Free upgrades of iTunes flicks to 4K only allows streaming, not downloading

Darn it! Though the Apple TV with 4K offers both 4K and HDR support, you’ll only be able to steam the high-quality films, not purchase ‘em on iTunes. That’s seems contrary to what Apple indicated at its special Sept. 12 event in which the new set-top box, new iPhones, and the Apple Watch Series 3 was unveiled.

In a support document, Apple says you can buy or rent movies from the iTunes Store in high-definition (HD) or 4K resolution formats. These videos might also feature high dynamic range (HDR) or Dolby Vision.

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Apple says you can download a local copy of an HD movie, and you might be able to download HDR and Dolby Vision versions, but you can’t download a 4K version. This is likely due to licensing issues with film studios, but still it’s disappointing (at least to a film buff like me).

This despite a statement from Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, that “customers will love watching stunning 4K HDR movies from an impressive catalog on iTunes, while also getting automatic upgrades of 4K HDR movies already in their iTunes library.”