Blue Planet II coming to iPlayer in 4K HDR
The BBC has announced that Blue Planet II will be its first ever full series to be shown on TV in Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR).
Following the series conclusion on Sunday the 10th of December, all seven episodes will be uploaded to BBC iPlayer and will be available to view in Ultra HD/HDR to those with compatible TVs and the right version of iPlayer. The BBC had previously released snippets of Planet Earth II in 4K HDR but this is a landmark event in UK television history as previously the BBC had only previously released UHD content on Blu-ray Disc.
The BBC promises we’ll see, “shades of colours never before seen in a BBC programme, bringing the spectacular animals, vibrant coral reefs and deep blue oceans of Blue Planet II to life like never before.” Let’s face it, it looked pretty spectacular in 1080p via traditional broadcast so it should be a treat!
The series has been mastered in the Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) flavour of HDR, a format that was the result of a collaboration between the BBC and Japanese national broadcaster, NHK. You shouldn’t need an HLG compatible TV to view Blue Planet II in Ultra HD, however, just a 4K TV with compatible iPlayer app.
Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, BBC, said: “As the most watched programme of 2017, Blue Planet II has captured the hearts of the nation. The series is a prime example of the world-class work of the BBC NHU documentary makers and I’m delighted that audiences will be able to watch the series in ground-breaking quality on BBC iPlayer.”
Matthew Postgate, Chief Technology and Product Officer, BBC Design & Engineering, added: “The extra quality that Ultra HD, HDR and the wider range of colours brings to audiences is unparalleled. Blue Planet II is the first programme we’ve shown in such high quality and perfectly demonstrates how the BBC is pushing the boundaries of digital innovation. Making the full series available in Ultra HD and HDR on BBC iPlayer is the next step in reinventing the BBC for a new generation, and there’s not a better place to start than with the stunning Blue Planet II."
The BBC says that around 300 TV models and Roku's Streaming Stick+ 4K are included in the trial. SKY Q viewers will be able to watch in UHD but not HDR, since the platform doesn’t yet support High Dynamic Range.
The Ultra High Definition Blu-ray disc will be available from 15th January 2018, if you can wait until then.
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