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YouTube offers High Dynamic Resolution videos to be watched in 4K colors with every crisp details on devices that are capable. But currently, there’s a catch.

HDR Content restricted to 1080p resolution on YouTube

We use it daily, either for watching funny cat videos, reaction channels, gaming videos or our favorite music videos. We’re talking YouTube.

Sure, it can be difficult making a living off YouTube, thanks to its algorithm which takes family friendly to a whole new level and has caused many people to lose monetization on their videos, but we enjoy our favorite videos none the less.

Even moreso, with a high quality internet connection, we enjoy the high quality videos on the YouTube App on our phones.

YouTube offers High Dynamic Resolution videos to be watched in 4K colors with every crisp details on devices that are capable. But currently, there’s a catch.

Introducing HDR On YouTube

Initially people were excited that that their devices were offering playback in 1440p, most notably, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus users. Google Pixel, LG V30 and other high end users soon followed suit, stating the same (1440p resolution being offered in videos).

This was positive news as people were getting HDR resolution for the videos playing through the YouTube app on their phones that had enough juice to handle these resolutions.

Limiting the Resolutions

The YouTube app for android is now restricting the HDR (High Dynamic Range) content to be played back at a maximum resolution of 1080p. We don’t know when this happened and there has been no confirmation or explanation from the developers themselves.

This restriction was reported by many who say that they cannot play back HDR videos in a higher resolution that 1080p although their devices are capable which means that the problem is not only there but is occurring on a large scale.

Whether capable or not, it seems that the android YouTube app will limit your playback to a max of 1080p. It was only as recent as September this year that the Android YouTube app began offering videos in HDR, even though support was announced by the end of 2016.

What Went Wrong?

In the past couple of months, the HDR gravy train has come to a halt and is refusing to budge past the 1080p mark, at least for the Android YouTube app. It seems that Google and YouTube developers had decided on giving high end phone users a privilege but have reconsidered their offer out of the blue.

It may just be that they’ve assumed and tested that the YouTube app itself is struggling to play HDR videos smoothly at 1440p. This may have prompted the decision of the developers to put a cap at 1080p.

This seems plausible as other apps can still play 1440p HDR videos on android. Until the confirmation comes in from Google, it’s safe to assume that the issue is with the YouTube app itself. As of late, there’s still no knowing whether it’s temporary until any potential bugs are fixed or more of a permanent thing.

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