4K televisions have been a hot commodity during the past couple of holiday shopping seasons and 2016 is no exception. This year has delivered with some of the lowest prices we’ve seen to date on UHD sets which leaves just one glaring barrier to entry. I’m of course referring to 4K content… or rather, its scarcity.
Google is taking steps to help fill in the void by offering up more than 125 movies in 4K resolution via Google Play Movies. Observant readers may have noticed that Google has quietly been seeding 4K-quality flicks to its online movie store in recent weeks but the search giant is just now getting around to officially announcing it.
Ben Serridge, product manager for Google Play Movies & TV, said the flicks are initially being limited to buyers in the US and Canada (yes, buyers, as in, you can’t yet rent 4K movies). The movies are encoded using VP9, the open source video codec that Netflix is also relying on for its recently-announced offline viewing option.
It’s worth mentioning that while customers can purchase movies using an Android device or on the web, they’ll only be able to watch them using a Chromecast Ultra, on a Sony Bravia Android TV or with an Xiaomi Mi Box 3 media streamer.
Anyone that has a Chromecast Ultra can score their first 4K movie for free. Serridge specifically mentions Captain Phillips and the recent Ghostbusters remake.
Speaking of, Google currently has a host of other offers that you may be interested in such as a three-month trail of HBO NOW, 75 percent off any one movie rental and 90 days of unlimited music on Google Play.