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Luminous colors, stunning high quality: HDR has arrived

Sara Poorsattar
November 16, 2017 by Sara Poorsattar Alum

We aim to deliver creators, their videos, and their fans the highest quality video experience possible. That’s why today, we’re very excited to announce support for HDR videos on Vimeo. That means we can now bring over one billion colors to the screen, as we retain as much quality as possible for HDR uploads.

All Vimeo members who shoot or master HDR footage can upload those videos to Vimeo. And your viewers can now watch your color-optimized videos on the latest HDR displays. That includes support across Apple’s latest devices — including the iPhone X and Apple TV 4K — and we’re proud to be the only video-hosting platform available in HDR on these platforms right now.



The four major features

Over one billion colors
We now support 10-bit video, which means the image quality is strikingly clear and cleaner than ever before. The precision and nuance of 10-bit allows us to upgrade from 16 million colors to 1 billion colors.

Your viewers can now be truly enraptured in the gradient of a sunset, the subtlety of an ocean, and the emotion in a close-up that you worked so hard to capture— and not get distracted by color banding.


Wider color range, made for the human eye
With BT.2020 (or Rec.2020) support and wider color gamuts (WCG), your image will now represent over 75% of the color that the human eye can see. That’s a big change: most modern color gamuts in videos are limited to a 35% color range. But with BT.2020, we can truly depict your deepest reds, brightest greens, and darkest blacks like never before.


Up to 8K resolutions
We can now unlock your 5K, 6K, and 8K videos for your fans to watch on their Ultra High Def devices, or you can download them for file sharing. While 8K displays are just starting to hit the market, this isn’t just about your viewers: if you shoot in 8K we want you to be able to sell, distribute, or submit to festivals in the best quality possible.


More visual data, smaller file sizes
Vimeo uses codecs — software to encode and decode video files — to optimize visual data, while delivering the highest quality.

As we evolve our platform to display even more visual data, we now leverage HEVC/H.265 transcodes in addition to the H.264 set we currently use. This enables us to unlock next-generation features like HDR, and improve efficiency, so you can view a higher quality video with the same bandwidth.

What lies ahead for codecs

While new codecs continue to come out, we’re incredibly picky at Vimeo about what we use, and how we use them. As leaders in quality, we want to ensure that the growing pains typically associated with new codecs — like lingering artifacts or unsightly banding — don’t impact the videos coming through our pipeline. Because of that, we’ve focused our efforts on optimizing the HEVC for Vimeo, and meticulously testing and iterating on our technology over the past year to ensure it’s crystal clear.

And this is just the first step: ubiquity is always a top goal for us. Expect to see details on HDR for more codecs (like VP9) in the upcoming year.  And if you’re eager to learn more about our transcoding approach, delve into our presentation from this year’s Demuxed Conference from Vittorio Giovara, our Sr. Engineer of Video Encoding.

How HDR works on Vimeo

First, all HDR videos need to be shot in HDR, like on the Red HDRx or Canon DSLR, or mastered to HDR in post. Then you can do all these things:

Upload from anywhere
All Vimeo members can upload their HDR videos through their preferred workflow: the Vimeo panel for Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Dropbox, or directly from the upload page. Simply follow our newly updated compression guidelines, with details for your HEVC or ProRes video sources.

Watch, review, download
Videos available in HDR will include an “HDR” badge on the video page and player. We automatically detect and display HDR whenever it is supported.

In order to watch HDR videos, your viewers will need a screen that supports HDR10 and HEVC. And since we now work across the newly released iPhone X, iPad Pro, and Apple TV 4K, the tricky process of finding and viewing HDR just got much simpler.

If you don’t have an HDR-compatible system, you can still download HDR HEVC files for your sharing and file transfer needs. Anyone who receives the video file can watch it on HDR-supported devices with the QuickTime or VLC players.

But what if your viewers don’t have an HDR-supported device? No problem. We will always create a separate SDR-optimized version of your videos, too. We know that an HDR file doesn’t look great on an SDR screen, and we don’t want your picture to suffer as a result.

And rest assured, as more hardware and software comes out with HDR support, you’ll see our list of supported platforms continue to grow.

