Many Warner Bros Movies Have Reverted to HD Instead of 4K on iTunes and in User Movie Libraries [Update]

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Over the course of the last week or so, multiple Warner Bros movies that were previously available in 4K have reverted to HD, a change that applies to new purchases from iTunes as well as previously purchased movies.

There are complaints about the change both on Twitter and on the Blu-ray forums, as highlighted by 9to5Mac this afternoon. There are quite a few titles that have reverted from 4K to HD, including all of the Harry Potter movies.


A Blu-ray forums user compiled a list of the known titles that have recently been downgraded from 4K to HD.

[*]22 Jump Street (2014)
[*]About Last Night
[*]Aloha (2015)
[*]American Sniper
[*]Annie (2014)
[*]Batman vs. Superman
[*]The Brothers Grimsby (2016)
[*]The Equalizer (2014)
[*]Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
[*]Ghostbusters II (1989)
[*]Goosebumps (2015)
[*]Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)
[*]Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
[*]Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)
[*]Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
[*]Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
[*]Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
[*]Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
[*]Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
[*]Hercules (2014)
[*]Hitch (2005)
[*]Hotel Deluxe (2013)
[*]Matrix Reloaded
[*]The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
[*]Risen (2016)
[*]Spaceballs (1987)
[*]Taxi Driver (1976)
[*]Unforgiven (1993)
[*]The Walk (2015)
[*]X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

It's not clear why these movies are no longer available in 4K, but there have been instances where movies are downgraded to HD and then are later made available again in 4K, so we'll need to wait to see if that's the case here.


One Apple support representative said that the downgrade was due to changes implemented by Warner Bros, which could potentially be accurate as that's often a reason why 4K availability shifts, but Apple support representatives don't always have the most up to date information.

Apple has been offering 4K movie titles from a range of different movie studios since the launch of the Apple TV 4K.

Update: This issue may be resolved as it appears many of the movies that were downgraded to HD are once again available in 4K.

Article Link: Many Warner Bros Movies Have Reverted to HD Instead of 4K on iTunes and in User Movie Libraries [Update]
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
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There are reports this is impacting movies from multiple studios, so hopefully it is some type of bug and will be re-mediated.

I vaguely recall we have seen this bug happen before (4K to HD or HD to SD).
 

msama

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2017
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I really don't like that digital streaming purchases can be removed all together as well. I need to get a player of some sort and build out a physical library. I just gagged a little... =\ I only rent digital, well I purchase tv series with the mindset it's a rental.
 

4jasontv

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Jul 31, 2011
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Does Apples TOS authorize them to replace your 4K content with a lower quality copy? Probably. Why is this any different than an iPhone X being replaced by an iPhone 8, or an iMac Pro being replaced with a standard iMac?
 

rtomyj

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2012
802
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And THIS is why you should still buy movies on disc -- no one can downgrade your 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.
I mean. Do you favor a clutter free collection that won’t get damaged. Or not torture your eyes with 1080p instead of 4K in the rare instances. Hmm...
 
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Edsel

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Mar 18, 2010
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I suspect they will charge extra for 4k v. HD. Paying for 4k downloads does not mean you have the "forever" rights to the 4k version. Read the fine print. You don't own the movie stream, you don't own the software, you don't own internet access, you don't own noth'n.
 

dojoman

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Apr 8, 2010
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It's sad state of media consumption because disc sales are all time low and hardware manufacturer will eventually stopped making 4K players and disc all together one day. Samsung already stopped making 4K Bluray player.
 
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clayj

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Jan 14, 2005
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FWIW: Much earlier in 2019, "2001: a space odyssey" was downgraded from 4K HDR to standard HD. Within a couple of weeks, it was back to being 4K HDR again. There was also a brief period of time where "Dr. Strangelove" completely disappeared from the iTunes Store, only to return again later. I called Apple about both of these issues and the reps I spoke to were useless. You can call them if you like to complain about this, but Apple treats most of these people like mushrooms -- they keep them in the dark and feed them sh*t.
 

Ideanj

macrumors member
Apr 30, 2013
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And this is why I still purchase physical copies for my collection. 9/10 times it comes with a digital copy so I get the convenience of streaming and the video/audio quality provided by disks when I want it.

Often it’s cheaper than the iTunes copy as well. Win win.
 

Asarien

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Sep 24, 2015
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And THIS is why you should still buy movies on disc -- no one can downgrade your 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.
Space is a premium for many people. Think of the dozens of VHS tapes and DVDs you have piled somewhere that you'll never touch again. It's true that owning a physical disc is better, but that too will become just another antiquated medium collecting dust.

There are no perfect options, just what's most convenient in someone's lifestyle or circumstance.
 

Mikey44

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Mar 6, 2012
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Does Apples TOS authorize them to replace your 4K content with a lower quality copy? Probably. Why is this any different than an iPhone X being replaced by an iPhone 8, or an iMac Pro being replaced with a standard iMac?
What? If anything, Apple upgrades users to a newer/better version of the hardware vs. downgrading.
 

4jasontv

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Jul 31, 2011
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What? If anything, Apple upgrades users to a newer/better version of the hardware vs. downgrading.
That was my point. If I buy a 4K copy of a movie and it’s not 4K when I go to watch it, than there is an issue. If my hardware is defective and they replace it with an older model than we have an issue. I see no difference between the two.