How to upgrade your HD iTunes purchases to 4K

Cranston37

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One frustration with digital collecting is when you own an iTunes movie in SD or HD and it later becomes available in 4K.

There seems to be no obvious way to upgrade to a 4K copy because the option to purchase the title isn't available when you own it and, as of now, retailers/studios don't offer a formal upgrade option.

There is however a roundabout way of doing it - by "gifting" the movie to yourself. This is especially useful when 4K movies go on sale, sometimes for as low as $4.99.

As you can see in this example, I own Edward Scissorhands in HD, and have no option to buy, only play

5098AE0D-C0F3-4271-B5E6-D2A123BF6A51.jpeg

On an iOS device, go to the movie's page in the iTunes Store app and click the icon in the upper right (the box with the arrow).

CA78CCAC-EA3B-4975-ADEE-AF47F69E8019.jpeg

When the actions come up, select "gift"

85813BC9-7087-4F78-A256-2574AE6414D1.jpeg

Enter the e-mail you use for your iTunes account in BOTH the "to" and "from" fields. You are literally buying yourself a gift.

786368F2-B970-424D-A105-69E2E923D95D.jpeg


You will receive an e-mail with a link to redeem the gift, which you simply click on.

432B952A-3955-429C-916F-C065CEB1CC31.png

DONE! You have now upgraded to 4K.

1EFBBA15-B813-48C5-B996-92140CC3220F.jpeg
 

Ted Todorov

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Answer: you do not have to! If an HD movie you own on iTunes becomes 4K it *automatically, for free* gets updated from HD to 4K. The next time you play it on your AppleTV it will play the 4K version, just so long as one exists of the same version of the movie that you own.

Note that Apple’s 4K material plays *only* on the AppleTV 4K - you can not download it to a Mac and play it via iTunes - the max format for downloads/Macs is HD. Note also this does not Apple to movies purchased as SD.

Sorry to open a new thread, but I can’t post directly to the sticky thread on the same subject,

See also:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207949
 

Cranston37

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Oh, boy...

I don't have the strength to do another one of these threads so let me just say...

That is not accurate information.

The sticky thread is not the same subject, either.

Hopefully someone else will step in with the explanation...
 
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Robert Crawford

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Oh, boy...

I don't have the strength to do another one of these threads so let me just say...

That is not accurate information.

The sticky thread is not the same subject, either.

Hopefully someone else will step in with the explanation...
I just copied your original post to this thread so people can see and discuss the subject matter differences.
 

Robert Crawford

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Answer: you do not have to! If an HD movie you own on iTunes becomes 4K it *automatically, for free* gets updated from HD to 4K. The next time you play it on your AppleTV it will play the 4K version, just so long as one exists of the same version of the movie that you own.

Note that Apple’s 4K material plays *only* on the AppleTV 4K - you can not download it to a Mac and play it via iTunes - the max format for downloads/Macs is HD. Note also this does not Apple to movies purchased as SD.

Sorry to open a new thread, but I can’t post directly to the sticky thread on the same subject,

See also:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207949
I don't think we're talking about the same thing. Anyhow, I've copied the first post in that sticky thread to this thread for further discussion.
 

Cranston37

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I just copied your original post to this thread so people can see and discuss the subject matter differences.
I actually have another suggestion, Robert.

iTunes has changed and now lets you purchase movies you already own if a better version is available (on iTunes Store app, not Apple TV) making the "gifting" trick unnecessary.

I say we just delete that sticky entirely and post a new sticky thread explaining how HD to 4K upgrades work. It's definitely an issue that keeps coming up and it would be nice to have a post to point people to...
 
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Robert Crawford

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Well, like you, I don't have the energy to do another thread explaining how HD to 4K upgrades work. If somebody wants to make such a thread then contact me and I'll sticky the thread.
 

Cranston37

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At some point I can do it, but not today. I would want someone else to proofread it though as I'm not 100% certain on every point. Sam or Tino or someone else are welcome to do it as well.

