Are Apple downgrading movie streams again ?

Pooler

Active Member
I have an AppleTV with a large library of purchased films. I noticed that a lot of films (about a third) that I have purchased in 4k seem to be downgraded to HD. They still appear in my 4k HDR section but whilst streaming bringing up the info show the format to be HD. I spotted this because I was streaming Apollo 13 and thought the picture look less than 4k quality and sure enough my suspicions were confirmed when I pressed the menu button and saw the info panel. I then proceeded to go through all my 4k films and found 12 others that may have been downgraded to 4k. Only fair to say that some films it is actually hard to tell it is HD and not 4k.

Here's the affected list, if anyone has these films on ITunes - wonder if you could check to see what they play back in ? BTW no sure this is anything to do with planned downgrading of streams due to CoronaVirus because it just seems to have affected random films.

Apollo 13
Baby Driver
The Deer Hunter
Grease
Groundhog Day
La La Land
Predator 1 + 2
The Running Man
Saving Private Ryan
Scarface
The Shining
Superman
 
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jwsg

Well-known Member
The (Bond) film I watched tonight is still tagged 4K but the PQ and audio did seem compromised. I've checked one from your list (Baby Driver) and this is indeed now tagged HD (but still DV and Atmos) and does appear to be in HD quality
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
Ok. Yes it only shows HD .

AE8C0DCD-1F53-41E4-8768-B6F847947FD1.jpeg
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
What a disappointment.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
Tried movie Alita. That still shows 4k
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
Deer Hunter only shows HD, even though labelled 4k.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
They want us to stay at home. How does this help
 

-gonzo-

Distinguished Member
I’ve just tried some of the ones mentioned that I have and yes indeed they are only playing back in HD, however I watched Hellboy 2 earlier and just double checked and that’s playing in 4K.
Also just checked Jumanji, Batman, Jurassic Park, Tomb Raider, Bad Boys and Godzilla which are also playing back in 4K so it’s definitely not all films affected.
 

Pooler

Active Member
This is bang out of order imo. This is content that we own a licence for...
If it is deliberate then it is definately bang out of order. I have sold 4k discs and purchased streams to replace them. It may be a bug though, this has happened before and Apple rectified it.

I have sent the list to Apple to see what their support has to say about it.
 

-gonzo-

Distinguished Member
If it is deliberate then it is definately bang out of order. I have sold 4k discs and purchased streams to replace them. It may be a bug though, this has happened before and Apple rectified it.

I have sent the list to Apple to see what their support has to say about it.
It’s not UK specific either as I’ve just played The Running Man from my US library and that showing the HD tag during playback too, also I’ve see another posting from another country that their Saving Private Ryan is also the same.
Now this could be one of two things, it could either be some titles have dropped temporarily down to HD or there just could be a glitch in what tag shows up for some movies since the recent tvOS 13.4 update.
 

Pooler

Active Member
It’s not UK specific either as I’ve just played The Running Man from my US library and that showing the HD tag during playback too, also I’ve see another posting from another country that their Saving Private Ryan is also the same.
Now this could be one of two things, it could either be some titles have dropped temporarily down to HD or there just could be a glitch in what tag shows up for some movies since the recent tvOS 13.4 update.
On some films it is hard to tell but certainly Apollo13 and Groundhog Day looks inferior quality to when I watched them recently - they are definitely streaming in HD. Apollo 13 actually looks quite poor compared to the much crisper 4k version I watched about a month ago. Suspect the rest are too.

Strangely if you go to the iTunes store and look to purchase them they still show as 4k which gives me hope that this us a glitch as Apple would be falsely advertising on new purchases.
 

Pooler

Active Member
Deer Hunter only shows HD, even though labelled 4k.
On this one the stream is still really good in HD, if someone told me it was 4k I would believe them - suspect this one falls into the 'barely any difference' bracket. Still, if the film was purchased in 4k then we should be getting 4k.
 

-gonzo-

Distinguished Member
On some films it is hard to tell but certainly Apollo13 and Groundhog Day looks inferior quality to when I watched them recently - they are definitely streaming in HD. Apollo 13 actually looks quite poor compared to the much crisper 4k version I watched about a month ago. Suspect the rest are too.

Strangely if you go to the iTunes store and look to purchase them they still show as 4k which gives me hope that this us a glitch as Apple would be falsely advertising on new purchases.
Don’t forget though that due to the current Covid19 situation that bandwidth is currently being lowered on some streaming services throughout Europe so it’s also possible that could be the reason.
But from what I’ve seen it’s not currently affecting all movies so who knows what the actual reason is.
 

jwsg

Well-known Member
It may well be not just UK, it would be useful to know if anyone with the ATV app on a TV or stick also sees this or whether it's just ATV 4K on tvOS 13.4
 

jwsg

Well-known Member
It's still a mystery what's happening. There's a picture problem on The Shining that doesn't show up on the HD version, and in the past the top tier version has been removed after a problem is reported until a new encode was added.

But it's a long list for just video problems - and it's too short a list to be done for bandwidth.

They would have a set of encodes to cater for different devices but it's odd to have HD DV versions to fall back to rather than 1440p which is much less obvious.
 

Pooler

Active Member
But it's a long list for just video problems - and it's too short a list to be done for bandwidth.
Exactly - I don't consider that it has been done for the virus situation - if it had I would have no problem with it but it smacks of Apple downgrading movies deliberately and not considering or communicating with their customers that have paid for these.

I have had long conversations with Apple Support and even taken supplied screenshots and videos - the case is ongoing but clearly their support has no clue what is going on so they are not being communicated with. The case is ongoing so I will post updates here.
 

Goooner

Distinguished Member
That’s the excuse. To the best of my knowledge no ISP anywhere has said its necessary.
 

Pooler

Active Member
Isn't this because of the Coronavirus?
No it's not. This is affecting a portion of iTunes 4k films (within my collection about 30%)

Downgrading of 'selected' 4k films has happened before about a year ago.

In terms of CoronaVirus Apple have downgraded the streaming quality of Apple+ TV channel
 

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