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How to Get the Highest Resolution When Watching Movies in iTunes

Illustration for article titled How to Get the Highest Resolution When Watching Movies in iTunes
Screenshot: David Murphy

I’m ever-hopeful that Apple will take a look at its Windows iTunes client someday. I realize Apple probably prioritizes this somewhere between “wipe bugs off the windows at Apple Park” and “design a new box for pizzas,” but that doesn’t mean that we Windows fans can’t dream.

Right now, iTunes is a mess. It’s unpleasant to use, its UI feels pedestrian, and its settings are confusing. And nowhere is this more apparent than when you’re trying to watch a simple movie. Here’s what I mean.


By default—at least, I believe this is default, as it’s what popped up on my iTunes when I first installed it via the Microsoft Store—iTunes on Windows plays back movies at a maximum resolution of 1080p. You can check this yourself within its settings (Edit Preferences Playback).


When I stream any movie in my library, right-click on the window, and set the movie to play at its “actual size,” it does not look like it’s playing in 1080p. Here’s a quick picture of what the streaming version of Dredd actually looks like on my 3440-by-1440 monitor:

1080p, eh?
Photo: David Murphy


When I download the movie—again, using iTunes’ default settings—I get the same-sized player when I set it to “actual size.” Again, this doesn’t feel very 1080p.

Still not feeling very

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