PSA: Free upgrades of iTunes movies to 4K only allows you to stream, not download

Those who’ve bought a lot of movies from the iTunes Store got a pleasant surprise during last week’s keynote. Any movies which iTunes makes available in 4K will be available at that resolution to existing HD purchasers at no extra cost …

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

But MacRumors noticed an important piece of small-print in an Apple support document.

You can download a local copy of an HD movie, and you might be able to download HDR and Dolby Vision versions, but you can’t download a 4K version.

4K movies are only available for streaming.

If you’re watching on the new Apple TV 4K, the difference will be academic to anyone whose broadband speed is fast enough to cope. Apple says that you’ll need a minimum download speed of 25Mbps.

But if you have a slower speed, or were hoping to download 4K versions to watch offline on other devices, you’ll unfortunately be out of luck.

Don’t get too upset at Apple, though: it’s likely this is a restriction imposed by studios as a quid pro quo for allowing Apple to make the 4K streams available at no extra cost.

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear