A Whole Bunch of Warner Movies On iTunes Mysteriously Downgrade From 4K to HD

by on May 14, 2019
Stephan Jukic – May 14, 2019

In what we can only call a rather unusual apparent technical glitch (though it didn’t seem that way at first), a pile of Warner Bros. movies that were previously being offered as 4K content on the iTunes movie store suddenly reverted to their HD versions during the last week. Only recently, they’ve again converted back to 4K editions and so far there is no forthcoming explanation for why the shit happened in the first place.

The shift from 4K to HD format was first noticed by numerous iTunes users earlier in the week and complaints started appearing on both Twitter and the Blu-ray forums. Warner titles that were converted from 4K to HD included the entire series of Harry Potter films, “American Sniper”, “Hitch”, “Matrix Reloaded”, “Taxi Driver”, “Fast & Furious 6” and well over two dozen other films so far discovered. The changes in resolution happened in both the iTunes store and in the libraries of users who had already bought the titles in question in 4K, at 4K content prices.


This isn’t the first time that this has happened and users as well as tech watchers have reported several other instances of movies shifting from 4K to HD in the iTunes store and in user libraries, and then shifting back into their 4K editions. Thus the expectation in this case was that the same would happen sooner or later too.

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This turned out to be true and as of today, May 14th, the titles that had changed over to HD are all back in their 4K versions wherever found. So far, neither Warner Bros or Apple have officially explained what the reason behind this change was, or if it was accidental or intentional. However, according to an Apple support representative quoted by the website Mac Rumors, the downgrade was due to changes implemented by Warner Bros in their content delivery. This might be true, or it might be a case of an Apple employee guessing in a way that drops blame on someone else. It’s hard to say at this point.

Also see:
Our complete guide to today’s best 4K HDR TVs for every budget and home size
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Again, as of this writing, all of the titles are back in their previous 4K format and the known selection of affected movies consists of the following in case you want to check your own content library (if you happen to be an iTunes 4K user):

  • 22 Jump Street (2014)
  • About Last Night
  • Aloha (2015)
  • American Sniper
  • Annie (2014)
  • Batman vs. Superman
  • The Brothers Grimsby (2016)
  • The Equalizer (2014)
  • Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
  • Ghostbusters II (1989)
  • Goosebumps (2015)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
  • Hercules (2014)
  • Hitch (2005)
  • Hotel Deluxe (2013)
  • Matrix Reloaded
  • The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
  • Risen (2016)
  • Spaceballs (1987)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)
  • Unforgiven (1993)
  • The Walk (2015)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
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