marvel’s Daredevil
  • Marvel’s Iron Fist
  • Marvel’s Jessica Jones
  • Marvel’s Luke Cage
  • Marvel’s The Defenders
  • The Do-Over
  • The Ridiculous Six

Could we see offline TV shows and Movies one day?

Also, support for offline downloads of TV shows and movies could be one step closer to reality for Netflix users. CEO Reed Hastings was asked by Re/code’s Peter Kafka about offline downloads for TV and movies, like what rivals Amazon and YouTube offer to subscribers. Here was Hastings’ response:

“We should keep an open mind on this. We’ve been so focused on click-and-watch and the beauty and simplicity of streaming. But as we expand around the world, where we see an uneven set of networks, it’s something we should keep an open mind about.”

Previously, Hastings had answered similar questions with an outright “not gonna happen”, but it appears his stance has softened. The possibility for offline downloads of original Netflix content at least, could debut sometime in the future.

Yesterday, the company’s 2016 Q1 numbers saw the addition of 6.74 million users, for a total of 81.5 million users worldwide. One research firm estimates Canadian Netflix users stand at 4.3 million, as of the end of 2015.

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