If your phone has a large 5-inch screen, you own an Android tablet, or your HDTV has a Chromecast plugged into it, it would make sense to splurge on the HD version of the next movie you buy from Google Play. It's like getting two movies for the price of one, really, as you can still stream the video in SD if Internet speeds aren't quite up to snuff. But until now, users have only been able to download the larger version of any HD content they wanted to pin to a device. Now you're given a choice.

What's new:

  • Get your content offline faster - now HD movies and shows may be downloaded in HD or SD.
  • Fixed Error 31 issue affecting some devices during playback.
  • Improved video streaming performance for select KitKat devices.
  • Additional bugfixes.

While in most cases you're probably going to want to pin the more attractive version of the video, having a say in the matter is nice once storage space starts to run low, especially if you cannot pop in a micro SD card.

Aside from that, this isn't a major update. If you only purchase SD content - and given the price difference, I wouldn't blame you - then there's little else to see here.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Alexei Watson

    I bought a HD movie to watch on the chromecast on a 15Mbps internet connection. It was unbearable, buffering and pausing all the time. I won't be doing that again until there is a way to pre-buffer the video.

    Youtube HD plays fine through the chromecast, so I'm stumped.

    • Michael Pahl

      Thats odd. Google Play "HD" is still highly compressed. I think an "HD" TV show, 55 minutes in length, is only like 250mb. Something else must have been up.

      • Alexei Watson

        The movie was 'A beautiful mind'

        I guess being an older movie, and me being in Australia, the HD copy may have been on a very distant server. Still, I was expecting a seamless experience. Stick with blu-ray rentals a while longer.

        • Michael Pahl

          most likely why chromecast is not yet available in your country... ;-)

          • Alexei Watson

            Fair point.

  • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

    Purchase HD get SD free is an welcomed update.

    Next up, what would be good is if you were to buy or have brought SD Digital download purchase if HD is available (or later SD only content is put up for the process of upscaling enhancement) provide the option at anytime if you want to 'upgrade' the experience by paying only the difference.

    On the rare occasion the HD price RRP Price drops below the paid SD price an HD eligibility as an loyalty offer should be considered!

  • Shaun

    How about when you buy a movie, you get the movie (meaning all its various resolutions), rather than paying for multiple copies of the same thing?
    I don't see why you promote this as getting two movies for the price of one, because that's not at all the deal.