After a number of reports started to show up regarding Google initiative to bring 4K video and movies to their Play store, the company has finally made the feature officially available to all users, at least those in Canada and the US for the moment. The feature will allow the purchase or rental of 4K movies directly from the Play store.
Google is currently the latest company to officially embrace 4K streaming on its platforms. The new feature adds 125 4K movies to the Play library. Google revealed in a blog post that renting a 4K movie will cost $7.99 while purchasing one requires $29.99. However, not all titles are available for both purchase and rental, in some cases its either one or the other.
Canadian and US customers will be able to stream Google’s 4K content using either the company’s own Chromecast Ultra, which costs around $70 in retail or on a Xiaomi Mi Box 3 and a Sony Bravia Android TV. Currently, Samsung and LG smart TVs will not support the 4K video content. However, Google has recently announced that select Samsung TV models will receive access to its non-4K Play library.
Unlike other services, Google’s 4K video content will require the same video coding format as Youtube, the VP9 format which is royalty-free. This means that users will be able to enjoy high-quality streams with relatively few encoding artifacts.
Owners of Chromecast Ultra, which is Google’s first streaming device to support 4K content, will receive a special promotion. They will be able to choose a free 4K movie between either Ghostbusters and Captain Phillips.
Besides officially releasing 4K movies, Google has decided to also bring its Play library of movies to the recently released Daydream virtual reality platform. Anyone with the headset can now enjoy Google’s library of movies in their own private virtual cinema as long as they also have a compatible smartphone.
Similar services are already available on various other platforms like Netflix and Amazon. Netflix has announced 4K video content on PC a few days ago, but the feature comes with restrictive conditions. Amazon Prime members will be able to stream movies from the company’s library at no additional cost.
Will you start watching 4K movies on Google’s platform?
Image source: Google Play