Google Play Gives Free 4K Upgrades

Free 4K, for some.

by Aaron Macarthy Beards Oct 24, 2018 at 10:20 AM

  • Last year, Apple allowed customers to upgrade their already purchased HD movies to 4K HDR versions, for free. And now Google is following this example.
    However, this will only work when 4K titles are available from participating studios. So, if your favourite movie doesn't have a 4K version, you're out of luck.

    Nevertheless, it appears that Google will upgrade both past SD and HD film purchases. The service is also lowering the prices of its 4K titles. However, unlike Apple, Google it isn’t selling them for the same price as HD films.

    On the Play Store, you can pick up several older titles priced only £7.99. Some of those titles can also be rented in 4K for £6.99.

    Now for the bad news. Only US and Canadian customers are getting any of these benefits. It's a bit of a kick in the teeth for customers who live outside of these regions. For instance, in the UK most new TVs sold are 4K. As such, a free upgrade to UHD, HDR content would have been nice.

    This is actually part of a worrying trend. Those who buy 4K Blu-Rays will know that some disks are not coming to Europe. And if they do, the 4K disc comes out in the US sometimes months before it does in the UK. Some studios and distributors clearly believe that 4K isn't a selling point for European consumers.

    In other news, the Google Play app’s 4K films are also now available on Samsung's smart TVs as well as 4K Sony sets. Google says 4K LG TVs will also be getting support. Google are certainly pushing their own streaming platform onto as many devices as possible.

    Of course, if your TV doesn't support the Google Play app yet you can also use Google's Chromecast Ultra too.

    Is it cool to see the more places starting to give free 4K upgrades? Or does the lack of such a policy for the UK and Europe rub salt in the wound?

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