Google pretties up Google Play movies and TV shows with HDR

Now you'll be able to buy HDR versions of some titles, but you'll need a compatible device to enjoy them.

Just as high-dynamic range is supplanting 4K as the video format of the moment our televisions, monitors, and phone displays, Google has announced a big push to make us want it even more. Following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon, Google is bringing HDR playback to Play Store movies and TV shows to make your viewing experience more lifelike than ever.

While the post is light on the details, we have one confirmed title that will get the HDR treatment: the Harry Potter prequel, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Google says that “many of the movies our users love” will be gaining the coveted high-dynamic range capability, bringing “better contrast, greater brightness levels and sharper images than HD.”

Google already offers a smattering of 4K titles, which carry a premium to buy. New titles cost $30 and older titles such as the Transformers: Age of Extinction can be had for as low as $15.

Of course, to take advantage of HDR videos, you’ll need a device capable of displaying HDR visuals. For smartphones, that means a Galaxy S8 or LG G6 (and hopefully a Pixel 2 in a few months), or a Chromecast Ultra hooked up to an HDR-compatible TV set. Google says the new content will be first available to users in the U.S. and Canada.

The impact on you on the couch: It might seem like there’s a new video buzzword every year—4K, 5K, DolbyVison, etc.—but HDR is the real deal. In short, it focuses on the things that matter to your eyes: contrast, color, and sharpness. The results are pretty spectacular, even on small screens, and assuming there's a good library of content, Google’s support should go a long way toward making it more of a mainstream format. And perhaps now we’ll finally have a reason to pick up a Chromecast Ultra.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google Play

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Simon

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?