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Google Play is selling 4K movies now

Teased in October, Google's support for the high-resolution format puts it in Amazon's league and beats Apple's iTunes.

Ghostbuster's Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS.
Hopper Stone, Hopper Stone, SMPSP

Google Play has 4K movies on its digital shelves.

Tuesday, Google said in a blog post that its Play Movies store has more than 125 movies in 4K resolution starting in the US and Canada. Customers can buy the high-def movies on their Android device or on the web, and then stream them on Chromecast Ultra, Sony Bravia Android TV or Xiaomi Mi Box 3. It didn't provide pricing for the titles nor an extensive list of what's available, but the company mentioned "Ghostbusters" and "Captain Phillips."

Google also provided CNET with an abbreviated list of other 4K titles available: "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation," "10 Cloverfield Lane," "The 5th Element," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Lucy," "Everest," "The Lego Movie" and "Batman vs. Superman."

Google teased the addition of 4K for Play Movies in October, when it unveiled its Chromecast Ultra device, though at the time it originally aimed to launch 4K movies in November. Rival online store Amazon already offers some, but Apple's iTunes doesn't.

4K is a measurement of video resolution. It multiplies the number of pixels in an image compared with traditional "high-definition" formats, but often CNET reviewers can't discern much difference in picture quality to the naked eye.

If you purchase a Chromecast 4K Ultra, Google will comp you the first 4K movie you buy, the post said.

Google had two other Play announcements to sneak in Tuesday:

  • It is launching a virtual reality app so people with one of the company's Daydream VR headsets can watch their Google Play library of movies and shows in a virtual theater. It's a common move for digital video companies, giving them a presence on the buzzy devices without having to invest in actual VR content.
  • Its Play Movies & TV app works on Samsung Smart TVs.