Google Finally Gets Around to 4K Movie Updates For Play Films
Stephan Jukic – October 25, 2018
After more than bit of delay, to put it gently, Google has finally gotten around to doing what Apple managed to deliver months ago. The search and content giant is now offering 4K upgrades free-of-charge for all its SD and 1080P HD titles as they become available in UHD.
In other words, as of now, those of you with Google Play Films accounts who have a collection of movies in the Play Movies & TV apps on your UHD TVs or other devices will be notified of which titles among your selections have been upgraded to their 4K versions when you log in. Obviously enough, this feature doesn’t apply to all movies or even a majority of Play’s titles (so far) but whenever new upgrades emerge, your library of ready-to-watch 4K content will slowly grow at least.
The bottom line here is that Google has finally gotten around to this free upgrade policy for its subscribers and that their selection of 4K titles (some with HDR as well) should keep growing at a steady pace.
Apple on the other hand has already been offering their version of this same policy since all the way back in September of 2017, when their Apple TV 4K streaming media box was launched. What’s funny is that Google took so long to follow through with the same thing considering their well-established existing offerings of 4K streaming media devices (Chromecast Ultra) and 4K ultra HD content through Google Play.
Apple’s tactics helped fans of 4K ultra HD content in another key way that Google has adopted as well: Apple was the first company to make it a policy that their ultra HD titles should cost more than their lower resolution offerings (hence their initiating the free upgrade policy). Because of this price flattening, Google and other content providers were also forced to lower the prices of their own 4K UHD titles. Nontheless, the price differential still does exist with Google Play Movies. Some 4K titles continue to sell for more than their HD or SD versions and we’ve seen the same thing with other VOD or streaming content providers.
Google also offers the benefit of HDR mastering in some of its titles and their search features for finding what’s available in ultra HD are also superior, with a “Top 4K 4K Movies” list that users can browse as a handy shortcut to entertainment. It’s also worth mentioning that not all 4K UHD titles on any given media service come with HDR, though all HDR movie titles we’ve browsed so far are only available in 4K.