Sell worldwide
You can now also sell your HDR videos with Vimeo On Demand or with a custom subscription-based model. That means both video professionals and networks can finally distribute and sell their HDR videos — especially as the viewer demand for these striking videos continues to grow.

Ready to try it out? Start uploading your HDR footage now. As always, let us know what you think, and what you’d like to see in the future.

84 Comments

Private

When will your Android App support HDR10 over Casting?

Dana Staff

We don't have an ETA on Android support, but we're definitely looking into this for the near future—specifically for the Chromecast Ultra, which is the only cast device that currently supports HDR10/HEVC.

Private

And Vizio Smartcast displays. They support 4k HDR10 HEVC over casting.

Lei van Geleuken

Android TV also has 4K Chromecast build-in. Will the Android TV Vimeo app be updated for HDR?

Dana Staff

It's not available at the moment, but we'll be considering all available HDR10/HEVC supported hardware out there when rolling out updates to our Android apps.

ADRIAN CHUDEK

Amazing news! Is HDR is supported on iMac 5k late 2015? And the "compression guidelines" link doesn't work.

Dana Staff

@chudekfilm Sorry to say, but Apple doesn’t officially support HDR on desktop yet. As they continue to roll out support for HDR, we'll be extending our offering alongside them.

We're working on some updates to our compression guidelines, but you should be able to access this page, vimeo.com/help/compression. Is that not the case on your side?

Ingmar Rieger

The link works for me but no information on how to prepare the HDR data there.

And Apple supports wider gamuts with the latest iMacs but no HDR as they don't have OLED nor zone backlight.

daniele di stanio PRO

Hey Sara, may I ask about 5k and 8k? How, when this feature will become available? Will it be only for HDR videos, or for regular videos as well? Thanks and congrats for the update!

Dana Staff

@danieledistanio Thank you! 5k and 8k is supported for all videos, both standard (SDR) and HDR. In order to view playback qualities higher than 4K, your setup must support decoding of the HEVC (h.265) video codec. You'll also need a screen that supports 5K-8K for true high res playback. Our support will automatically extend to new software that adopts HDR and playback above 4K.

Papoj Thamjaroenporn

Hello. Is the HDR support rolling out on Vimeo app too? I see the HDR badge when viewing “La La La” on Safari but not on Vimeo app. I’m using iPad Pro 2017. Thank you!

Glenn e

I’d like to know the answer to this too!

Dana Staff

HDR is supported in the Vimeo iOS app, but we're working out a few kinks for that particular video at the moment. Sorry about that!

Dana Staff

Slight clarification on my statement above- HDR playback is currently supported within the Vimeo iOS app, but we have yet to release an update to include the HDR badge. Apologies for the confusion.

Private

Also, please consider a way to search for HDR content, and/or an HDR category, channel, group, etc.. Some way to find actual HDR content.

Dana Staff

Thanks for your feedback. Enhanced HDR search functionality is definitely on our list of things to implement. As we continue to receive more HDR content, we'll also be introducing some newly curated HDR channels. Stay tuned for updates!

Barcelona's Hot Crowd

Well done to all at Vimeo. Great people with a passion for what they do!

Dana Staff

Thanks for your kind words! If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know.

Stefan Wrobel

And start the 2-year countdown for support to actually arrive in TV apps... We still have 4k on just a handful of platforms.

Dana Staff

We are aware of this unfortunate reality, but we're here and ready as support continues to grow across different platforms.

Stefan Wrobel

I have no idea what that means in practice, but there's not much point in increasing support for 4K/HDR when people can't watch the content on their 4K/HDR screens.

Dana Staff

The market is very small right now, but there are devices that support HDR/4K viewing when connected to an HDR screen. Check out this article for a list of our supported environments- help.vimeo.com/hc/en-us/articles/115015382768-Uploading-HDR-videos.

Since the bandwidth requirements are much lower for HDR, when compared to 4K standard videos, we're hoping support for HDR spreads more quickly across the industry.

Mohit Deshpande

This is great ! I can’t wait to try it on my new iPhone X. Is there any way for me to find out if the video I am watching is in HDR or not? Would Vimeo be specifically tagging these videos ?

Dana Staff

Glad to hear that! All HDR videos should include an “HDR” badge on the video page and in the player. We're working to expand our search functionality and curate channels to make it easier to find HDR content in the upcoming weeks.

