If you’re an Apple customer figuring on getting the early digital release of Avengers: Endgame in 4k, think again. Apple does not sell the movie in Digital 4k even though every other popular digital movie service in the US does.
The lack of 4k resolution for ‘Endgame’ is no surprise. None of the past MCU films are available through Apple TV/iTunes in 4k with the exception of Spider-Man: Homecoming (SPHE) and The Incredible Hulk (UPHE). The other 21 are available in SD or HD only. That includes the entire Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Thor, and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises, as well as Doctor Strange and Black Panther. (See a list of MCU films.)
That’s a whole lot of blockbuster movies not available on Apple TV in 4k, or on mobile devices that support HDR. But it doesn’t stop with MCU titles. Walt Disney/Buena Vista home media releases just aren’t available in 4k from Apple including hits like Big Hero 6, Moana, and the entire ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise – although some can be found in 4k on competing platforms.
There seem to be at least two good reasons why Apple can’t offer 4k movies from Disney. The first originates with the launch of Apple TV 4k. Most studios agreed to Apple’s industry-changing standard of $19.99 Digital 4k movies (a price $5-$10 lower than what competing services were selling UHD movies for). Disney was the one major studio that held out, even though the two companies had a long-standing relationship.
The second reason may have to do with Disney’s launch of Disney+ this fall. The intended Netflix-killer (which will cost $6.99 per month — almost half the price of the Netflix “Standard” subscription), could stream many Disney titles in 4k HDR including the entire MCU collection. It should be noted, however, that Disney hasn’t officially stated whether or not 4k would be included at $7 per month. They might spring a second tier on us — and that would be disappointing.
The good news is if you purchase a 4k Blu-ray edition of Avengers: Endgame you can get a code to redeem a Digital UHD copy and watch on other services like FandangoNow and Vudu. That’s because Disney’s Movies Anywhere shares its database with other services. So, whenever you get a chance redeem movies through MA to connect all your titles whether distributed by Disney, Sony, Fox, Universal or Warner Bros.
There is hope that someday Apple might upgrade the MCU titles to 4k. For now, anyone interested in the Digital 4k/HDR versions of ‘Endgame’ will have to rely on other streaming services.