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

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,688
11,006



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
 

Zimmy68

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,820
1,148
How do you get that screen where Google tells you how many you have upgraded.
I would love to know.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BJMRamage

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,462
14,032
In between a rock and a hard place
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.
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.
 

Defthand

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,351
1,711
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FairlyKors

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
5,555
11,346
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sasparilla

m11rphy

macrumors 6502a
Dec 26, 2009
540
297
So is Disney selling 4K moves on google for $19.99? if so will this follow to iTunes
 

avtella

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2016
244
220
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.


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.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: BODYBUILDERPAUL

DSquiz

macrumors newbie
Aug 19, 2014
12
18
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.
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.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
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.
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.
 

Defthand

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,351
1,711
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.
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DSquiz

ThatGuyInLa

macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2012
526
587
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nrose101

MacBH928

macrumors 601
May 17, 2008
4,440
1,627
Why does Apple still have SD version of anything? I do not believe any modern device in the market still displays video in SD
 

doboy

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,567
1,097
Revenant and La La Land 4K is on sale for $5 on iTunes :) There are others on sale too.
 

Mr.Blacky

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2016
608
603
Austria
Why does Apple still have SD version of anything? I do not believe any modern device in the market still displays video in SD
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).;)
 

vagos

macrumors member
Oct 19, 2014
79
166
Meanwhile I can’t tell the difference between 4K and HD. And something tells me I’m not alone.
 

euvnairb

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2010
194
143
Goleta, CA
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.
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!
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
Why does Apple still have SD version of anything? I do not believe any modern device in the market still displays video in SD
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.

Meanwhile I can’t tell the difference between 4K and HD. And something tells me I’m not alone.
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.
 

tjtennispro

macrumors newbie
Jul 28, 2017
18
5
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.


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.
 

FairlyKors

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2018
179
186
Staines, East London
Now it's VUDU's turn to do the same. :)
VUDU has movies?
[doublepost=1540447994][/doublepost]
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.
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.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.