Glenn e

How do you make the Vimeo app play full screen on the iPhone X? The App Store description says videos “spread from edge to shining edge of the new iPhone X”, but all I see are in letterbox format. Also, no HDR tags are present.

Tommy Penner Staff

Hi Glenn! Sorry about that, we jumped the gun on announcing edge-to-edge playback with the iPhone X in the release notes. We're working on that ability, as well as HDR badges, for a future update.

Glenn e

Thank you for the update. It was frustrating seeing a freature was available but unable to use.

Ben Wood

Does this include smart apps for any non-Apple platform? I've got high end Samsung and LG sets with HDR support. Trying to watch a video now with "HDR" in the title on the Samsung Vimeo app and the video isn't even playing. App version is from a month ago, but now it's frozen with a rotating icon. I also searched for Xbox One app support but all I came up with is a press release linking to VHX.com which gives me a certificate error.

Tommy Penner Staff

Hi Ben! To answer all your questions - we currently do not have an app on LG TVs or the Xbox One, however these are platforms we are seriously considering for development. Samsung TVs (running the Tizen 2015, 2016, and 2017 operating systems) are also encountering inconsistent playback issues with the Vimeo app; we submitted a fix to Samsung a few weeks ago and are awaiting their approval.

In the meantime the only TV app platform where 4K HDR playback from Vimeo is supported is the Apple TV 4K when connected to a 4K HDR TV. We'll be expanding this to other supported platforms in the near future!

Ingmar Rieger

LG would be great as the OLEDs are having a very good image quality and are finally getting cheaper and cheaper.
And don't take the Apple TV Serious as long as they do frame rate conversion to spare changing the output framerate to make the UI seamless. No one wants frame interpolation.

Ben Wood

Thank you. LG would be lovely; love their OS.

Tommy Penner Staff

Wider app platform support is on our roadmap!

We're definitely open to supporting HDR10+, the problem is that there's a lack of content right now using the spec. As more creators begin using the spec, we'll include support for it!

Tee Dot

Good to hear.

So just to clarify the following statement:

"If viewing from an environment that does not support HDR10, our player will deliver wide color gamut (increased color) playback files. For devices that do not support advanced color technologies in any capacity, we’ll automatically default to standard SDR playback (the norm)."

help.vimeo.com/hc/en-us/articles/115015301027-Watching-HDR-Videos

This means that even if you are viewing HDR videos on an HDR TV that does not yet support HDR playback on Vimeo, the player will still deliver the BT2020 color space to the TV?

Private

If you upload an HLG file and make it available to download, will it be the original HLG or the transcoded PQ? Is there a choice?

Dana Staff

As long as you've selected "keep my source files" within your account settings (only available to Plus, Pro, and Business members), you can download the original HLG source file in addition to the transcoded PQ playback files.

Ingmar Rieger

Is there a way to upload the SDR file separately as an alternative to the automatic conversion? Or at least an option to set a conversion LUT (as "some other platform" offers), which I don't like as a final solution but much better than having SDR as a bad option when publishing HDR or being forced to upload as two separate videos and hope the viewer chooses the right one.

Vittorio Giovara Staff

Have you tried our SDR conversion? A lot of work has been done to get the best rendition as possible, with minimal user interaction. I'd be interested in hearing your feedback!

Kevin Berg

What am I missing here? I have a 2017 iPad Pro 12.9" running iOS 11.2 beta 3 and when I look up the La La La video in Safari, I see no HDR badge and I see no difference between my iPad Pro, Mac, or my standard HD TV. Oddly, the same is true for iTunes movies that support HDR as well as Netflix (I'm on the Premium plan). I'm beginning to wonder if something is wrong with my iPad. I really don't want to do the ultimate test and wipe my iPad and start fresh.

Dana Staff

Hi Kevin! Very sorry about that, "La La La" was mistakenly labeled as HDR on our side, however we are planning to release some new HDR samples that you'll be able to test with soon.

Regarding your issues with IPad Pro, I recommend contacting Apple for support. They should be able to divulge information on the technical capabilities of their hardware. If you have any other questions or feedback to share, please let us know. Thank you!

