Apple has begun rolling out 4K HDR movies on iTunes in preparation for the new 4K-capable Apple TV release date, which is now available to pre-order. Although Apple’s set-top box won’t start shipping until Sept. 20, there’s actually a way to start watching 4K HDR content on the iPad Pro.
MacRumors first discovered that Apple began rolling out 4K HDR content on iTunes Thursday night. Some movies now include “4K” and “Dolby Vision” tags to denote they’ve been upgraded to the new, superior format. At the time, only a few titles were available in 4K HDR. This included the recently released “Wonder Woman” movie, Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” and the 2014 sleeper hit action film, “John Wick.”
As of this writing, there are now more than 30 movies available in 4K on iTunes, according to Pocket-lint. However, some titles are not available in HDR. This includes “Life of Pi,” “Deadpool,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and “The Legend of Tarzan.”
Users can also check out iTunes for themselves on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch if their favorite movies have already been upgraded to 4K HDR. The iTunes app for desktop computers doesn’t seem to show 4K HDR movies just yet.
Apple said it will automatically upgrade customers’ purchased full HD movies into 4K HDR absolutely free, so users should definitely be on the lookout. Additionally, 4K HDR movies will be priced the same as full HD movies. The latest titles, like “Wonder Woman” for example, still cost $19.99 in 4K HDR and full HD, while something older like last year’s “La La Land” will cost $9.99.
Availability of 4K HDR movies on iTunes is expected to expand in the days to come. It’s very likely that most movies will be available in the format once the new Apple TV 4K has been released next week.
The Apple 4K TV is available to pre-order now from Apple’s website and costs $179 for the 32GB model and $199 for the 64GB model. Apple isn’t discontinuing its older Apple TV model. That will still be available to purchase for $149 with 32GB of storage.
How To Start Watching HDR Movies From iTunes Now
For users who don’t want to wait for the Apple TV 4K to arrive next week, there’s actually a way to start watching HDR movies with the iPad Pro. According to The Verge, this trick will only work for the 2017 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and only if users are running the latest version of the iOS 11 public beta. IBT already made a quick rundown on how to do that here.
Once users have upgraded their iPad Pro to iOS 11, they should head to the Video option found inside Settings and enable “Download HDR Videos.” Purchased 4K movies won’t be downloaded in 4K resolution. Instead, it will only be downloaded in full HD 1080p. However, the movies will still have the same HDR color and contrast. The Verge says that the quality of HDR movies on the iPad Pro is actually “pretty great.”
Trying this trick to watch HDR movies from iTunes won’t look great if users have an older iPad Pro model. Only the 2017 iPad Pro models come with a display that natively supports HDR.
Apple has begun updating its movies on iTunes in 4K HDR formats.