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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 14, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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]
  2. sputnikv macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2009
    If this is intentional and Warner Bros intends to leave customers with a downgraded version of what was advertised and purchased, this is a lawsuit.
  3. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    And THIS is why you should still buy movies on disc -- no one can downgrade your 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.
  4. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Hopefully this is sorted out soon. I can't imagine they would be selling 4K movies and then downgrade them for customers who bought it when it was already 4K. Doesn't make any sense and makes them liable in a lawsuit. Seems like a glitch.
  5. Baymowe335 macrumors 601

    Oct 6, 2017
    And give you subpar sound. I’d rather have the disc to make sure I’m getting the uncompressed audio.
  6. justice4all77 macrumors newbie


    Sep 13, 2018
    My Harry Potter collection I purchased in 4K is downgraded to HD I just checked. Beyond furious right now
  7. dingle19 macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2016
    San Diego, CA
    Agreed. If you buy as advertised then get swindled out of the feature promised, you are entitled to at LEAST a refund
  8. JetTester macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2014
    Bait and switch. Only question is: Whodunit? Apple or WB?
  9. DTphonehome macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2003
    I'd imagine this is a glitch. But it still highlights the problem with digital movies and the associated "rights" you are actually purchasing. You don't really own these movies.
  10. TMRJIJ macrumors 68040


    Dec 12, 2011
    South Carolina, United States
    I’m warning you, WB....I’m American....You touch my Harry Potter or X-Men:DOFP movies and I’ll sue.
  11. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    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).
  12. Moonlight macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2002
    Los Angeles
    This is why you should always buy a 35mm print of any movie you want to own. They can't downgrade it to 16mm when it's in your projector!
  13. msama macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2017
    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.
  14. 4jasontv macrumors 68000

    Jul 31, 2011
    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?
  15. rtomyj macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2012
    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...
  16. ajguckian macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2012
    Hudson Valley
    Seems like it’s a mistake, or I’d imagine there would of been a warning. Or, I’m naive.
  17. Edsel macrumors 6502

    Mar 18, 2010
    Over There
    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.
  18. dojoman macrumors 65816

    Apr 8, 2010
    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.
  19. OneBagTravel macrumors 6502a


    Oct 18, 2013
  20. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    WB or whomever the distributor is. iTunes is just a store that sells products from other retailers.
  21. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    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.
  22. Ideanj macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2013
    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.
  23. Asarien macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2015
    Oakland, CA
    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.
  24. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Wow, that’s pretty big, wonder if anyone will own up to it and why? Especially after the way it was promoted.
  25. Mikey44 macrumors regular


    Mar 6, 2012
    What? If anything, Apple upgrades users to a newer/better version of the hardware vs. downgrading.
  26. 4jasontv macrumors 68000

    Jul 31, 2011
    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.

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