ADELICA Plus

Hi team,
Some support notes: I’ve uploaded a sample hevc rec2020 file on my account, to try it on iPad Pro 10” running iOS 11.2b4
I see hdr badge on web player, nothing on app
I’m able to play HDR from the web player with full color gamut and max nits, but I get black screen (paused-not playing) when opening the same from the iOS app.
Here's the new demo I've uploaded: vimeo.com/243447840
I will share my findings in link descriptions

Dana Staff

@luxia My apologies for the confusion. We've yet to release a version the Vimeo app that contains the HDR badge. HDR playback is supported in the Vimeo app, but the HDR badge will not be visible for now.

In regards to your other issue, I'd like to troubleshoot with you further via email. I'll be in touch shortly using the primary email address associated with your account. Thank you!

John Brian Kramer

I've been interested in the Roku Ultra, which supports 4K+HDR10. I'd like to see that supported. I have a Samsung 4K/HDR TV but apps are slow to come out and update for it.

George Slivinsky

I'm not up to this technically but the color saturation is what the doctor has been ordering for decades. Raising color saturation in editing does not do what this does. You say if it's not shot in HDR it can still be "mastered" in HDR, and improve standard video?

Dana Staff

Hi George, thanks for your comment! It is possible to master a standard video in HDR, however that process takes a lot of technical expertise. If not done properly, your original SDR footage may end up looking better.

George Slivinsky

I wonder, can't someone write a processor to increase color intensity this way, different from raising saturation. It's not impossible to have such intensity in standard video today, depends on source etc. Look at the differences at this site, various sources: imdb.com/title/tt0046422/mediaviewer/rm601577984

Vittorio Giovara Staff

HDR is fundamentally different than increasing color intensity or raising saturation: it's about the amount of light emitted by your display and the number of different colors that can be shown. Very hard to replicate on a source that wasn't shot with HDR in mind.

David Kettle

Can I watch videos in Safari on OS X now?

Dana Staff

Hi David, great question! HDR10 playback on Safari for OS X is not currently supported by Apple. Once Safari rolls out support for HDR10 playback in High Sierra (hopefully soon!), we'll automatically start delivering HDR files. Keep in mind that you'll also need an HDR10 screen to see the full visual effects of HDR. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Nico Myers

These are exciting updates! Just wondering, since you said that HDR for Android devices is coming, are there plans to support the LG G6? Thanks

Dana Staff

Hi Nico, thanks for your question. We're planning to roll out HDR support for Android, which would automatically extend to any compatible device. In order to see the full level of HDR on Vimeo, you'll need a device or setup with an HDR10 supported screen/TV. I would recommend checking LG's documentation to confirm the technical capabilities of the LG G6. Please note that we have no plans to support Dolby Vision only screens at this time. I hope this helps!

Fritz Müglich

Sorry, but the first two pictures (SDR and HDR) are not really the same, comparing goes differently

Dana Staff

@avimedes We acknowledge that these images are not exactly the same. This dramatization was created using one complete frame of video split up into two parts. The difference here is the color display across the same footage, not the actual contents of the video.

Fritz Müglich

And that's exactly it - does that make sense?

Dana Staff

@avimedes Yes, I understand your point, but please focus on the color differences of the scenes, not the objects in each frame ;-)

Tom Lattie

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus support HDR playback but are not mentioned in your blog post.

Dana Staff

Hi Tom! You are correct- the Iphone 8 and 8 Plus support HDR playback, however they do not have an HDR display. Currently, the iPhone X is the only iPhone with an HDR screen. Playback on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus should still show improvement over SDR by using a wider color gamut, but it won't be to the full extent of HDR.

Tom Lattie

Dana,

Sorry to be argumentative, but you are not correct. The iPhone 8 series has a P3 display, a peak brightness of 625 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of ~1400:1 these specs are essentially the same as the iPad Pro you support

Dana Staff

Hi Tom, no worries at all. I know this is confusing, but the Iphone 8 and 8 plus do come equipped with a "Wide color (p3) Display", however the IphoneX is the only device that Apple labels with an "HDR display". You can compare the technical differences between both devices on Apple's website or from this page- macrumors.com/guide/iphone-x-vs-iphone-8-vs-8-plus-tech-specs/.

The IPad Pro is the same story as the IPhone 8, and as such, we've considered removing from this post to avoid confusion. To clarify, we still support these devices and will always deliver the highest quality playback file possible—however we're highlighting these nuances so viewers can have the correct expectations for their device.

