Customers in the UK, Canada and Germany have noticed that some movies from iTunes are listed as ’4K HDR’ in their purchase history, according to MacRumors, ahead of the rumored launch of new Apple TV hardware.
iTunes movies in 4K HDR
Apple has apparently more or less confirmed that iTunes will soon start offering movies in 4K resolution and HDR (High Dynamic Range). The combination of these technologies offer a significantly better viewing experience as it improves details, extends the color space, and raises contrast.
Customers in Europa and Canada are started to see some movies appear as ”Type: Movie (4K, HDR)” in the iTunes purchase history. Examples include ’Passengers’ and ’Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’.
The movies are not yet available to watch in the higher video quality but it seemingly confirms that Apple is preparing its back-catalog of iTunes movies for an official launch. The current Apple TV hardware supports up to 1080p HD.
Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have already started selling or renting out movies in 4K HDR but the catalog is typically available only in the US, Canada, and select other regions. Apple is apparently planning to offers movies in the highest quality to a much larger audience.
It is not clear if customers will need to purchase each movie again to enjoy 4K HDR or if owners will get a free update. When iTunes introduced 1080p, owners had their existing catalog of movies upgraded from 720p to 1080p.
Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Apple is working on a new Apple TV that supports 4K and HDR. Tim Cook said in June 2017 that we will be hearing "a lot more about tvOS later this year”.