Google Follows in Apple's Footsteps With Free 4K Movie Upgrades and Cheaper Prices of $20 and Under

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Google this week announced that it will now automatically upgrade all previously purchased films from participating Hollywood studios to 4K, even if those movies were originally bought in SD or HD. The company is also reducing the price of new 4K movies on its Google Play store to match SD/HD prices of $19.99 and below. Previously, 4K films on Google Play rose to as much as $30.


    These new updates match numerous practices that Apple has implemented on the iTunes Movies store starting with the launch of the Apple TV 4K in September 2017. With the rollout of 4K support in iTunes, customers' back catalog of HD movies were automatically upgraded to 4K where applicable, and Apple promised all new 4K releases would remain at a competitive price of $19.99.

    Apple never specified that SD movies were getting a boost to 4K, but some users have noted that select films upgraded from SD to HD to 4K over time. Still, other users have not seen any updates to their SD iTunes movies, perhaps due to missing rights from certain movie studios, so Google's promise of both SD and HD upgrades to 4K should be an easier transition for those with a bunch of old movies in the Google ecosystem.

    Google will also notify users when their movies are upgraded to 4K, and point out which ones were upgraded in the Play Movies and TV app, which is a feature that iTunes lacks at this point. For Apple users curious about this aspect of their film collections, the third-party Cheap Charts iOS app [Direct Link] has an "Upgraded to 4K" section with a reverse chronological list of films that recently received the picture quality update in iTunes.

    Apple struggled to get Hollywood's major studios to support 4K films at $19.99 -- and Disney still remains notably absent from any 4K support on iTunes Movies -- but eventually many of the major studios backed Apple's decision. The same appears true for Google Play, with new films from studios like Sony Pictures, Universal, and Warner Bros. available in 4K at $19.99 and under, but new Disney films like Incredibles 2 are only listed as HD compatible.

    Additionally, Google announced that users can now watch content in 4K using the Play Movies and TV app on most 4K Samsung Smart TVs (in addition to previous support for 4K Sony Bravia TVs). The company says it's working on adding support for LG TVs as well. Lastly, the smart TV app for Samsung, LG, and Vizio TVs has been updated with a modern look and feel for an overall "better experience," according to Google.

    Google has been expanding its Play Movies and TV app throughout the year, in March introducing a feature that accumulated content from numerous streaming services into one centralized watchlist. Similar to Apple's TV app, Play Movies and TV now lets users discover new shows and movies, and find which streaming service to watch them on, adding all of the content into their watchlist. In this area, Google notifies users when content is available to buy and rent, if the price has dropped, and if it's now available to stream.

    Article Link: Google Follows in Apple's Footsteps With Free 4K Movie Upgrades and Cheaper Prices of $20 and Under
  2. pgharavi macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2004
  3. Zimmy68 macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2008
    How do you get that screen where Google tells you how many you have upgraded.
    I would love to know.
  4. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
  5. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say this wasn't altruism. I'd bet no one was willing to buy the movies at $30 so they dropped them to $20.
  6. Defthand macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2010
    Firstly, never, ever, purchase DRM content from a specific platform, whether it’s Apple’s iTunes or Google’s Play Store. Eventually, you’ll stray from, or switch from, either ecosystem. You won’t be able to port your collection/investment.
  7. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    Rip used EBay DVDs & resell is the most affordable option. Even without reselling it's cheaper. But iTunes sure is convenient for an impulse buy.
  8. m11rphy macrumors 6502


    Dec 26, 2009
    So is Disney selling 4K moves on google for $19.99? if so will this follow to iTunes
  9. avtella, Oct 24, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018

    avtella macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2016

    True it’s a risk, but most of my movies (All the puschased ones definitely) from one service show up on the other... most of my movies show up on Vudu, Google Movies, iTunes. Vudu seems to be the best for aggregating from other services though as even ultraviolet copies and free copies from other services definitely show up on it. I think services (well movie studios I mean) are starting to realize it’s better for sales if things go more cross platform.
  10. DSquiz, Oct 24, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018

