4K/HDR Movies Come to iTunes Ahead of Apple TV 4K Launch

4K/HDR Movies Come to iTunes Ahead of Apple TV 4K Launch

The Apple TV 4K doesn’t arrive until next week, but Apple is already delivering 4K and HDR content to its customers via the iTunes Store.

As you may recall, I described Apple’s Apple TV 4K announcements this week to be the only unadulterated win from its iPhone X press event. That is, this device will provide 4K and HDR content to a living room device that is (for Apple) reasonably priced. And better still, Apple’s 4K content will not cost extra.

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“In the only real surprise at the event, and what I will argue was, in fact, the best news of the day, Apple will not charge extra for purchased 4K/UHD/HDR content,” I wrote. “That is, movies and TV shows in these formats will cost the same as Full HD/1080p videos did before (typically $15 or $20 for a new movie). And better still, if you purchased movies or TV shows from Apple in Full HD before, they will automatically be upgraded to 4K/UHD/HDR as those versions become available. Other service providers charge a lot of money for this kind of thing. For example, Google sells the movie King Kong: Skull Island for $19.99 in Full HD, but the 4K/UHD/HDR version is $29.99. For people who care about home entertainment, Apple’s pricing here is—yes, really—a game changer.”

You can preorder the Apple TV 4K today from Apple.com—the 32 GB version, which I preordered, is $180, and the 64 GB version is $200. Apple says that the first orders will arrive next Friday, September 22, a week from today.

I’m going to make this new Apple TV 4K the center of my home entertainment system in the living room and will write about my experiences in the Paul’s Tech Makeover series for Premium readers. But I’ve been very curious to see how and when 4K and HDR content would begin appearing on Apple’s service.

It’s already begun.

As many have reported, and as I can confirm, when you browse the iTunes Store in iOS 11—say, on an iPhone or iPad—you will see that much of the content is now listed as 4K (instead of HD, as it was before; here’s a partial list). And a very limited number of titles—OK, I’ve only found one, the movie Logan—are also being tagged as “HDR,” for high dynamic range.

On the iPad Pro I’m using—I upgraded to the GM version of iOS 11 the other day—there’s no way to configure the device to download 4K content. The only choices are HD and SD. But you can download HDR content, meaning that HDR is separate from and does not require 4K. So on the iPad Pro, which features a 2732 x 2048 display (which is more than 4,000 pixels but still not technically 4K because of the aspect ratio), I can view HDR but not 4K. I assume once 4K downloads are possible (iOS 11.1, I bet), I can get better quality if I don’t mind killing my storage.

For now, I don’t see any HDR titles in my own library, and I’m not buying Logan just to test this. But I suspect this situation will rapidly improve. And that HDR movies will look amazing on the iPad Pro. And that 4K/UHD and HDR movies will likewise look amazing on Apple TV 4K.

I can’t wait to find out.


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Conversation 22 comments

  • Stooks

    15 September, 2017 - 11:28 am

    <p>Logan was actually one of the better X-Men movies.</p><p><br></p><p>I want to know about the Live TV stuff, especially sports. Details about what actual content you can get.</p>

  • CrownSeven

    Premium Member
    15 September, 2017 - 11:53 am

    <p>A big negative – it seems the new apple tv does not support dolby atmos or dtsx. So we finally get 4k, without the sound to go with it.</p>

    • Dan

      15 September, 2017 - 6:47 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#176956"><em>In reply to CrownSeven:</em></a></blockquote><p>Why would it need to? Your receiver should decode the Dolby Atmos or DTSX bitstream.</p>

      • CrownSeven

        Premium Member
        16 September, 2017 - 2:20 am

        <blockquote><a href="#177062"><em>In reply to Dan:</em></a></blockquote><p>How is your receiver going to decode it if its not being passed to it?</p>

    • Thayios

      18 September, 2017 - 7:32 am

      <blockquote><a href="#176956"><em>In reply to CrownSeven:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>I was all excited until I read this. Sigh</p>

  • jbuccola

    15 September, 2017 - 1:01 pm

    <p>Paul, tell me you bought the $7 silicone sleeve for the remote. It is truly the upgrade the thing needs (to distinguish north from south).</p>

  • glenn8878

    15 September, 2017 - 2:24 pm

    <p>Logan is the worst Wolverine movie. You shouldn't bother buying it.</p>

    • evox81

      Premium Member
      15 September, 2017 - 3:40 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#177006"><em>In reply to glenn8878:</em></a></blockquote><p>Disagree actually… I'm neither a superhero movie fan, nor a Wolverine fan, but I found Logan enjoyable to watch. </p>

    • Chris_Kez

      Premium Member
      15 September, 2017 - 6:21 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#177006"><em>In reply to glenn8878:</em></a></blockquote><p>I think you're in a <em>tiny</em> minority with this statement. And this movie might be a good one for HDR.</p>

      • glenn8878

        16 September, 2017 - 3:26 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#177057"><em>In reply to Chris_Kez:</em></a></blockquote><p>You think it'll look better in HDR for a movie devoid of color?</p>

        • Chris_Kez

          Premium Member
          17 September, 2017 - 9:33 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#177215"><em>In reply to glenn8878:</em></a></blockquote><p>HDR isn't just about color; it's about expanding the range of lights and darks. Logan has a lot of brightly lit scenes as well as some very dark scenes. HDR will enhance both ends. </p><p>I actually thought the colors worked quite well for this film. In fact, this film could probably work in black and white.</p>

    • Chris_Kez

      Premium Member
      17 September, 2017 - 9:47 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#177006"><em>In reply to glenn8878:</em></a></blockquote><p>This comment so surprised me that I was compelled to visit the Rotten Tomatoes site.</p><p>Logan's ratings blow away the two previous Wolverine movies. It also tops every other X Men movie. In fact it tops every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the DC Extended Universe. </p>

      • glenn8878

        17 September, 2017 - 10:09 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#177356"><em>In reply to Chris_Kez:</em></a></blockquote><p>Which was why I was most disappointed. I really dislike the movie. </p>

  • gvan

    15 September, 2017 - 5:41 pm

    <p>I just checked the pre order status and the Apple TV 4k delivery date is moving. That means it's selling out while the iPhone 8 has plenty of supply.</p><p><br></p><p>Fortunately, the dog woke me up at 1:00am last night and I ordered my Apple TV before going back to sleep. So, mine will be arriving on launch day (September 22nd one week from today).</p>

  • Shane789

    09 December, 2017 - 1:03 pm

    <p>Why would anyone care about Netflix when there are lots of sites where one can <a href="https://glowthemovie.com/watch-tv-shows-online-free/&quot; target="_blank">https://glowthemovie.com/watch-tv-shows-online-free/</a&gt; I've found many sites that are actually free.</p>

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    01 February, 2018 - 6:54 am

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  • Mavic

    27 June, 2018 - 5:15 pm

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  • desenal

    26 December, 2018 - 11:09 am

    <p>Great news for iTunes movies lover. I love watching movies a lot. Now its easy to watch all HD movies, TV shows and series for free on iOS devices using MediaBox HD app. Download MediaBox HD for iOS and enjoy all movies and TV shows for free. </p>

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    01 March, 2019 - 5:17 am

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  • rajwik9

    28 May, 2019 - 1:57 pm

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