BBC tests 4K iPlayer with 'Planet Earth II'

An 'early but important step' towards proper 4K broadcasts.

For four glorious minutes, Brits will be able to watch Planet Earth II in 4K. The broadcaster is releasing some "experimental footage" in the ultra HD resolution today, which viewers can watch until "early next year" on a small number of Panasonic TVs. It's a short clip, featuring a frog in a luscious jungle and a jaguar stalking its prey. The new footage also uses Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), a form of High Dynamic Range (HDR) which promises sharper and more colourful images. The BBC says the test clip is an "early but important step" towards offering 4K full-time on iPlayer.

Planet Earth II, like its predecessor, has some stunning cinematography. From back-rubbing bears in the Canadian Rockies to cliff-diving penguins on Zavodovsky Island, the show has captured some extraordinary scenes. With this in mind, it's no surprise the BBC has chosen the documentary series for its 4K test. We would have preferred a full episode -- the entire season, even -- but we'll take four minutes over nothing at all. If you bought a 4K TV on Black Friday, or suspect you'll be unwrapping one this Christmas, the footage should be perfect for impressing family and friends.

Here's the full list of compatible TVs, via the folks at Wired: Panasonic, CX680 Series, CX700 series, CR730 series, CX800 series, CR852 series, CZ950 Series, DX902 Series (65,58,50), DR852 series (65,55), DX802 series (58,50), DX750 series (65,58,50), Dx720 series (58, 50), DX700 Series (58,50), DX680 Series (55,49,40) and DX650 series (55,49,40).