    DSquiz macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2014
    MoviesAnywhere has solved that. It's an agreement between iTunes, Amazon Prime Movies, Microsoft, Vudu (Ultraviolet), Google Play, and Fandango where if you buy a digital move or redeem a code on one you get a copy on all the others. My entire iTunes collection is also on the other 5 services. Now iTunes gives you the free 4K/HDR/Atmos upgrade so I always use that service but its nice to know I have copies in the other 5.
  11. chalupa_batman macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2010
    All of my movies in iTunes seem to have been downgraded to HD. Vudu still shows them all in 4K
  12. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    curious too.
    It would be nice to see which streaming retailer has my movies in 4K.
  13. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    It doesn’t solve the 4K upgrade issue. Movies I bought in SD or HD are not available in 4K on any platform via MA. I really resent that I paid full price for an SD or HD movie which was all that was available at the time on a particular platform, but don’t get upgraded, despite the version being priced exactly the same now for 4K.
  14. Defthand macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2010
    Thanks for the recommendation!

    I thought MoviesAnywhere was for Disney movies. I didn’t realize Disney partnered with other studios. I thought the other studios were contemplating something similar.
  15. ThatGuyInLa macrumors 6502


    Oct 26, 2012
    Glendale, Ca.
    iTunes and Vudu are all I do. Vudu solely for Disney properties. If they ever strike a deal with Apple, then it will be only iTunes.

    Now the last remaining huge issue is 4k TV shows. Which are absent on all platforms. Mostly interested only in HBO/SHO/AMC. AMCs shows are available in 4k on Netflix at least, a year after air.
  16. MacBH928 macrumors 68030


    May 17, 2008
    Why does Apple still have SD version of anything? I do not believe any modern device in the market still displays video in SD
  17. triangletechie macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2017
    no. They have HD only for $19.99. Vudu and Fandango Now sell Disney 4K at usually $24.99.
  18. doboy macrumors 68020

    Jul 6, 2007
    Revenant and La La Land 4K is on sale for $5 on iTunes :) There are others on sale too.
  19. Mr.Blacky macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2016
    True, but movies from the 90's or older I don't really need in HD. So I rather save a little storage space (and often one or two bucks).;)
  20. vagos macrumors member


    Oct 19, 2014
    Meanwhile I can’t tell the difference between 4K and HD. And something tells me I’m not alone.
  21. euvnairb macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Goleta, CA
    Holy crap! Thank you for this! I have this app and was angry that it was "another app" to open to view movies. I didn't know that it could connect to other services and act as a central location for all my movies. I just connected my itunes account to this and that puts the majority of my digital movie content in one app. This is glorious!
  22. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    Some movies have not been available in HD, or if they have, they may only be available in SD for download and not rental. Also, SD movies take up much less room, so those only watching on mobile devices, or smaller TVs, don't really need to spend the extra money for 4K or even HD, not to mention the lower bandwidth it requires, especially for those on limited plans. That said, I agree ... drop SD wherever possible.

    You're not. The only time 4K truly makes a difference is on BluRay where the compression is different, but mainly on TVs 65" or larger when viewed from closer viewing distances.
  23. tjtennispro macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2017
    Vudu is not the same as ultraviolet. Also certain movies are not transferable between the studios. You only get the 4K upgrade on iTunes if code was redeemed in ITunes.

  24. FairlyKors macrumors member


    Jun 21, 2018
    Staines, East London
    VUDU has movies?
    --- Post Merged, Oct 24, 2018 ---
    I can’t imagine going to the trouble to buy and sell movies on eBay. Yikes. Anyway, wouldn’t an iTunes rental be a better way to satisfy that impulse you mention? I’m happy to pay to rent a new movie, but if it’s one of the rare movies I can justify “owning,” I’ll definitely buy the 4K or 1080P Blu-ray version.

    I’ve rented movies from Amazon, Google and VUDU that have stuttered and streamed at low bit rates (nothing to do with my Internet speed) and that is incredibly annoying. Netflix, and usually Apple, are the only streaming services that seem to consistently care about quality.

    I appreciate that Netflix pushes so hard to uphold high quality standards. It makes everyone else try a little harder. And, Netflix didn’t HAVE to be that way. They could’ve just served video the way most do— like Amazon with their floppy-sock “good-is-good-enough” approach, who also musters up the same impersonal charm you’d find at mega Walmart at 3am.

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