You can upload High Dynamic Range (HDR) videos to YouTube. HDR videos show higher contrast with more colours than standard digital video.
Viewers can watch HDR videos on compatible mobile devices and HDR TVs. They can also stream HDR videos using Chromecast Ultra to an HDR TV. Viewers will see 'HDR' after each quality option in the video player (for example, 1080p HDR).
Viewers watching on non-HDR devices will see the video as a standard dynamic range (SDR) video.
Upload HDR videos
HDR videos must have HDR metadata in the codec or container to be played back properly on YouTube. The most reliable way to properly record the metadata is to export from a supported app.
If you can't export standard HDR metadata, then you can use the YouTube HDR metadata tool to add HDR metadata to a video. This tool will only work correctly if your video was graded using a HDR transfer function.
If you're grading your video, grade in Rec. 2020 with PQ or HLG. Using a different configuration, including DCI P3, will produce incorrect results.
Once a video has been properly marked as HDR, uploading it follows the usual process of uploading a video. YouTube will detect the HDR metadata and process it, producing HDR transcodes for HDR devices and an SDR downconversion for other devices.
Note: HDR videos currently can't be edited with YouTube Web editor.
HDR video requirements
When you upload a video, YouTube supports all resolutions and will automatically convert HDR video to SDR videos when necessary.
|Resolution||720p, 1080p, 1440p, 2160p
For best results, use UHD rather than DCI widths (for example, 3840x1600 instead of 4096x1716).
|Frame rate||23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 48, 50, 59.94, 60|
|Colour depth||10 bits or 12 bits|
|Colour primaries||Rec. 2020|
|Colour matrix||Rec. 2020 non-constant luminance|
|EOTF||PQ or HLG (Rec. 2100)|
|Video bitrate||For H.264, use the recommended upload encoding setting|
|Audio||Same as the recommended upload encoding setting|
HDR video file encoding
These containers have been tested to work:
These codecs are recommended, as they support 10-bit encoding with HDR metadata and deliver high quality at reasonable bitrates:
- VP9 profile 2
These codecs also work, but require very high bitrates to achieve high quality, which may result in longer upload and processing times:
- ProRes 422
- ProRes 4444
- DNxHR HQX
- H.264 10-bit
- Transfer function (PQ or HLG)
- Colour primaries (Rec. 2020)
- Matrix (Rec. 2020 non-constant luminance)
The following are examples of tools that you can use to upload HDR videos to YouTube:
- DaVinci Resolve
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Adobe After Effects
- Final Cut Pro X
Incorrect colour space marking
More control over SDR conversion
- Load your HDR video into a colour-grading app without applying any colour management.
- Set your mastering display to Rec. 709 colour and Gamma 2.4 transfer function.
- Apply an existing LUT that converts from Rec. 2020 + ST. 2084 to Rec. 709. Then in subsequent nodes, change primary correctors, curves and keys to get the look that you want.
- Export the LUT in the .cube format to the same folder as the HDR video.
- Select both the LUT and the HDR video, and drag and drop them on the metadata tool.
The tool will apply metadata for the BVM-X300 and also pack in the LUT to give hints to the SDR downconversion.