HDR support finally lands on YouTube for Xbox One, Xbox Series X

It's been a long time coming, but it looks like YouTube finally has HDR support on Xbox consoles. It doesn't matter if you're using a console from this generation or the last, if you're streaming YouTube on a TV that supports HDR, you should be able to tap into HDR while you watch. This is something that has apparently been in the works for a number of years, but it's here now at last.

That's according to Flat Panels HD, at least, which tested YouTube on both an Xbox One S from the previous generation and an Xbox Series X from the current generation. That means HDR support is very likely available on Xbox One X and Xbox Series S as well, despite the fact that YouTube wasn't tested on those two platforms.

If you're using one of those consoles and you want to confirm that HDR support is up and running for you, you'll need to toggle on the "stats for nerds" while using the app. There you'll see that HDR is active using Google's VP9-2 codec, which is a rather important thing to keep in mind as Flat Panels HD notes that support for the AV1 codec isn't live at this time. There's no telling if Google plans to support AV1 videos in the Xbox YouTube app at some point in the future, but for now, videos using that codec won't play in HDR on Xbox consoles.

On Xbox One S, it seems that resolution and framerate are limited to 1440p60 while HDR is active. On Xbox Series X, however, resolution takes a bump up to 4K60, which is precisely what we'd expect given Microsoft's push for the console to support 4K resolution across the board.

So, if you've got an Xbox and an HDR capable display connected to it, you can now take full advantage of your display's capabilities while watching YouTube. We'll see if the YouTube app is updated in the future to support the AV1 codec, so stay tuned for more.