YouTube finally delivers HDR videos on the Xbox One

Some YouTube HDR videos will show you what your TV can really do.

YouTube/Jacob & Katie Schwarz

You can finally watch YouTube videos in HDR on last-gen Xbox One S and One X consoles, along with the latest Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X models, according to Google. As spotted by Flat Panels HD and confirmed by Engadget, opening a YouTube HDR video on a recent Xbox One console, then bringing up “stats for nerds” shows that it’s streaming in the PQ Rec.2020 HDR format using the VP9-2 codec.

YouTube HDR videos are also noticeably brighter and more colorful. The maximum resolution will depend on your console, with the Xbox Series X supporting 4K at up to 60 fps, and the Xbox One S delivering 1440p HDR at 60 fps.

Xbox One has supported HDR for a while now with streaming services like Netflix and Prime Video. Microsoft has been promising YouTube HDR supports on Xbox since way back in 2017, Flat Panels HD noted. Why it took so long is anyone’s guess, but as I’ve noted before, Microsoft and YouTube have struggled to get HDR to work properly on Windows 10.

What’s the good of HDR on YouTube? For one thing, you can find eye-popping videos like this one that take full advantage of the format, unlike the barely noticeable implementation you’ll see on Netflix and other streaming services. Hopefully, it will also motivate more creators to do videos and livestreaming in HDR so we can get more content in that format.