Lemo

LG G6 Dolby Vision soon?

Dana Staff

@lemo We plan to roll out support for Android devices in the future, however support for Dolby Vision is not currently on our roadmap.

VidAmir

Is there any chance to have Vimeo HDR app on sony 4k tv?

Dana Staff

Thanks for your feedback! We're looking to expand to other platforms in the future, however we do not have any ETAs at the moment. Currently, we're focused on making sure our HDR experience is the best it can be.

Eliya Voldman

Hi,
I searched based on keyword ‘HDR’ and tried a few clips to play on my iPhone X. It played well but I never saw the badge HDR.
Could someone please post a link to any clip that shows the badge while playing?
I simply want to see how it looks like and to be sure that my X is playing HDR.
Thanks

Dana Staff

Hi Eliya! Are you using the Vimeo mobile app on your IPhone X or Safari? The HDR badge is not currently available in the Vimeo app, but HDR playback is still supported. If using Safari, could you please send a link to the video you are testing with?

Eliya Voldman

Thanks for explanation.
My point was only to discover what resolution and other metadata a particular video has. It looks that Vimeo does not display this data and it’s not possible to download a clip and check it outside of Vimeo. Anyway... it’s good to know and I simply will expect to see the badge HDR soon.
As for Safari testing I tried to find metadata for this clip vimeo.com/dreamcorepics/rapture4k

Dana Staff

Apologies for my delayed response. All HDR videos should include an official HDR badge in the Vimeo player on desktop and within mobile browsers (the badge in the Vimeo app is coming soon).

You can download a source file to scan the original metadata— but only if the creator of that content permits downloading. Unfortunately, the example you've provided was not uploaded in HDR or 4K. We're looking into enhanced search functionality to prevent keyword inaccuracies in the future. In the meantime, please check out the following examples on your iPhone X: vimeo.com/243447840 (for true HDR) or vimeo.com/238433477 (for 10-bit color). Let me know if you have any questions!

INVRS3D Cinematic Reality PRO

Does this mean there are now 5k and 6k versions to watch under quality settings? Pretty much nobody can playback 8K at the moment but 5k/6k is a great lead-in, especially in 360 and 3D 360. When I upload our 5.7K 360, it gets downscaled to 4K, whereas 5.7K playback on Youtube is great.

Dana Staff

That's correct— 5K-8K are now available quality options in the Vimeo player (for applicable source files)— however, you'll need to be viewing from a browser/system that supports playback of the h.265 (HEVC) video codec to see them. For now, playback above 4K will only be available in Safari 11+ for Mac OS High Sierra or the latest version of Edge for Windows 10 (with supported hardware).

Cary Knoop Plus

What strategy is Vimeo going to take for the future, double file upload for HDR and SDR or allowing a fallback LUT for SDR? Automatic conversion seems sub-optimal.

Vittorio Giovara Staff

Have you tried our SDR conversion? A lot of work has been done to get the best rendition as possible, with minimal user interaction. I'd be interested in hearing your feedback!

Cary Knoop Plus

My point is that there is no one single best way to convert HDR to SDR. I think still the best option is to allow the user to upload both an SDR and HDR version, second best would be to accept a custom fallback LUT.

Eugenia Loli Plus

Since you released the news, have you updated the Android casting ability for HDR, AndroidTV app, or Roku Ultra app? I have all devices possible to playback Vimeo on my TV, but not an AppleTV.

CineDocs

Vimeo's description above of what it takes to capture HDR video in the post is just completely wrong. What's required is a 12bit source file from any camera sensor that has at least 12 stops of dynamic range. So, any Red r3d recording mode will do fine, not just their HDRx mode. And there's not a single Canon DSLR video codec that will record enough dynamic range or color bit depth to master HDR. I think Vimeo have confused HDR video with HDR photography which is totally different. Vimeo also fails to mention that any of the professional range digital cinema cameras recording in 12bit from Panasonic, Sony, Canon, ARRI, and Blackmagic Design will record HDR. The ARRI Alexa line of cameras, for example, has been recording HDR capable files since it's release in 2010. But, there's not a single DSLR or mirrorless camera that can record files capable of true HDR mastering.

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