Apple Listing Select Movies as 4K and HDR in iTunes Purchase History

MacRumors reader Tomas Jackson, who resides in the UK, has discovered Apple is listing select movies as 4K and HDR in iTunes purchase history.

itunes apple tv 4k
In a discussion topic on the MacRumors forums, Jackson shared a screenshot of his iTunes purchase history with the 2016 film Passengers listed as "Movie (4K, HDR)" under the Type column. However, he said iTunes only let him download the movie in HD quality, which is either 720p or 1080p depending on the content.

4k hdr itunes movie history
Another reader mentioned that the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is also listed as 4K and HDR. MacRumors rented the film to check, and we can confirm the film indeed has "4K, HDR" next to it in our iTunes purchase history. Nevertheless, iTunes lists the movie's video quality as 720p.

Not all movies are listed as "4K, HDR" at this time, and it may be region specific for now. One reader from the United States shared a screenshot of Passengers still being listed as "Film (HD)" in his iTunes purchase history. MacRumors can confirm "4K, HDR" has appeared in both the UK and Canada at least.

itunes rental 720p
iTunes content remains viewable in SD and HD for the time being, but the discovery suggests Apple may be gearing up for what's around the corner — 4K and HDR support for both iTunes content and a new Apple TV.

In February, Bloomberg reported Apple was testing a new, fifth-generation Apple TV capable of streaming 4K video, adding that it may be released as soon as this year. The report also said the new Apple TV, allegedly codenamed "J105" internally, would display more vivid colors, suggesting HDR support.

A month later, developer Firi Games provided MacRumors with evidence of a device identified as "AppleTV6,2" and running "tvOS 11.0" connecting to its arcade game Phoenix HD for Apple TV in its logs. The IP address fell within a range linked to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The current Apple TV has a model identifier of AppleTV5,3, and Apple TV6,2 does not correspond with any released model.

It's conceivable that Apple could launch 4K content in iTunes alongside a new Apple TV with support for up to 4K video output and HDR, or high dynamic range, which allows for sharper colors and lighting. The current, fourth-generation Apple TV has a maximum 1080p video output, and no support for HDR.

Netflix has embraced 4K, offering its original series in ultra-high-resolution on compatible devices. The high-end iMac models with 4K and 5K Retina displays are currently Apple's only devices that can properly display 4K content. The latest Apple TV lacks the hardware required for 4K and HDR video output.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tags: 4K, HDR
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

spacebro Avatar
90 months ago
Apple is like the last company on earth to support 4k. I thought they would be among the first.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TurboPGT! Avatar
90 months ago
Can't wait to be proven right that most (if not all) purchased HD content will be automatically upgraded to 4K.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moonjumper Avatar
90 months ago
Hopefully the quality will be high enough to make the 4K HDR meaningful. Many reviews suggest a lot of digital 4K sources cannot match 1080p Blu-Ray for quality. Image quality isn't just about the resolution.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nrose101 Avatar
90 months ago
Will be dead on arrival if they cannot provide us with a subscription model. Purchasing movies individually off iTunes is a real pain in the ass, even more so with Netflix & Co. striving.
Um no it isn't I have purchased over 300 movies from them. Netflix is not good since they always rotate movies. I like the movies I want. Not what Netflix dictates to me.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KidAKidB Avatar
90 months ago
The only thing that has been holding me back from buying an Apple TV has been the lack of 4k support. If this is true I will definitely be buying the updated one!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dainin Avatar
90 months ago
What are you talking about? Even once Apple releases a 4K Apple TV, and upgrades the iTunes Store to 4K content -- how much 4K content will be available on Apple TV? Netflix, for an added fee that no one will pay. No other popular video service offers anything.

The real world of 4K is that it is mostly no where.
I pay the added fee for Netflix. I can’t wait for a 4K AppleTV so I don’t have to stream from my PS4.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)