LOADS of Sky Q boxes are about to get a major upgrade to make TV look better.
But you'll need the right type of TV to enjoy the new and improved quality.
Sky HDR update – what is HDR and what shows will get it?
Sky Q is rolling out HDR, or High Dynamic Range, from tomorrow.
HDR footage looks better than standard video, offering improved contrast and a wider range of colours.
TV shows and movies viewed in HDR will look more realistic and impressive.
"We're really excited to be launching HDR on Sky Q," said Sky's Fraser Stirling.
"We're starting with some of our brilliant new Sky Nature shows on demand, with loads more fantastic HDR content coming throughout this year."
He added that some Sky originals and movies would support HDR this year, followed by live HDR sport in 2021.
The new HDR content is available from Wednesday, May 27.
Sky HDR rollout
Here's what you need to know…
- Sky Nature will have three new HDR shows available initially
- These will be Gangs of Lemur Island (five episodes), Pridelands: Wilderness Reborn (one episode), and Malawi: Wildfire Rescue (five episodes)
- Before the end of the year, there will be more Sky Nature shows in HDR – as well as some Sky originals
- In time for Christmas, Sky has promised a "selection of blockbuster movies" in HDR on Sky Cinema
- HDR will also launch on third-party apps in the coming months, including Disney+ and Netflix
- And in 2021, live HDR broadcasting is due to start with the 2021 Summer Olympics
How to check if you've got a HDR TV
Most new televisions support HDR, but not all HDR formats are exactly the same.
You'll need a specific type of HDR called HLG – or Hybrid Log Gamma – which is different from other variants like HDR10 or Dolby Vision.
HLG is a format developed in-part by the BBC, and is extremely common in the UK.
Any HDR TV from LG, Sony or Samsung that was made in 2016 or later will be HLG HDR compatible.
Looking up your TV model online should quickly reveal if it's a HLG HDR telly.
You can also check with the manufacturer.
One of the simplest ways will be to try out a piece of HDR content in BBC, and see if the High Dynamic Range setting activates.
If it doesn't, then it's unlikely that your TV supports HLG HDR.
Of course, you won't just need a HDR TV.
You'll also need a compatible Sky Q box, with either a Sky Q Experience or Ultra HD subscription.
Importantly, some older Sky Q boxes won't support HDR, so check if your model is compatible here.
Currently, it seems like all version-one Sky Q boxes. All 2TB boxes are compatible.
If you've got all this, you'll be automatically set up to view HDR and won't need to amend any settings.
Simply playing HDR content will automatically trigger the special viewing mode to activate.
In other news, Sky has added a new free gaming app with Tetris, Crossy Road and more.
Samsung has released an "outdoor" 4K TV called The Terrace.
BBC Together lets you watch TV shows or movies at the same time as pals or distant family.
And Disney+ is now streaming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for all subscribers.
Have you got a HDR TV yet? Let us know in the comments!
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