Here’s Why Apple Is Going to Upgrade All Your Movies to 4K for Free

Apple today announced a 4K Apple TV, along with the availability of 4K video content on the iTunes Store. And in a surprising move, they announced that any purchases you have made will be upgraded to 4K for free. I speculated on this earlier today, but did not expect free upgrades.

But I understand why Apple is doing this.

In order to get you to buy a 4K Apple TV, and start buying and renting content in 4K, they’re essentially giving you a lagniappe in providing the free upgrades. If you had to pay, say, a few bucks per movie, and you have a lot of movies, you might not think of buying the new Apple TV, because of the cost of upgrading your library. Now, you’ll see that the new Apple TV not only gives you a new device, but also provides an instant library of movies and TV shows in the better format (assuming you have purchased videos from the iTunes Store, and that these videos are available in 4K, which won’t be the case for everything).

Apple is essentially priming the pump, and probably at their own expense; I’d expect that movie studios probably didn’t agree to this. But you’ll be more likely to buy and rent videos from Apple, because few people have 4K optical disc players, and discs in UHD format are expensive.

This is a savvy move from Apple, who stands to usher users into the world of 4K video, and hold them captive through their existing libraries and new content. You’d probably thought you might like to get 4K versions of your favorite movies, but Apple is giving them to you on the house. So if you were hesitating about buying the new Apple TV, think how much you’re saving by not paying for upgrades to your existing digital video purchases.

3 thoughts on “Here’s Why Apple Is Going to Upgrade All Your Movies to 4K for Free

  1. Have they clarified if it is only movies you bought from iTunes or all movies in your library? I have a lot of blu rays I purchased and added them to iTunes with the digital code.

  2. Not sure Apple is subsidizing anything. If they were then Disney would be on board, but so far all reports are they aren’t.

    My theory – Apple simply strong-armed the studios to agree. Why, because Apple isn’t going to add a 3rd buy option in the store. It’s not going to be: SD, HD, 4K. I think Apple wanted to make it simple like they always do and keep it as two buying options: SD and HD.

    With SD you get 480p
    With HD you now get 720p, 1080p and 4K (if available).

    Thinking this is why the pricing is the same as they couldn’t raise the prices on people who don’t want/need 4K.

    Just my theory ;-)

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