Google Play Adds 4K Video Content

Posted on December 6, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 11 Comments

Google Play Adds 4K Video Content

Following a similar announcement from Hulu, Google announced today that it is now offering a limited range of 4K content through its Google Play Movies & TV service.

“Starting today, Google Play Movies now offers more than 125 movies in 4K resolution, using VP9, so that you can enjoy them in the highest quality,” Google product manager Ben Serridge writes in a new post to the Google Play blog. “Starting in the U.S. and Canada, you can purchase 4K movies on your Android device or on the web and stream them from your Google Chromecast Ultra or on your Sony Bravia Android TV.”

Best of all, for a limited time, Google is offering a free 4K movie to anyone who purchases a 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra. You can redeem this offer on the web, or in the app: Navigate to Menu, Offers.

In addition to the 4K content, Google is also highlighting the following other changes that were made previously to Google Play Movies & TV.

VR support. Google Play Movies & TV VR content launched back in October Google Play Movies & TV together with the Daydream VR platform. Having actually used this on a Daydream View headset, I can’t say it’s all that impressive: It’s just a normal rectangular flat view of the video in a virtual scene.

Integration in 2016 Samsung Smart TVs. The Google Play Movies & TV app is now available on 2016 Samsung Smart TVs, which is actually very interesting. We use the Netflix app on our Samsung for 4K viewing, and it works really well.


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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Google Play Adds 4K Video Content”

  1. 1139

    Your move, Microsoft Movies & TV...

  2. 412

    I know we may never see it but would love Google Music and Movies/TV on the XBOX One. 

  3. 5553

    Fake HIGHLY compressed 4K

    • 5592

      In reply to Joe_Blo:

      Can you expand on why you say that?

      • 5615

        In reply to MikeGalos:

        I'm guessing it's because, like most codecs involved in streaming, unless it's lossless, the video is compressed. In the case of VP9, it's attraction* is that it is very good at "highly" compressing video (it can also be lossless, but no one is going to stream video in lossless form -- that's the whole point of these codecs). There's also some guessing involved when reconstructing the video to display the content at the receiver's end.

        Whether or not that makes it "fake" is open to interpretation, I suppose. One could probably argue that, by definition, most, if not all, streamed HD/UHD video is "fake" since it's most likely highly compressed. That's the same thing audiophiles have been screaming about for decades when it comes to music in anything other than lossless format.

        *It's also open source (developed by Google), which is why they use it.

    • 5486

      In reply to Joe_Blo:

      So is HEVC and any other 4k codec. UHD blu-ray uses HEVC compression to get everything onto one disk. It's the efficiency of the encode/decode process that's key. Uncompressed 4k would be stupidly unrealistic. VP9 is meant to be very good at what it does, and besides, the human eye is pretty rubbish at resolving high detail from over a few feet away, and most sit further than that from their TV.

  4. 5510

    A normal rectangular flat view of the video in a virtual scene? Virtual scene? Well, yeah. We are talking about virtual reality here, right? The object of daydream (for now) is to put the user in a virtual movie theater where you have a movie screen in front of you. In this case, it's kinda sorta like an outdoor park movie theater. In Google fashion, I am sure they'll eventually give you more scenes to choose from. 

  5. 5812

    The thing people miss is that normal people care more for convenience than quality. That is why more people stream netflix than buy the service where they send the blu-ray discs which are the best quality you can get. The same goes for 4k. Most people will go for streamed 4k or blu-ray 4k because they care about convenience over quality. The new 4k stream will be better than the 1080p blu-ray disc probably only slightly but it will be convenient. So in the end there is an improvement. The vast amount of people now are getting slightly better than 1080p Blu-ray disc quality so that is great. The people who get the discs will have the best quality and having that choice is great. HDR is really where the improvement comes because it's more has a bigger impact on the videos. As time passes the codecs get better and the streaming takes less bandwidth which has less playback issues and even the quality will be better. We will be compressing all media for a long time to come. 

  6. 1292

    4K TV & Movies content is currently available to insiders. 

  7. kilstein22

    I love watching Google movies. Now one can watch all HD movies, TV shows and series for free on Android and iOS devices using Cinema apk. Download Cinema apk and enjoy all movies and TV shows for free.

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