Stream HDR video on YouTube

You can stream High Dynamic Range (HDR) video to YouTube Live. HDR lets you show more vibrant and realistic colors to your viewers on the growing number of devices that support HDR.

To stream HDR to YouTube Live, you need to produce compatible HDR content and use a compatible encoder.

Live stream HDR gaming content

To live stream HDR gaming content, you need to:

  • Play a game that supports HDR output.
  • Turn on HDR in the game’s settings.
  • Use a monitor or TV that supports HDR.
  • Use a compatible encoder.

Live stream other HDR video content

To live stream other HDR video content, you need to

  • Use a compatible encoder.
  • Use a camera that supports HDR video with either the PQ or HLG color standards. Check your camera’s manual to see if these standards are supported.

Compatible software encoders

Mirillis Action!

To encode HDR with Mirillis Action!, use version 4.12.2 or later and one of the following compatible graphics cards:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10-series or later.
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 or later.
  • Intel 10th Generation graphics or later.

To set up Mirillis Action! to work with YouTube Live HDR:

  1. From Action!, make sure you’re signed in to your YouTube account.
  2. Go to the Action! video recording tab.
  3. Under “Hardware acceleration,” select HDR10.
  4. In the “Live Streaming” tab, select YouTube as the streaming service.
  5. Action! will automatically create a broadcast when you start streaming.

You can also create and manage your broadcast in Live Control Room.

  1. Go to Live Control Room.
  2. Create or manage a live stream.
  3. Make sure your stream key is set to Variable Bitrate (default).
  4. Copy your stream key.
  5. In Action!, select Custom streaming service.
  6. Under “Server / URL,” enter the following URL and replace STREAMKEY with your YouTube stream key:
    https://a.upload.youtube.com/http_upload_hls?cid=STREAMKEY&copy=0&file=
  7. Leave the separate “Stream key” setting blank.

Note: Action! may not be compatible with some older HDR games.

Note: You can only encode in formats that are supported by your device.

.

Compatible hardware encoders

Common encoder configuration requirements

YouTube Live HDR requires using HLS output. Here are the common requirements for setting up an encoder on your device:

HDR Configurations:

  • Video Codec: HEVC (you can only encode in formats that are supported by your device)
  • Bit Depth: 10 bits
  • Color Primaries: BT.2020 (must be compatible with your source)
  • Transfer Characteristics: Either ST 2084 PQ or HLG, depending on which one your source produces.
  • Matrix Coefficients: BT.2020 Non-Const Y (must be compatible with your source)

HLS output:

  • Segment Duration: Between 1 - 4 seconds.
  • Segment Format: must be TS (Transport Stream).
  • Byte Range is not supported.
  • Must use a rolling playlist with no more than 5 outstanding segments.
  • Must use HTTPS POST/PUT.
  • Encryption is not supported besides using HTTPS.
  • URL: Enter the following URL and replace STREAMKEY with your YouTube stream key. For HDR, you must use a stream key that is set to Variable Bitrate in the Live Control Room (the default). https://a.upload.youtube.com/http_upload_hls?cid=STREAMKEY&copy=0&file=
  • If using backup ingestion, the URL is: https://b.upload.youtube.com/http_upload_hls?cid=STREAMKEY&copy=1&file=
Cobalt

Cobalt encoders that support HEVC HDR are compatible with YouTube Live HDR. Check the product manual for your specific Cobalt model to see if it supports HEVC HDR.

Set up Cobalt for HEVC HDR

  1. Enter the following settings into the Cobalt encoder:
    1. Encoder mode: HEVC (you can only encode in formats that are supported by your device)
    2. Bit Depth: 10 Bits
    3. Chroma mode: 4:2:0

  1. On the “Advanced” page, set the video signal type options to the same type of HDR as your HDR camera or other HDR capture device. YouTube Live HDR supports only the settings listed below. Check your HDR camera’s manual or settings to see if it’s compatible with these Cobalt settings.
    1. Enable Video Signal Type: Checked
    2. Video Full Range: Enable only if your source produces full-range video.
    3. Color Primaries: Set to BT.2020 (must be compatible with your source)
    4. Transfer Characteristics: Set to either ST 2084 PQ or HLG, depending on which one your source produces.
    5. Matrix Coefficients: Set to BT.2020 Non-Const Y (must be compatible with your source.

  1. Next, set up HLS output to YouTube. Go to the “Output” tab and enter these settings:
    1. Output Protocol: “HLS”
    2. Server Location: Remote
    3. Transfer Protocol: HTTP/S
    4. Upload URL: https://a.upload.youtube.com/http_upload_hls?cid=STREAMKEY&copy=0&file=

In the URL above, replace STREAMKEY with your YouTube stream key. For HDR, you must use a stream key that is set to Variable Bitrate in the Live Control Room (the default).

  1. Enable Host Header: Unchecked
  2. Base File Name: “live”
  3. Segment (sec): Any number between 1 - 4
  4. Number of Segments: Choose any option
  5. Program Name: Leave as-is

Telestream

The Lightspeed Live Stream encoder from Telestream is compatible with YouTube Live HDR.

Follow the instructions in the encoder’s user guide for setting up an HLS Channel with the following configurations:

  • Segment Duration: Between 1 and 4 seconds.
  • Segment Format: Must be TS (Transport Stream)
  • Enable Byte Range: False
  • Playlist Type: Rolling
  • Elements: 5
  • Encryption: None
  • Output Location: Push to CDN
  • Publishing Point: https://a.upload.youtube.com/http_upload_hls?cid=STREAMKEY&copy=0&file=

In the URL above, replace STREAMKEY with your YouTube stream key. For HDR, you must use a stream key that is set to Variable Bitrate in the Live Control Room (the default).

  • HTTP Method: Enable HTTP method and choose POST

To configure the HDR settings, you need to configure HEVC settings in the Encoder section of your device with these configurations:

  1. Enable 10 bit and then enable HDR Metadata.
  2. Color Primaries: Set to BT2020 (must be compatible with your source)
  3. Transfer Characteristics: Set to either SMPTE-ST-2084 (PQ) or ARIB-STD-B67 (HLG), depending on which one your source produces.
  4. Matrix Coefficients: Set to BT2020NC (must be compatible with your source)

Viewing HDR live streams

Your viewers will see your stream in HDR automatically on supported devices. Viewers on other devices will see your stream in Standard Dynamic Range. Supported HDR devices include:

  • The YouTube app on HDR TVs.
  • Casting to Chromecast Ultra devices connected to HDR TVs.
  • Android-based mobile devices with an HDR display.
  • Windows and Mac PCs with HDR graphics support and an HDR display. Viewers will see your stream in HDR if they have HDR enabled in their computer’s settings.

Note: The preview in the Live Control Room will not show HDR colors.

How to know if you’re watching in HDR

HDR streams will show “HDR” in the video quality settings menu, usually found at the bottom right of your screen. If your device doesn’t support HDR, you won’t see the HDR badge, and your stream will be shown in SDR.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?