I definitely think that sticky should go though as it would lead someone to do something that's now unnecessary.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Answer: you do not have to! If an HD movie you own on iTunes becomes 4K it *automatically, for free* gets updated from HD to 4K. The next time you play it on your AppleTV it will play the 4K version, just so long as one exists of the same version of the movie that you own.

Note that Apple’s 4K material plays *only* on the AppleTV 4K - you can not download it to a Mac and play it via iTunes - the max format for downloads/Macs is HD. Note also this does not Apple to movies purchased as SD.

Sorry to open a new thread, but I can’t post directly to the sticky thread on the same subject,

See also:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207949
By the way, it doesn't work for Disney titles as no Disney title plays 4K on iTunes.
 

Robert Crawford

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At some point I can do it, but not today. Others like Sam or Tino are welcome as well.

I definitely think that sticky should go though as it would lead someone to do something that's now unnecessary.
I agree as even I didn't know about that change. Looks to be similar to what Vudu allows on their service.
 

Cranston37

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I agree as even I didn't know about that change. Looks to be similar to what Vudu allows on their service.
On a side note after discovering that it caused me to spend a good hour going through my iTunes collection to list any titles I had in lower resolutions that I could upgrade. Most, like The Thin Man and The Asphalt Jungle, were obtained before iTunes had HD copies. I listed about 20 such titles.
 

Robert Crawford

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Just remember that there isn't any evidence that iTunes Warner titles in HD have the same transfers as those Warner Archive titles released on Blu-ray like The Thin Man.
 

Mark-P

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I actually have another suggestion, Robert.

iTunes has changed and now lets you purchase movies you already own if a better version is available (on iTunes Store app, not Apple TV) making the "gifting" trick unnecessary.

I say we just delete that sticky entirely and post a new sticky thread explaining how HD to 4K upgrades work. It's definitely an issue that keeps coming up and it would be nice to have a post to point people to...
Well if there’s a new way to do it other than gifting, please share, because the one drawback to gifting is you can’t use your preloaded iTunes balance to pay for it, all ”gifts” are new charges on your credit card.
 

Cranston37

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Well if there’s a new way to do it other than gifting, please share, because the one drawback to gifting is you can’t use your preloaded iTunes balance to pay for it, all ”gifts” are new charges on your credit card.
The new way is right in the text you quoted - iTunes now gives you the option to buy something you already own (if a better resolution than what you own is available) whereas before that option would be gone...
 

Mark-P

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The new way is right in the text you quoted - iTunes now gives you the option to buy something you already own (if a better resolution than what you own is available) whereas before that option would be gone...
Not for me. I don’t see any buy button in my iTunes storefronts.
 

Cranston37

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Not for me. I don’t see any buy button in my iTunes storefronts.
I just took one for the team and tried it - it works fine. Took screenshots that I will post. Remember I am talking about the app not Apple TV...
 

Cranston37

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A shot of The Thin Man on my Apple TV. You will notice the lack of an HD symbol meaning I only own it in SD.

1404F3E0-0265-4769-B3C0-B0E2B9D99C70.jpeg

I go to its page on the iTunes Store app where I am given the option to buy it. The problem before is it would only show the option to download.

59E52A8D-A354-41AA-8AFC-2E06F291FE7C.png

I click buy but it tells me I already own it. I buy it anyways because I love HTF that much.

5378DD7A-6649-46C7-BE29-ED227BCBD6EC.png

The Thin Man on my Apple TV now shows I own the HD version.

C7E33310-60E8-42AA-940F-182A2F41384D.jpeg

And the page on the iTunes Store now only offers me the option to download as I now own the highest resolution available.

90959D36-A6CD-45FF-A02A-E59776FCCCC3.png
 

Mark-P

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Oh, for crying out loud, Cranston, you are talking about SD. Apple has ALWAYS allowed you to upgrade SD purchases to HD/4K. It's the titles that are stuck in HD that ported to iTunes through Movies Anywhere that we are talking about.
 
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TonyD

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2FA3F229-169A-4FF8-AABF-38D7844923B1.png Yep what Mark said.

I own Big in HD.
It’s been there for UHD for a while now but I can’t buy it that way unless I gift it.
 

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