[Update #2: Apple appears to be resolving this issue.]

[Update: It seems that the issue is affecting more than just Warner Bros movies. Users report that 4K titles from Columbia, MGM, 20th Century Fox, and others have also reverted to HD. This suggests it’s likely a bug on Apple’s part.]

Over the last several days, many Warner Bros movies on iTunes have reverted from 4K to simply HD on iTunes. This includes titles that customers have already purchased. At this point, it’s not explicitly clear whether this is an issue on Apple’s part or Warner’s.

Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat

Users have taken to Twitter and various forums to complain about this problem. Essentially, numerous Warner Bros titles that were at one point 4K quality, have been inexplicably downgraded back to HD. In some instances, the Warner Bros films are even still included in 4K collections on iTunes, despite the fact that they are no longer available in 4K.

If you head to the iTunes Store listing for an affected film, such as Harry Potter, you’ll see that Apple no longer lists it as 4K, but rather HD. A user on the Blu-Ray forums has compiled a growing list of affected Warner Bros films:

  • 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)

Apple support has told at least one user that this issue is due to changes by Warner Bros, but support agents aren’t always the most reliable source of information for these sort of problems. We’ve reached out to both Warner Bros and Apple for comment and will update if we hear back. It’s possible that other studios besides Warner Bros are affected as well, which would suggest an issue on Apple’s side.

Apple first announced that 4K content was coming to iTunes in 2017. At the time, Apple said it would upgrade existing purchases to 4K for free and sell 4K for the same price as HD.

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