The BBC has released its first full series in 4K Ultra HD and with HLG (HDR) wider colours and contrast too.

The entire seven-episode series of Blue Planet II is now available on BBC iPlayer to stream in 4K HDR on compatible televisions.

It's not the first time the BBC put 4K HDR content on the catch-up service, that accolade goes to a trial clip of Planet Earth 2, but it is the first time an entire series, or even an entire episode, has been made available to stream.

It's all been made possible thanks to Hybrid Log Gamma, the HDR format developed by the BBC and Japanese broadcaster NHK. It should, one day, also make it possible to broadcast live 4K HDR programmes. Hybrid Log Gamma also makes it possible for those with non-HDR 4K TVs to still get an HDR-like picture, so long as it supports the BT.2020 colour gamut.

The Beeb says streaming Blue Planet II in 4K HDR using HLG presents "the most natural colours possible on a television at home."

To be able to watch the 4K HDR version of Blue Planet II, you will need a compatible TV and a decent broadband connection.

Compatible sets include 2015, 2016 and 2017 models from Panasonic, LG, Hisense, Philips, Samsung and Sony. A complete list can be found here.

Alternatively, Sky Q will be able to stream Blue Planet II in 4K too, just not with HLG technology.

If you do have one of the supporting TVs, start the BBC iPlayer application and you should see this screen pop-up:

BBCBp2 image 2

If so, select "Watch in UHD" and the first episode will start to play. If you want to jump to any of the other six episodes, click on "6 more episodes" in the bottom left-hand corner of the on-screen menu and you will be presented with the rest of the series in UHD.

As with any other programme or series on BBC iPlayer, Blue Planet II in 4K HDR will only be available for 30 days, up to 9 January. It will then be available to buy on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray the following week, from 15 January, which also, naturally, sports HDR pictures.

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